Launching Enrichment Time Activities for Upper Elementary

By Kirsten Hammond

Enrichment time is not commonly known, but can be a powerful tool in your back pocket. But before I go into what it is, I want to ask you this:

Do you find yourself with some extra time in class during the day or week and you’re not sure what to do with your students?

You may resort to having them sit around the room and play on their devices, but behavior tends to start increasing in the wrong direction. Maybe you want to put a twist on study hall time and make it more engaging for your students. 

Enrichment Time is the perfect solution to all of the above!

teacher in class

What is Enrichment Time? 

Enrichment Time is a time where students can work on multiple subject areas, and also where students can get extra assistance and intervention or extend their learning. This is perfect for any group of students, from G/T to those needing extra classroom intervention.

Enrichment time is easy to implement and can be fun for the students to work at an independent and self-paced format. You can also make it paperless or incorporate digital and printable activities.

How to Start Enrichment Time With Your Students

Let’s break down the process of implementing enrichment time in your classroom into five simple steps, drawing from my own experience with my third-grade students:

1. Determine how often and when your students will have enrichment time.

First, you will need to determine when and how often your students will engage in enrichment time.

Whether it’s a daily 45-minute slot or a weekly hour, make sure it fits seamlessly into your schedule, providing a consistent opportunity for extension and growth.

2. Make a menu of activities each month (depending on your subject that you teach). 

Craft a monthly menu of activities tailored to your curriculum and students’ interests. Reinforce key concepts while offering variety, from reading response menus to interactive online tasks like those found on Education Galaxy or BrainPOP Jr.

Keep it engaging, relevant, and aligned with your teaching objectives.

enrichment menu
Here’s an example of a menu I used with my 3rd grade students!

3. Make it independent.

Encourage student autonomy by designing activities that they can complete independently.

Tap into their prior knowledge, making the tasks a review of concepts already covered. This not only empowers students but also allows for smoother classroom management during enrichment time.

4. Incorporate must do/may do activities.

Strike a balance between mandatory and optional tasks to ensure both accountability and choice. Establish a set of “must-do” activities that students complete before exploring additional options.

This approach cultivates responsibility while honoring their preferences and interests. Student choice is key!

5. Utilize a tracker.

Implement a tracking system to monitor student engagement and progress throughout the month. Consider assigning grades to certain menu activities to incentivize completion.

Use this time as an opportunity for targeted intervention or extension activities, which is a great way to foster personalized learning experiences.

Flexibility and Adaptability

One of the greatest strengths of enrichment time is its flexibility.

Tailor it to suit your teaching style and students’ needs. Experiment with different activities, adapt the menu to reflect current topics, and don’t hesitate to refine your approach based on feedback and observations!

The best part about Enrichment Time it can be tailored to what best works for you and your students! You should give Enrichment Time a try!

To Sum it Up

Enrichment time isn’t just a filler; it’s a powerful and dynamic tool for enhancing learning experiences and meeting the diverse needs of your students.

So, why not give it a try in your classroom? Embrace the opportunity to ignite curiosity, foster independence, and cultivate a love for learning.

Remember, the journey towards enrichment begins with a single step – are you ready to take it?

kirsten hammond

Kirsten is a former 3rd and 5th grade teacher who loves helping upper elementary teachers by creating resources and sharing ideas that are engaging, research-based, and TEKS-aligned. She is a work-from-home mama of 3 rambunctious little ones and loves running, true crime, and lots of coffee.

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