I believe that I was able to come up with some concrete data to answer my research question. I learned through my observation collection that "early finishers" do in fact have the ability to disrupt the learning environment for struggling students, EL's, and students who are easily distracted and/ or who have focusing issues(learning disabilities) causing the classroom to be a place of unequal student success.
The idea of a complete reconstruction of the classroom based on academic performance rather than age is something that I would like to see more research about. If we can build classrooms where many common issues can be significantly decreased or made so the don't exist at all is something worth exploring.
Because the main issue was managing multi-level students all in one room, the way the teacher delivers instruction also needs to be multi-level. Differentiation plays a huge role. Teacher strategies such as organized grouping of students, extensions to independent work and increasing student engagement are a few small changes that can make a difference in the learning process.