ok.... as I promised earlier today here are our centers :) they hang in the entrance to our classroom.
(hooks from Ikea, $1 bags from Michaels)
(hooks from Ikea, $1 bags from Michaels)
I prefer bags to baskets because they are much easier to store and mover around.
I was quite impressed how well my kids did for the first day! They acted like pros!!!
We spent the first 30 minutes reviewing expectations & procedures:
(I post these on the SMART board and placed a copy of it in each of the centers bags)
Next, I explained how I want the students to keep track of their work and record it in their Centers notebook. Below is the format I provided them with for completing the tasks & reflecting on them.
They copied the format to their notebook and began using it today.
Here is one of the kiddo's notebook. Every student has the same cover to their notebook, a table of contents where they keep track of their tasks, a reflection format page, and the actual activities they complete.
Below is my centers rotation chart.
Students are grouped by ability and group 5 is that one that sees me the most.
(this is projected on the board daily)
The plan is to incorporate literacy centers daily for 30 minutes and make it a routine. Its def. something I struggled to incorporate until now and realized I will have to sacrifice other things in order to integrate it. However, since centers ARE a priority for me, I will now have them going daily from 9-9:30 when my kids return from specials.
Here are some pictures from today
Group 5 (skills & strategies center)
Group 2 (reading in the content areas center)
Group 5 (independent reading center)
Group 4 (guided reading; they worked on a main idea board game)
Group 3 (writing center)
Group 4 was supposed to meet with me today and they did. However, due to P.E. being canceled, we had a few loose middle schoolers in the building that walked around and suggest their help.
I recruited them to work with my group and they enjoyed facilitating the board game with group 4.
This allowed me to walk around and check in with all the other groups making sure they knew what they were doing and were successful at their task. (and of course I got to snap some pics for ya'll)
To signal the end of the the centers session, I rang my no yell bell. I then gave the students 2 min. to wrap up their center, organize their bag and hang it back, and get back to their seat.
The second time I rang my bell meant the session was over and that we were back to business.
We took 5 minutes to reflect on how today went and what we learned, and I allowed a few students to share their entries under the document camera as a model for others.
Here's the goodies in our writing center for example.
I'm a big fan of making my centers with year long enrichment activities. As we cover certain skills and/or concepts I add the to the bags. But I like to keep the bags
directions are double sided in a sheet protectoreach center includes a must do & may do list of activities.
Picture prompt cards from Edupress (these are my favorite!!!)
Each card is laminates and the whole stack is kept together in a sheet protector.
On the back of each photograph there are 3 writing prompts: narrative, expository, and persuasive.
Writing Prompt Cubes from Learning Resources.
The kids LOVE these.
A variety of flip books from McDonald publishing
Content Area Journal Prompt from McDonald publishing
Yes, I know... these manipulatives are store bought. But the kids & I LOVE them and they've lasted me for 5 years now and are still in perfect conditions. Worth every penny I spent on them.
I create "teacher made"activities that pertain to specific skills throughout the year and add them as we cover them, but the above remains in the bag all year!!!
Here is our Skills & Strategy center
This center focuses on specific skills we covered and offers students a chance to practice those skills.
Task Cards (Compare & Contrast by Rachel Lynette) & Context Clues (from Pro Teacher)
I laminate & cut up the cards, punch a whole through them, and put them through a ring.I keep them in a ziplock bag and they're ready to go.
These are my Take It To Your Seat Literacy Centers (by Evan-Moor)
I own the entire series (every subject and every grade level) and it is by far one of the best investments I ever made.
Each center has been laminated, cut up, and placed in a folder for students to work with.
Each center contains activity cards, and answer form, and a direction sheet.
Here's our Independent Center
Read to Self Task Cards (from Pro Teacher) and Story Elements Cootie Catchers from the AMAZING Jen Runde
I also have multiple copies of Scholastic's Storywork (with multiple copies in each sheet protector)
That include a variety of literary texts including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.
Lastly, I have a duotang folder with a variety of graphic organizers & thinking maps for students to use with the reading & activities.
Here's our Reading in the Content Areas center
I include Time for Kids, Super Science, Ranger Rick, Scholastic News, etc. magazines with multiple copies of each.
Students have a variety of activities they need to complete on the Must & May do lists but the one below is their favorite.
I got these dice from Kagan
One with prompts on Famous People, one about Current Events, and the last one for Historical Events.
There are a few more centers but I'm a bit tired & my school day is now over :)
I have to get ready to head to class (grad school) and so I'll have to post the rest tomorrow.
I promise to add lots of pictures and elaborate on Guided Reading!
Would love to hear your thoughts!!!!!!!!!!
What are some tricks you have up your sleeve to make centers engaging & productive?
How do you manage them?