Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Centers

It's a challenge to explain how I manage my centers. It's one of those things where you really have to be there to completely understand how it works. However, I'm not going to let that hold me back from sharing what I can with all of you! Here it goes.....



This is my center board. Students go to the board to see what they need to work on each day. We work on centers Mon.-Thurs. for about 1.5 hours. If needed, Friday is our day to continue working on centers. When students have completed all of their center work, they get to have "Free Friday". This is a time when they can play a math or literacy game of their choice.








As you can see, I have four center group posters above the centers (on the fish). I move the group posters each day. I use push pins to hang them up so I can easily move them around the board. However, I think next year I'm going to use some sort of clip instead!

Students might go to a center more than once a week depending on how many activities are in the center. For example, the red fish on the board is my math/science/social studies center. During the week, students will have 3 opportunities to work on the 3-4 activities in that center.






Here is a list of all of the centers in my classroom:


-Math, Science/Social Studies


-Skill


-Spelling


-Writing


-Journal



-Computer



-Listening/Reading Response Station



-Pocket Chart


-HOTS (Higher Order Thinking)

I'm very lucky to have these amazing wooden shelves to store my center materials. This shelf is sectioned off by skill, spelling, and math/ social studies/science centers. Did I mention how much I love this shelf?!?!





Here is a picture of my listening station! I actually have two of these to accommodate more students. Nothing spectacular, but does the trick!









Here is a picture of the pocket chart center. Again, very simple-just a pocket chart on a stand!! I have a little basket on the floor beside it that holds the recording sheets. I love using this pocket chart for sorting, making words, and matching games!!!








Here's a pic of one of my kiddos at the computer center. He is working on his math facts using a program my school purchased called "Math Facts in a Flash". It's great for practicing math fact fluency!!








This is my HOTS center!I ran out of room to put things so I made a pocket with a file folder, labeled it, and hot glued it to the side of my desk!! I put activities in the pocket that promote higher order thinking in reading and writing. This week, my students are working on an activity on their "Think Dots" board. A TpT HOTS center packet is on my summer project list!!









Everyone has a center folder to help them stay organized. One side is for completed work and the other is for incomplete work. My little loves keep up with what they've completed using a center checklist. The checklist is a wonderful tool! It keeps everyone on track & allows me to open a folder and immediately see what a student is working on. It did take a good couple of weeks at the beginning of the year to train them to use the checklists, but now they are center checklist pros!!






I meet with my leveled reading groups at this lil' table while everyone's working on their centers. I also have a parapro or parent volunteer working with students at this time.






I stole this idea from my super organized team member...I use labeled expandable file folder pockets to store all of my center cards and recording sheets. L.O.V.E this!








Whew! I know I probably just confused the heck outta ya! If so, I apologize!! Please let me know if you have any questions in the comment section!!

The Easter Egg

I love anything by Jan Brett! She is one of my favorite authors!! I was so fortunate to receive a copy of her book, The Easter Egg, from a student during our book fair!! Too sweet, huh?!?! If you haven't read it, it's a story about an adorable bunny named Hoppi who can't decide how to decorate his Easter egg. If Hoppi wins the Easter egg contest, he'll get to help the Easter Bunny deliver eggs. Hoppi discovers that it isn't easy and gets discouraged. He goes into the woods to think when a blue robin egg falls out of a tree. He keeps the egg safe and warm until the baby bird hatches, and when the Easter Bunny arrives, he chooses the empty blue robin egg as the winner to reward Hoppi for his kindness. A.W.E.S.O.M.E!!







After I read this sweet story, my students decorated their own egg. I just cut eggs out of white construction paper and put every crafty thing out for my students to use to decorate them-glitter, pom poms, sequins, ribbon, etc. Fun stuff!!!






Then students used this writing paper to write about their egg!! Click on the picture to download it!



I thought they turned out super cute!











Hope y'all are doing well! I'm on a mission to post how I manage my centers next....