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luv2teach2005's Message:

I teach a 1st/2nd classroom and was wondering whether or not this age level needs specific time set aside to do centers, or if they can do them when they are finished with their work? Most of my kids are fast finishers, but I have other that need one-on-one and the others are wild and all over the room. What do you think? What kinds of rules do you set up for doing centers? Do they need to be assigned to which ones they can do, or let them choose?

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
ccoffey 04-24-2008 07:31 AM

Thanks for all the great ideas!! I try to start the year out with centers but my mid year I am burnt out from on the bickering and constant help everyone thinks they need!!!

carroll 03-25-2008 03:54 PM

I teach first and I also have a set time for centers. I do them three days a week for about 50 minutes. That is the time I take guided reading groups. It is also a time when the sped teacher comes in and takes her group. I have a work board that has my four groups(22 kids divided heterogenously) across the top. They each have a must do and two choices after that. The choices go down the board. That way the next day we do centers I just move the group cards across one. There is never new information in centers. It is a way for children to practice the skills independently. I have math centers as well as literacy centers. They range from buddy reading, reading around the room and writing down ee words they can find, to putting a known poem in their poem book, illustrating it and reading it to two friends. They each have a color coded folder to keep their work in. Great management tool. Rarely do I have children who finish everything. But.. when I do they can then read from their book bags.

EarthMonkey 02-27-2008 08:12 PM

I have a set time for workshop and there is a routation of projects for the children to do. I also work on guided reading or one on one reading with children at the same time. I also begin with one of the workshops at the beginning of the year and practice it for a week or so then move to the next practice it for a week or so et.. For early finishers I give specific projects or things to do depending on the amount of time and needs of the children. The early finishers get a various things from read in a group to language arts games or math work.

SaraFirst 02-02-2008 10:43 AM

I also have my students go to workstations while I am working with reading groups. I think it is best to have a set time. I model the stations at the beginning of the year and we make an "I can" list together so that they know what they can do at the station. I also think it works best to have a small number of kids at each station. This keeps the noise level down.

AddieJ 02-02-2008 02:18 AM

It's up to the teacher and his/her scheduling needs whether students do assigned centers or self choosen centers BUT I think all children should have the opportunity to do centers - not just the early finishers. It is a good activity for those early finishers while they are waiting but then another time of day should be set aside for everyone to do centers so the kids who need extra time to finish don't feel left out. Centers should support & enrich classroom learning so centers will benefit those slow workers too.

I have a basket of activities for my early birds to pick from when they are done with the required work. They can choose from flashcards, matching word to picture cards, write & wipe boards (number practice, alphabet practice, word family practice, etc.), books, stringing beads on shoe strings, sight word rings, unifix cubes & pattern cards to copy, and other small flip books. Kids also have the option to go to the classroom library.
(We do assigned centers in the morning & free choice time at the end of the day - I teach kindergarten.)

MrsM79 02-01-2008 02:20 PM

Hi! I teach second and this is what I do. When I am teaching guided reading groups, the other students have things they need to do. For example, if you use a reading series that has practice pages, like we do, you can have that be their first job. There are two main "workstations" that I use in my classroom. The first is AR, Accelerated Reading. I don't know if your school has this program or not, but it gives the students practice with independent reading, and then the log onto the computer and take a comprehension quiz. The next station that I use is the writing station. Here I have different writing materials, paper, pencils, stencils, flip prompts, etc. I also have a different poster hanging for each month with thematic writing prompts on them. Other things that I have used for centers are: word tiles to create sentences, puzzles, drawing books, sticker story, poetry stations, listening station, etc. I have a chart up in my room, set up by our three reading groups. It's write on/wipe off, and for each day under each group, if there is something specific that I want them to work on, I just write it in under their group for that day. The biggest thing that works for me is that most of what they are doing is take it to your seat, or minimal group work during this time. They may spread out on the rug together, but they could all be doing different activities so the noise level never gets too loud. I have two boys in my class that are ADHD unmedicated, so the more structure the better!!! I don't know if this helps, but I hope so!!

luv2teach2005 01-31-2008 04:42 PM

I teach a 1st/2nd classroom and was wondering whether or not this age level needs specific time set aside to do centers, or if they can do them when they are finished with their work? Most of my kids are fast finishers, but I have other that need one-on-one and the others are wild and all over the room. What do you think? What kinds of rules do you set up for doing centers? Do they need to be assigned to which ones they can do, or let them choose?




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