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shelmo77 shelmo77 is offline
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 157
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 157
Full Member
I do have centers
Old 10-11-2012, 12:22 PM
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I hate rotations for centers though - it drives me NUTS. I teach 1st grade, so my centers are about 20-25 minutes long. I do them once a day. I have 5 centers and the children are in 5 groups, each day they go to a different center. By the end of the week they will have gone to every center. My center groups are mixed level (that way if I can't be right there to help, a higher level student in the group can help).

I have a chart for me to keep up with where they go each day. Each center has a basket. The baskets stay on a bookshelf until center time. The basket label tells them where they will go each day (I use velcro to stick their group label onto the basket label).

My 5 centers are:
Art, Writing, Word Work, Math, Partner Reading

Some weeks I change out the art center and have a Science center there. Some weeks I may have an activity on the activboard instead of word work. I walk around and monitor what they are doing and try to keep them on task (not usually a problem). I try to keep the activities similar for 3-4 weeks, then I will switch them around.

I used to HATE centers, but last year a coworker helped me set it up and now I LOVE centers. Once they know what they need to do at each center (we go over it Mon - Wed) by Thurs and Fri I can usually just say "go to your center" and they know what to do. At the end of center time I play a clean up song and that's their cue to put things back in the baskets and bring the baskets to me. As they bring them to me I go on and switch the signs for the next day so that it's ready to go.

One thing I have learned is if you are going to have supplies (worksheets, papers, etc) that they need to use, only put enough in there for that group. They make a mess if they have 20 worksheets in the basket, plus if they make a mistake and decide to start over they will just grab another blank one out, which means at the end of the week you won't have enough copies.
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