I posted this on another thread, so I just copied and pasted, sorry for the repeaHi- I teach 4th grade. I've used centers for years and have always implemented them in the same way. My centers are ability grouped, but I change students as needed. I always rotate partners after a month or so. This way students don't get too comfortable with their partners and it fosters new friendships.
I have 3 groups that I see each day (about 8 students in a group). While I am working with a group in guided reading, another group is working on an in class book project which I do monthly. The last group goes to learning centers. I do a 4-day rotation (Mon.-Thurs.) Within each group, students have a partner to work with. Each day they go to a different center, so by the end of the week they have been to all 4centers. Usually, one is always the computer and another is a listening center of the story from the basal. The other 2 are dependant upon what skills need work or theme.
I manage this by using a pocket chart. Each student decorates an index card with their name on it the first day of school. I separate the students into 3 groups. Along the top of the chart going horizonally, I have 3 cards one named GR, Indep. Work and centers.
Going vertically along the left side of the chart, I have the numbers 1-4. At the end of each rotation, I change the cards at the top (gr, iw and centers) and each day I move the numbers down. I hope this makes sense.
ex..... GR Book Projects Centers
4 (theme) Jack
Every Monday, I go over what to do at each center, plus, there are direction sheets in which the students need to read and follow.
At each center there is a basket that the children place completed work in and at the end of each day, I check off on a clipboard who turned it in. The rotations usually last about 30 minutes, so sometimes, I let students take it home to finish.
Hope this helps.
Good Luck...Amyt, but hope this will help you