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PopcornNhugs PopcornNhugs is offline
 
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Centers
Old 06-29-2008, 08:29 PM
 
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I'm going to be new to K this year and know that I want to do centers. What kind of centers do you all have and what materials go in each center?

I've previously used centers in 3rd grade. I had 6 centers including one that was a reading group with me. Every center I had had to do with literacy. Is that how I should do it in K?


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nic1 nic1 is offline
 
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centers-LONG!!
Old 06-30-2008, 03:55 AM
 
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I have a mixed approach on centers. I am assuming you will break your centers up in to math and literacy... if not you can adjust according to your schedule.

For me, my centers begin slowly at the first of the year. We are expected to begin centers before the kids totally get it.... so, my early centers teach the routines of the rotation and are based loosely on what they will learn to do at each location as the year progresses. Mostly they are artsy at first or involve very hands-on materials that they should be familiar with using. I have 5 must-do centers... one being my group. After the work is completed at the must do center they move to an independent center (listening, games, reading center, computer etc.).

My must do centers include an art center that focuses on our phonics skill early in the year and later, include pocket chart art projects that they read and complete alone. I also have a pocket chart center,which is where they do a bunch of different things... sort pictures based on sounds and phonemic awareness activities we are working on, playing matching games in a pocket chart, putting our poem of the week back together etc. My working with words center is where they begin with activities using the names of the students in our classroom, letter tiles, magnets etc. and later move to more traditional word work activities like word families, sentence building, word building etc. Finally, my writing table doubles as my sight word station. Here they work on the sight words we are introducing and, as the become better writers, independent writing and word wall work. This center takes a bit to get going so I have a ton of fine motor practice stuff here... lacing, hole punching ,tracing activities to help them gain needed skills earlier in the year. The payoff comes later when this center produces great writing :0)!!!!

They do one "must do" center each day and move to the choice center assigned to that group when they complete the assigned task in the must-do center. Choice centers should be based on whatever you have available for use in your room that will encourage good, hard work at the first center. I am very careful to watch for those that rush to move on AND I have only centers that support my litearacy standards... no total play centers- that is for another time of the day in my class.

My centers are very hands on and include many ideas from Debbie Diller's book, Litearacy Workstations, (I think that is the title!). I do understand the concept behind 2 or so children in a group, and I have tried it, but it honestly does not work for me or my aide. I also love The Daily 5, but again, I think it is just a little out of reach for my kdg. babies to accomplish the stamina in their independent times which I need to run the remainder of my guided reading groups until much later in the year. I think I have worked both theories in to my center times but made it more of my own hybrid. :0) Reading those books at some point will probably help you plan effective centers for this age group. (Diller's book would be my first read if I were you.)

I know this is the "old fashioned " center schedule and many have gone away from this but my theory is.... everything in education comes back again... I am just ahead of the next big trend! HA!! HA!! Seriously, I think it is the quality of the activities in each center, and not the way you rotate or manage them that makes for a great learning time for your students.....
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my workstations
Old 06-30-2008, 05:19 AM
 
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As with the previous poster, Diller's Workstation book helped me tremendously! I also highly recommend it. I do pair my students up for the week making sure that throughout the year everyone has an opportunity to be matched up with all the others in the class. That pair is then put with another pair, so that i usually have 4 children at a workstation at a time. Once we have the hang of workstations, we usually spend 20 minutes at a station and we usually visit 4 each day. Those that finish early can either go to the classroom library, finish unfinished work, or read his/her high frequency word cards. My workstation titles include: ABC Word, Math, Listening, Creation, Pocket Chart, Writing, Handwriting, Teacher, Computer, Library, and Puzzles and Games. I know I have others, but I can not think of them at this time. My Teacher Workstation doesn't come into play until I feel the children can work at their stations independently and solve their own problems as I do not have an aide. At the beginning of the year we practice using whisper voices, reading our work station chart and signs, and walking from one station to another. Although I did not do it last year, in the past I have had the children help me write out behaviors for each individual workstation on a T Chart indicating what that station looks like and what it sounds like. I can't begin to tell you all the materials I use throughout the year at my workstations. This list is endless. I believe that is why books are written. Find yourself a copy of Diller's book and look at teacher websites. Many teachers give detailed explanations of their centers. My best to you in kindergarten. I just love my little ones!!!
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math center ideas
Old 07-02-2008, 01:58 PM
 
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Some simple math center ideas: make a grid of 20 pics (whatever theme)- for a table of 4 chilren, you would need 2 grids (2 kids ea) - have student roll die, cover with his/her marker that many spaces - game is complete when grid is full - child with most markers, wins. I noticed that at the end of kindergarten, some children still have to count the dots on a die, so I think this is a great way to get to know them.
Another grid game: Mark a grid from 1 to 6 - roll a die- color in the # that appears on the die (die/# correspondence) - see which # you most frequently roll. (you could make a guessing game out of it, too -- which # do you think you'll roll the most)

I also found on the internet a printable connect four game - just circles all over - have 2 children take turns trying for four in a row, horiz, vert, diag. (you could even do this w/ letter recogn or even just # recogn -see Kelly's Kindergarten - games by Billy Reid)
hope you could understand this - hard to explain such a simple game!!
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