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    Centers
    By Lauren

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    Here are some things I'm trying for my 3rd grade classroom centers.

    1. Puzzle Center-- have them work on a large puzzle (500+ pieces). This is a team-building exercise.

    2. Writing Center-- Have a story starter out and the kids have clipboards and write about the prompt. I got some silly prompts from www.#####.com. They also have covers to color.

    3. Math center-- I have some wipe off math mats for the children to use with overhead markers. I'm letting them do the mats and check each other. They can use a stop watch to time each other on their basic facts and record their # right.

    4. Reading center-- with our new reading adoption this year (Scott Foresman), we have a couple sets of readers that are about 12-15 pages long with fun stories in them. I have a basic level, intermediate level and then I have some advanced ones too. I'll have the students read in a group - each taking a paragraph. This helps my low ones and lets my high ones feel like they are helping!

    5. Spelling Center I -- I am letting one spelling center (of 2 people) use letter stamps I purchased stamp out their spelling words in ABC order. They love to stamp! This also helps them remember for the spelling test.

    6. Spelling Center II(Computer)-- In this center 2 children will work on the 2 computers (I am fortunate enough to have two working computers in my classroom -- granted one is a MAC so old it uses actual floppy disks!) They will type their words in ABC order and then make some "zany" sentences for their words. This helps reinforce the typing that they are doing in their computer lab and helps them with their spelling. I think pick some "zany" sentences for their spelling test at the end of the week! They get a kick out of them!

    7. Penpal Center -- We just learned to write friendly letters so we're writing a new group of penpals! (I'm originally from Indiana and a teacher at my mom's school in the same grade would like penpals so we accepted the offer!) When I have the centers again we will read letters from our penpals at that time and write them back.

    8. Art/Music Integration-- My mom is an art teacher and she's big into her job! So, I decided on a center that she uses for her whole class. The kids will have paper and earphones plugged into my CD player in the classroom (this is one I purchased with my own money -- nothing fancy, just one for $25 dollars at Walmart). I have classical and jazz cd's I'll let the kids listen to. They will draw what they feel the music expresses. It doesn't have to be anything in particular -- they draw the mood. They use the colors with the mood. It's a relaxing activity that gives the teacher some idea of what they hear and interpret.

    **For each center, (I heard this at a conference) I am getting the $1 large clear picture frames and using those as a place to put the directions to the centers activity. This way, I'm not repeating myself 20 times as to what the kids must do at the center. Plus, reading never hurt them!

    Like I said these are just some centers I'm going to try! Nothing is carved in stone! I'm going to be creative with them my first go-round and see what works and what doesn't! Hope this gives you some feedback! PLEASE email me with any more center ideas! I'm always trying new things!!! Good luck!!!

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