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Home : 2006 : Aug : 3

    Fifth Grade Centers
    By 5thGrdTeachTN

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    I am offering my humble opinion on the topic, and you may take it or leave it:). In the school I taught at for the past 5 years we have found it best to start the day with an engaging, yet independent activity. This allows students a chance to either wake up, or settle down, or get focused (whichever they need!). Also, while that is a wide window of time (7:30-8:10) that I am sure you want to use effectively, in my experience centers are very time consuming to create and require quite a bit of classroom management. I am proponent of centers; I just think you may want to conserve your energy for another time of the day.
    Our students are allowed to enter the building at 7:00am and the late bell rings at 7:30. In grades 3-5 the morning routine is pretty similar. Students are expected to come in, get unpacked, sharpen pencils, and use the restroom. Then there is a "Math Journal Problem" (usually a word problem that reviews the previous days concept or prepares students for today's concept) displayed on the board or overhead projector which students answer daily in their math journal (just a marbled composition book). If students finish early they may read, work in their writing journal, or on Fridays they are allowed to draw. This keeps them pretty busy, allows me to do attendance, greet each student, read notes from home, etc. It also sets a quiet hum of focus and productivity in the room which sets a nice tone for the day. We teach this routine, model how to complete the routine, and practice the routine until all students (or at least 99%of students:)) are completing the task indpendently.
    Just my two cents on the subject:)!!

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