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    Re: Centers
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    Hi there. I just graduated 2 years ago and for practice teaching grade 3, I used centers.

    Basically, you can have centers that span across the curriculum. For example, if you are doing a unit in social studies...I am from Canada and we were doing a unit, well, about Canada. So, at the end of the unit, I set up centers. After I taught what the students needed to know.

    Before I get ahead of myself there are some things to consider before you actually set up your centers. How many students per center? Do you want the centers timed or can the students move freely from center to center. Also, how are you going to actually evaluate or even keep track of the activities. Folders are great for each student.

    You're going to have to set up a "traffic board." Once you decide how many students are in each group, and once the centers are made, I make the board.
    Usually I make it out of poster board. I get those pockets that are in the back of library books or make my own pockets. In each pocket, I place a card with the names of each student in the group. In pocket one, I place a card with Johnny, Mary, Bill, and Bob. Usually you only want about 4 students per center. The pocket has a center name on it. For example, Puzzle Center and so on.

    Ok, so for my center on Canada, I had a game of concentration. I taught about each province in Canada and their capital cities. I had pieces of two different colors. The red pieces had provinces, and the green had capitals. So they had to play a concentration game and get the right match.
    Then I had a poetry center showing different poetry about Canada. The students had to make up their own poem about Canada.
    Another center was a map of Canada that I cut up to make a puzzle.
    There were other centers, but you get the picture.

    I've also used centers for addition and snakes and ladders with addition and subtraction, making a menu, calculator games, etc etc..
    So don't limit yourself. Find fun stuff to learn with and the kids will love it..

    A favorite thing of mine to use is a noise clock. It's like a clock, but cut into sections. One section I think had a snake, a fly, and it went up to louder symbols which I can't remember.
    OH and if they are timed centers...get an alarm clock!!! They'll know when to move.
    Good Luck!

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