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Home : 2004 : Feb : 19

    using centers
    By judy

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    We have been using centers in our district for about three years. I was a little skeptical in the beginning, but I really can't see how I would handle reading groups without them. I use a center board in which I list all the names of my students in their reading groups and then the centers they are to visit under the names. Each day I just move the names, so they will be in two different centers. I find two half hour centers daily to be workable since I also have inclusion and ESL inclusion. I have a timer that goes off and they are responsible to clean up center before going to the next one. All of the names and centers are velcro'd to the center board in case I need to change groups or centers. I would gear your centers to the needs of your students....some good centers to use are Overhead(having a skill activity for them to do on it), Listening center....tapes to listen to books and react to them in some way....Writing Center....some sort of writing activity...targeted writing ..........library....I have the younger groups so I always have an ABC center, Poetry Center, Retelling Center, Math Center, Science Center etc. Once you start to organize you will see you can almost make a center out of anything. If you need any further help I would be glad to help in any way. Just make sure that the centers are an activity that they can do independently, because you will have reading groups and won't be able to jump up all the time. Also set the rules you want them to follow in centers right at the beginning. Take it slow...and always model the centers before they do it. I know you are probably very well aware of all this, but these are hints that I muddled through with in the very beginning.

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