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Home : 2004 : Jun : 27

    centers board w/guided reading
    By Lisa

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    Hi, I don't have a website for you but how I run centers is a technique from the book Guided Reading (by Fountas and Pinnell). There is a whole section in that book specifically geared towards setting up centers in your classroom so that you can pull small groups - its terrific!

    Basically its a foam board with different icons/pictures that stand for certain centers. You'll have to teach the kids what these mean obviously. There are 3 icons in each row and a plastic insert at the top of each row with the names of about 5 kids on an index card. Those 5 children need to complete the 3 centers underneath their card. Those are their choices for the day. I have about 4 index cards so 4 groups of kids going to different centers. Each day I slide the index cards one row over so the kids have a 3 new icons to choose from. After rotating through I start over the next week and might change up a few of the icons to keep it interesting.

    This method works well because centers aren't crowded, the kids still have choice, and there is a sense of direction and structure but still fun! I wasnt sure if it would work at first and it did take a lot of learning procedures but it turned out wonderfully (and you can always change it up a bit to suit your room better). Also I'd like to note that at the beginning some of the kids were only going to one center out of their three because they didnt like the others as much, so I ended up making a Centers Folder for each child for them to record on a checklist what they completed with the work completed. Checking the folders on friday it was easy to see who was working and who was goofing off. We could then have some class discussions and work through those problems.

    Hope that helps! If it is confusing at all, feel free to email me or I would HIGHLY recommend you look through that Guided Reading book to get a better idea of what its all about. :-)


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