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Home : 2004 : Sep : 23

    By Brooke S.

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    I have done centers 2 different ways. The way I am doing it this year I really like. Last year I had a great class, and this year I have a challenging class, but my class this year does far better at centers. I think it is how I changed it. I previously had centers set up and the students rotated to the center with their entire reading group, thus having 6 children at each center. This led to higher noise level and less work being completed. This year I have 6 centers set up and then me also as a center. I meet with groups 4 days per week (Friday for assessments). I meet with my low group all four days. I meet with the high and average two days per week. I do 2 30 minute rotations per day. My centers are: creation, language arts, writing, listening, technology and spelling. These are the centers each week, I just change up the activity. For example, creation is like an art center, but in an educational way. Activities I have done are: Stamp on object, and then write a sentence, use stencils to trace and then write a sentence, make a bookmark and write a book summary, etc. Language arts: normally sentence work, grammar, etc. Writing: we have a class stuffed animal named Walley Walrus. Each student have a notebook that they use to write him. They are first expected to write him and then they can use additional time to write to other people. I, Walley, writes each student back modeling and pointing out correct letter writing skills. Listening center: at first I chose certain books and had the students listen and fill out a worksheet, then I moved on to doing book projects and letting the students choose from several books. Spelling: stamping words, writing in 3 different colors, spelling memory, etc. Technology: using the computer to play a game, type spelling words, book on the computer, etc. I really try to have engaging activities for center time because I don't want it to be a waste of time. My students know that they are never finished until I say center time is over. If they are writing sentences, some may complete 10 while others only complete 5. I judge by what I know each child is capable of. Their are only 2-3 students at each center and they work with different students all time. I think this really cuts down on disturbance. I also do something called voice levels. 0 means no talking, 1 means whisper talking, 2 means partner talking, etc. I model this and we discuss what levels they think certain centers are, and this works great for their noise level. I hope this helps. If you have any more questions, please let me know.

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