Organizing and Establishing Centers
Have you always wanted to use centers in your classroom but weren't sure how to begin? Here are some tips on organizing and establishing them. An excellent teacher resource book is: The Complete Guide to Classroom Centers (Hundreds of Ideas That Really Work) - CTP3332.
Start small: Begin with one center and gradually add one at a time. Depending on your needs and the size of your room, you might eventually have up to six centers. Don't have time? Make your life easy with ready-made centers, such as: Take It to Your Seat series by Evan-Moor (PK-Middle School).
Think about purpose: Centers should contain activities students can complete independently. An excellent option for independent centers is the Hot Dot series by Educational Insights (PK-Middle School). While the class is working at centers, you can call a small group or an individual for instruction.
Grades K-2: Centers provide extra time for math, science, and social studies curricula, since much of the day is devoted to teaching reading. A center might be as simple as a box of Lego® bricks or as complex as a Reader's Theater play or craft project. A listening center with multiple copies of books on CD also works well.
Grades 3-6: Students this age are more independent, so activities can be more open-ended and socially oriented. Science experiments, literature circles, small-group discussions, and logic puzzles adapt well to centers. WebQuests or computer games can be part of center time.
Organize materials: To avoid distractions and interruptions, everything students need should be readily available at a center. It's helpful if a center is organized with bins for papers and supplies.
Teach students process: Teach students how to use materials. For younger students, you may teach them how to put a cap on a glue stick. For older students, you may discuss in-depth directions for a project they will do.
Post directions: Display directions using Write & Wipe Center Signs - LER0482. These are double–sided signs which do double–duty as they keep your centers identified and organized! Includes both customizable side and roomy pocket.
Ask an assistant or parent for help: Ask another adult to supervise centers, so actibities will proceed more smoothly. This frees you to teach. Parents may be willing to come in once a week.
Evaluate with class: For several weeks, debrief the process daily. Stop centers five minutes early, gather your class together, and ask,
"What worked well today?", Were there any problems?", "How can we work together to make center time better tomorrow?".
Cute Money Song
I am, as I'm sure many are, hooked on Pinterest. I wanted to share a cute money song that is pinned by Karin Smith Perdue. Spice up your poster by utilizing a bright, vibrant Dots on Wave chartlet (CTP6419) for $2.49 and Money Classic Accents Variety Pack (T10927) . An extension of this chart could be to have the children in your class make their own money song booklet to take home. Use Poppin' Patterns Dots on Black Cards (CTP6233) as a cover to their booklets and use the new Coin Stickers (CTP4128) on each coin's page! What an adorable way to learn about money!
All of the above items are availabe at A+ Educational Supply or from our on-line catalog at http://www.apluseducationalcatalog.com/
Encourages independence as students read the clearly labeled tabletop signs to find the appropriate center or other activity
Keeps your classroom organized, thanks to roomy back–side pockets that hold up to 30 activity sheets
Customize quickly with a wet– or dry–erase marker to help you call attention to centers, daily work assignments, classroom reminders, notes to take home, and more
Features different-colored borders for each write & wipe sign: green, orange, purple, blue and red