Tips for centersDecember 11, 2012
Through the years, I've tried different ways to manage centers. At times it felt like the centers were managing me rather than me managing them. But, I finally settled on this format for language arts centers.
Language arts block begins with a whole group lesson. There is usually some extension assignment that goes along with my whole group lesson.
Students go back to their tables (5 tables in all ) and begin the extension assignment. Each table has a captain (the captain changes each day). The captain gets the center tub that is assigned to their table at this time.
Once everyone is settled and working on their assignment I begin calling one group at a time to work with me at my reading table.
Students who are working on the extension assignment at their table will finish at different times. When they finish with their assignment, they turn in their assignment and begin their center assignment. Their center assignment is in the center tub that the captain brought to their table earlier. When they finish with their center assignment, they begin their second center which changes each day like the center tub. The second centers include: computer station, listening station, reading with a buddy, word work, and independent reading.
This center system works great if you have a small classroom or a regular size classroom that is overflowing with students. You know the old saying "if the mountain won't come to Muhammad then Muhammad must go to the mountain"? It works that way with centers, too. My centers had to come to my students because there wasn't enough room for my students to go to the center because there wasn't room to set up permanent centers.
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