Why Centers are Beneficial to a Primary Classroom
Center time in my classroom is one of my students favorite times of day, as well as my own. It allows students to explore for themselves, communicate and collaborate with one another, and most importantly have fun all while learning from each other and the centers. While my students are occupied in their specified center, this allows me to work with Guided Reading groups ... Doesn't get much better than that!!!
My Set Up
I'm going to give you the entire run down of how my center system works as quickly and briefly as possibly. I created my center pack last summer and had them printed and ready to go for the beginning of school last September. In my classroom, I have 2 different center boards. One for literacy and one for math. I use bright colored pocket envelopes for posting the center activity that each group will work on (the labels in my packet). Then I took photographs of every student in my class and put the students into groups using their pictures. BTW, my center groups are based on reading levels and homogeneous grouping ability.
Now this system was good... until around November or so, I decided that it was time for some updates to make my center rotations run a little more smoothly. I found that my students were too dependent on me to get all of the materials, so I needed something organized and easy. I designed a system that has been EXTREMELY effective in my classroom. Even though I have been using my new rotation system for quite a few months, I just recently got around to updating the pack in my TpT store... So on a side note, included in the additions are 2 sizes of numbers to 18, picture frames (to back the student pictures - so you will NOT see that in my sample picture), stars for group captains, and there are some additional center cards. So, if you already have this packet, simply go to "My Purchases" or to the product here and redownload to get ALL of the updates.
For my centers, I simply place a number next to the center group and then put that same number on the center tub or binder or basket that I want them to work at. In each center tub, there are usually different choices of activities that revolve around their station theme.
For each group, I assign a "captain." A little star indicates exactly who the captain is for that group number. Students can easily reference who the captain is because of that star and it works out beautifully, taking some of the attention away from the teacher (which is the goal!). The center captain is responsible for getting the tubs/baskets/binders/materials. That person is also responsible for helping their group if they need help or have a question.
This system has truly helped to foster independence in my students. I actually can't wait to do this again next year, except next year everything will be in place for the very first center rotation!
Different Size Cards Included!
Large Numbers and Small Numbers Are Included for Different Size Tubs!
Like I mentioned before, all of the updates have been included in my center pack. If you have already purchased this pack, just re-download to get all of the new updates. If you are interested in checking out more of what this pack is about you can visit:
Structure and organization = a happy teacher!! Happy students during center time = productive guided reading time!!