What causes you the most stress with centers? I bet, if you are like me, it isn’t finding enough activities! There are tons of ideas out there floating around. So…you prep your centers and you are ready to go. They look good, you’re proud of them. You bring them out and…..it’s a disaster. I mean you feel like just crying. All that hard work, and it didn’t even work! I bet if you are like me, at some point you have felt that. So what is it that makes centers so challenging? The Management! So here are a few tips that might make your center time a little easier to manage!
- •A center is never a new teach.
- •Centers practice previously taught standards.
- •Center activities have been taught in a mini-lesson.
- •Sometimes an activity requires further explanation in a small group setting before it can become a center activity.
- •Some centers are “have to” activities. These are activities that you expect all children to complete. These are the ones that maintain previous learning.
- •Some centers are “can do” activities. These are activities that the children may choose from once they finish their “have to” center.
- •“Can dos” are open ended and student led.
- •“Can do” activities are modeled in mini lessons.
- •Children may create their own learning in the “can do” centers.
Here are a few of the “have-to activities from this week.
We sorted the letters in our names.
We drew picture cards and then added detail to our pictures.
We found two pictures that started with the same sound. All these ideas, and that all important management component, are in this resource.
So here are some other things going on this week:
This week we are introducing the word family journal (for some kids this is just rhyming practice), practicing with the abc chart, and starting the book of lists.
We are still developing that all important stamina! They get tired out pretty quickly. I’ve added in some guided reading books. We aren’t going to pull some groups quite yet. But, we are going to use these whole group as read a louds and start that “Look at the picture.” strategy as well as introducing the concept of a label. This will be great for both reading and writing!
We are going to concentrate on those center time mini lessons! These are really super important. This is where we are laying that foundation for the rest of the year!
The kids are still free exploring some of the manipulatives. I’,m just rotating them through these for now. We are pulling small groups to teach some of the basic games that will become our “can do” math centers. I love these easy to play centers! We are also doing some basic assessments…..I know, I was going to share those this week, but I just don’t have them ready quite yet! So excited to be partnering up with ESGI to get some math assessments to match the units Michele and I wrote for our small group math units! (You can find a link to them in my sidebar.)
Here are the resources I used this week to plan:
Have a great week! Be sure and hop over to Deedee’s blog to see what others are doing this week.