5th grade centers

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by i_teach_5th, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. i_teach_5th

    i_teach_5th Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2008

    Greetings,

    I'm entering my 2nd year in 5th grade, which I absolutely love, and would like to implement centers that focus on math, language arts, history, etc. that will enhance my students' learning experiences. If you can share your ideas, themes, materials, websites, or books, I would greatly appreciate any insight you can provide.

    Do you feel centers are appropriate in 5th grade?

    Thank you!

    Daniel :whistle:
     
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  3. LionPride

    LionPride Companion

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    Jul 15, 2008

    I am entering my 7th year in fifth grade and absolutely LOVE it, too.
    I teach only ELA and Social Studies. I am planning on using Literacy Workstations which are different than centers.
    I am reading the book Practice With Purpose by Debbie Diller. It is a wonderful book. It tells you how to set up the different stations and what children can do in them.
     
  4. runnerss

    runnerss Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2008

    Centers are very appropriate for 5th grade. I teach 5th grade math and I use centers all the time. I like to do "I have, who has" a lot. You can google "centers" and get all sorts of good ideas. Also, go to your local teacher store. I use centers to reinforce my skills. One thing I have learned is to only have kids do centers on things you have already worked on. I also put a max of 3 kids to a center. The bigger the groups the less likely everyone is going to participate. However, your kids may be able to handle larger groups. During my center time is also my intervention time with my struggling students. I have very clear expectations on how centers should be run. When the timer goes off they know that it is time for voices off, and to clean up. They never get up to move to the next center until I give them the signal. I also have a Yacker Tracker to help with noise.
     
  5. eajoslin

    eajoslin New Member

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    Jul 17, 2008

    I LOVE centers for fifth grade math! Here's my hint for you: take the assessments you give your students and use those to figure out what your students need extra work with....break them up into those groups for their centers and you'll avoid a LOT of reteaching that way.

    I also use a EOG (our end of grade test) sample question on the overhead as a transition to their center. They sit down at their center, answer the question on a scrap of paper and once all their group members have answered they can then start their center. It gives me another way to assess my students, plus makes sure they dont start without their classmates.

    Another suggestion would be to introduce a center whole class before implementing it in your center time....this way you avoid them waiting on you to explain how to do the activity or interrupting you working in a small group.

    I keep my activities in file folders labeled with what skill it is for (place value - decimals, geometry - lines and angles, etc) that way I can keep reusing them over.

    Runnerss is right about using google. You can also go to your local teacher store and get centers books from Evan Moor, Mailbox and a bunch of other companies. Don't be afraid to use flashcards, bingo games, or even look at your standard course of study and make up your own things. The biggest thing to use is your manipulatives!!!!
     
  6. 100%Canadian

    100%Canadian Companion

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    Jul 17, 2008

    How often do you run the centers? Daily? A few times or once per week? How long do the students get at each center before having to move onto something else?

    Also, do you implement them immediately, or later on in the year when routines have been established?
     
  7. thomps6

    thomps6 Companion

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    Jul 17, 2008

    I am interested in this as well. How often do you use centers? Do you incorporate different subjects at the same time you do centers or do you stick to one subject at a time? Thanks!
     
  8. runnerss

    runnerss Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2008

    I do centers daily. I spend the last 10- 20 minutes of class. I allow about 5-6 minutes on each center. It doesn't sound like a lot of time but it is plenty. I do it for constant review.

    I plan on introducing centers the 1st week. The first week I will walk around and reinforce desired and approprate center behavior. After the 1st week they will be so used to the routine that the transitioning will go without a hitch. The most important things about centers is that you have to have a solid routine with clear expectations. If you don't then you will constantly be redirecting off task behavior. The second week is when I will start pulling my kids for intervention while the other kids work on centers. This is one huge reason why I love centers. It allows me to work with struggling students uninterrupted.

    eajoslin is right on about the flashcards. I LOVE flashcards. One center that I have them do is with decimal flash cards. They have to read and write the decimal correctly. For 5th graders this can be a struggle for some so it gives them that extra practice needed. I can use these same cards to subtract decimals. There are so many different ways you can use flash cards. The key to centers is not to spend all of your free time making them. Think about what is going to be most effective for your classroom and go from there.

    Again, I would strongly suggest a timer and a Yacker Tracker. Both help with classroom management.
     
  9. runnerss

    runnerss Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2008

    Forgot to answer a question.

    I only teach math so I only do math centers. However, if you are self contained then I think having a center for each subject is a great idea!
     
  10. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    Jul 22, 2008

    Centers are appropriate and work in 5th! I used them this past year and loved it and the kids loved it too. I was assigned Science/Social Studies and Writing however I incorporated math and reading into my centers along with the other centers. It just takes some research and work up front. I recommend the Debbie Dillar book too.
     
  11. teachpositive

    teachpositive Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2008

    I used the Debbie Diller book, too. However, I am going to try implementation three days a week this year instead of five (I only teach ELA blocks so time is an issue). I did, and will continue to do, three rotations of about 17 minutes each. One third of the group with me, one third doing independent work (or maybe silent reading if it works out), and the other third split between three workstations (one each day for three days). I only put two to three students in a workstation at a time. I find that any more turns the station into a play area. Also, I find that I MUST find a way to assess or at least check their center work or it doesn't get accomplished even if the activity is high interest and "fun". Also provide options on what to do if they complete the activity early (like Diller's I Can... cards).
     

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