Advice for Managing Centers

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by roxstar, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. roxstar

    roxstar Companion

    Jan 10, 2011
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    Jul 31, 2013

    So, I really like the IDEA of centers, and played around with it quite a bit last year, but I never seemed to find a format that really worked well. I teach 6th grade math by the way and last year I taught 7th. So, here are some things that I tried and did not really like the outcome. I am hoping someone out there has some suggestions because I can't seem to find anything really specific out there about managing the rotations in middle school.

    I tried having them do timed rotations in groups or pairs and this really did not seem to work well for me. Some kids finished really fast and surprise that's when behavior issues started. It was a nightmare really. I was doing centers so I had the time to pull small groups to remediate skills, and I always felt the pressure of the rotation time.

    I want them to be in pairs so they have someone to bounce ideas off of or play a game if I choose to make that a center.

    I would love for them to have some choice, because we know this makes things a bit more engaging for them, but if they choose, how do I manage that? Do they sign up? When during my 53 minute class period would they do that? How do I manage the traffic jam? if I group them heterogeneously, they will have the benefit of a person that will probably know what to do, but if I pull a small group, i don't want' to mess up the center pairs.

    Should they progress at their own pace and move on when they master the center activity?

    Anyway, what do YOU guys do? I am really curious because I want to make this work this year! The kids love it and in theory it is a great idea that I just can't seem to manage right.

    Thanks everyone.
  3. muinteoir

    muinteoir Companion

    Jul 6, 2006
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    Aug 1, 2013

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