Beginning of the Year centers (play and academic)

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by skittleroo, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Aug 8, 2009

    1. what academic centers do you introduce at the beginning of the year?

    2. what dev. centers do you introduce at the beginning of the year?

    I was thinking about doing something like 'must dos -may dos'.

    The one for sure academic center I will start with is building your name. I will have them use magnetic board to build their name (name of friends)


    I'm even more up-in-the-air about play centers. I have housekeeping, gears, legos, sand and rice boxes, puzzles, blocks, paint, puppets, etc. Which ones should I start with?????

    Any other suggestions????? This will be my first year in kinder. I'm not sure what academic center activities they will be able to do and then I'm totally lost with play centers.

    thanks for any help you can give me.
     
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  3. woobie5

    woobie5 Comrade

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    I started with Playdoh, Reading, Blocks and Kitchen for my play centers. They were all of the basic ones that they already could do. Just needed to model the rules!
     
  4. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    oh yeah, i forgot abot playdough. thanks
     
  5. spunkyteacher

    spunkyteacher Rookie

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    For the first week we will be really concentrating on writing their name so we will do many name activities during centers. Some of the other things we are doing are puzzles, playdoh, fine motor skills, math manipulatives. I am keeping them in their seats during centers because I am wanting to establish routine. For the most part during academic centers, they do remain at their seats unless they are doing a read around the room activity. Showing them how to rotate and setting voice level is another thing we will be working on the first week. HTH :)
     
  6. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    You really want to make sure your are introducing the workstation activities for a few days whole group before you ask them to work independently. I give them a few days of just exploring with the manipulatives-even letters before they are expected to do a structured activity. Each of my boxes has an "I Can" list (from Debbie Diller) rebus instructions to help remind them what they can do with the materials inside the lid.

    Even a Big Book workstation, you want to specifically model how to turn the pages, how to track the print. They should be using them to practice the skills you're doing in class; so definitely the names is a great place to start. They can also match names to pictures of their friends, sort the boys and girls, etc. For centers, puzzles and blocks are good to start with, they like housekeeping, but I think I wait until they understand the rules better before opening it and limit it to 2 students at a time because they tend to go a little crazy.
     
  7. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    I have a document you may find helpful on my page for teachers new to kinder/pk that explains how to introduce play centers. Just scroll down to the resources section and click on "Center Introduction Instructions". I introduce the play centers that are the most popular first, like dramatic play, playdough, sensory table, and blocks and branch out from there.

    I introduce all of my academic centers as soon as possible because they are necessary for our daily routine. I introduce math, writing, and literacy/ABC centers asap because they will be using these every day, from there we branch out and add a few more each day.
     
  8. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    oh thank you guys. This is helful. And VAnna, I will be checking your site.

    If I wait until we have done them whole group several times, how to I give them something to do during any free time durin the first couple of days?
     
  9. woobie5

    woobie5 Comrade

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    Just a hint ... if you aren't going to introduce some of your centers and they are visible....be sure to cover them or something! Especially the Kitchen if you aren't introducing it right away! We started with two half days of school and there wasn't time for them to do centers. It KILLED them! Every chance they got between projects ... they were running over there to check it out ... and I didn't blame them. Now that I've introduced it to them ... they don't go over there AT ALL until it's time to "play".

    I covered some of the rest of my centers up with butcher paper (I think I got that idea of of Vannapk's website (thank you) and it is working wonders!!!! I just wish I would've covered up the kitchen too until we were ready to use it!
     
  10. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    thanks for mentioning that woobie. I intend to cover some of the other center with bb paper, but I wouldn't have that about covering housekeeping.
     
  11. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    ok, the first week of school I intend to use the following play centers. Tell me what you think of this idea.

    playdough
    puzzles
    blocks
    housekeeping

    math centers will be separate from literacy centers time so that is not a problem. I will let them explore some different math manips.

    academic centers - magnetic letters, writing,(kind of lost from here). I have some great centers ideas, but don't know what they will be able to do early on. If you have any ideas, please help. I'd like to have 2 other academic centers so I have an equal number of play and academic centers.
     
  12. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Aug 9, 2009

    I guess I would argue that "play" centers are academic centers - but that would get us off on another tangent.
     
  13. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    I agree, but I need to differentiate between the two for the district. I do think both are important. But the way I want to set it up is for them to go to 1 academic center and then have a choice between 2 play centers per day (during guided reading time).
     
  14. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Since my boss is requiring me to let parents come in the room for a while on the first day, I'm thinking about having the first hour be an exploratory time. The parents will have a list of each center and the activity. If a kid's parents aren't there, the stuff is still self-explanatory and exploratory enough to play with it. I don't have a lot of stuff in my room yet anyways. Some things we are still sorting through and will be stored elsewhere as part of our grade level storage so I won't really have to worry about them getting into stuff too early.
     
  15. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I give them time to just explore the materials-even letters or letter tiles - put the manipulatives on the tables without an activity attached. That way when you are asking them to make certain shapes with the pattern blocks for example, they have that new-toy-ness out of their system. It will also give you time to do your one-on-one assessments. They are basically "playing" with the materials that in a few days they will have a structured activity to go with-after you've modeled that.

    I think you were on the right track with using their names - put out their name on a sentence strip and different kinds of pasta (spaghetti, elbows) or use yarn-they wouldn't even have to glue it, just mimicing the shape of their name. You could have dry erase/chalk boards letting them just write letters.
     
  16. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Aug 9, 2009

    Something else I've done with names that looks awesome and they love... I die-cut the letters for each child's name. They have to sequence the letters and glue them on colored paper. I've done white die-cuts on their choice of colored paper... when I hang them up, it's really colorful. (Let them color their letters if you need it to take more time). Last year, I started in October and the names were still up in February/March... it was neat to see them all-of-a-sudden recognizing each other's names.

    I've done this with PreK, but would be just as useful in K.
     

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