Center Decisions

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by wann2119, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. wann2119

    wann2119 Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2008

    Usually when I set up centers, it is completely random. I always list what centers we are going to do in the lesson plans, but I don't always follow it. The only thing I do follow is that we practice cutting every m, w, and f. Also, some of my centers are geared toward what we are learning about that week...so they aren't exactly random.

    My question is, how do you select centers? Randomness? Whatever you feel like in the moment? Do you have a schedule you follow?
     
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  3. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Aug 25, 2008

    I try to make sure that the kids get to do everything and that not too much time goes by without them getting to do something. This never really worried me because I let them play with anything in the room for 15 minutes at the beginning of class, so I knew that no matter what I had them do during centers, they were still getting to do something they wanted.

    Besides trying to switch it up, I usually have a teacher directed center which is based on our curriculum. 3 days a week we do something with a particular letter, again, per the curriculum. Outside of that, I just basically pick things. On days when the kids are being very well behaved, I let them pick what center we are going to open. On days when they are having a really rough day, I purposely pick calming centers- nobody wants to hear 6 kids hitting each other with blocks repeatedly, when it easily could have been avoided by opening up puzzles instead! I basically go with my intuition, and ask the kids and my assistant for input on what they all feel like doing for the day in those free spots.
     
  4. Taliesin

    Taliesin Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2008

    When we have our full center time in the morning, nothing is off limits. That means I have blocks, library, manipulatives, sensory, computer, art, and dramatic play available. The only time I would limit is if a certain child is not following the rules at a center. I would give a reminder, then ask them to find something else to do. I have never had a problem and see no reason to limit which centers they are allowed to visit.

    Now, in the afternoon, we have a short "free play" period right before we go outside and in that time I will tell them nothing messy (rice table, dramatic play, big art projects, etc).
     
  5. wann2119

    wann2119 Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2008

    I limit my centers because I cannot keep them out all the time. We have a small room that is shared with a church and I have to put everything up. So, each day I pull a few things out.
     
  6. Taliesin

    Taliesin Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2008

    Wann, I understand completely. I used to work part time under similar circumstances. Everything had to be pushed against the walls each night because of the church.
     
  7. PennStateCutie

    PennStateCutie Companion

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    Aug 26, 2008

    All of my choice time choices are permanent, in that each one is always available, however the activities differ from week-to-week or season-to-season. For example, I always have a Math/Numbers center, the ABC spot & an Art center, but I vary the activities based on what we're doing. Once the kids are introduced to more math or ABC centers, for example, several will be left out (in my cubbies) for the kids to choose from, but still only 2 children are allowed at each choice time spot at any given time.
     

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