Centers - How?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by NewTeacherNJ, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. NewTeacherNJ

    NewTeacherNJ Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 1, 2013

    I've recently been hired for next year but still have no idea what grade level i am doing as they haven't told me yet. I really enjoy centers.

    But i have found that i've never been able to do centers the way most other teachers have done centers because the students never did what they were supposed to do.

    For example pulling people for small group reading was incredibly hard because if i wasnt walking around making sure they were doing what they had to do in centers they just wouldnt do it and the noise level would become ridiculously loud.

    How do you make sure the kids are doing what they are supposed to be doing in centers? How do you know they are doing it correctly and it is working in aiding them?
     
  2.  
  3. David94

    David94 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 1, 2013

    Have you thought about students who do not finish their center work (or make reasonable progression) being held in at recess or it being homework (or other punishment for not doing work)?
     
  4. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,858
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 1, 2013

    You model it many times before you actually add it as a center. You watch from where you are in small group and when you rotate, you can redirect or separate students if need be. Maybe give them several choices in their activities so if they finish one, they will still be working on another. Sometimes I have to take something and re-model it for the class, if several kids are for example building with the letter blocks instead of making words. It takes time to lay the groundwork, but once you do, it can be very effective.
     
  5. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    15

    Jul 1, 2013

    You also can't pull groups until they understand the routine- this could be weeks.
    The 2nd grade does Daily 5 at my school. I know it takes them weeks to set up. When I took over for the 2nd grade teacher mid-year, we had to go back to practicing, modeling again. I didn't pull groups for 2-3 weeks. They were trying to test the boundaries, so I had to be 100% focused on them.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Jul 1, 2013

    These would be consequences, not punishment.
     
  7. kab164

    kab164 Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 1, 2013

    My school taught reading in first grade differently this year. One teacher commented that at first she missed having time for centers. But she also said that she realized the centers may have been fun but a lot of time. was wasted compared to the direct, explicit instruction we used this year. I agree with the others that you need a lot of modeling and practice before you start.
     
  8. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,886
    Likes Received:
    232

    Jul 1, 2013

    This is why I use a modified version of The Daily 5. The rotations take the place of centers, are so beneficial, and the students practice it until we really get going with it. In my modified version I do read to self, partner read, and word work. This saves a lot of time prepping materials, and it is so beneficial for the kids. There are teachers, however, who prefer traditional centers. Regardless of what you do for centers, it needs to be well modeled and practiced before the kids could be expected to do it correctly. If you have modeled and practiced and they still are not doing it correctly, practice it again. It´s time well spent. Also make sure the students understand your expectations of them while they are participating in centers.
     
  9. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    4,376
    Likes Received:
    809

    Jul 1, 2013

    Well, I had 21 students last year in a room that was meant to hold only 15 students. It was so crowded and no matter how hard they tried, it got noisy. I just went with the flow -- and had the kids all do their centers at the same time, with me walking around and checking on them. I did small group reading during their Daily 5 rotations.

    It worked for me.
     
  10. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    5,276
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 1, 2013

    I agree with modeling and practicing like crazy, and ONLY INTRODUCE ONE STATION/CENTER at a time! Also, I will occasionally get up from the teacher table (in the midst of rotations) and quietly walk around the room, just checking.

    Also, at my school, we aren't allowed to "just do centers." All activities MUST be "authentic" - no busy work, and nothing that is just plain fun - everything must be justifiable according to the CCSS.
     
  11. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,293
    Likes Received:
    760

    Jul 1, 2013

    Read The Daily Five and Debbie Diller's book on literacy stations. They are both good about leading you through the process.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. SaraFirst
Total: 194 (members: 1, guests: 179, robots: 14)
test