Centers in 3rd Grade

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Loves2TeachinSC, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. Loves2TeachinSC

    Loves2TeachinSC Rookie

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    Jul 5, 2006

    Okay...so I have a question! I am confused on these things called centers. I don't remember being taught about this in my college classes, and I need help! I thought centers were for K and 1st grade. What are centers like in 3rd grade? How do you incorporate them in everything else that we do throughout the day? Do a lot of teachers do this? What are your opinions? Anything to help would be AWESOME! That way I can get un-confused! :confused:
     
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  3. natjoejag

    natjoejag Companion

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    Jul 5, 2006

    When I taught third grade I did centers for 45 minutes while I did my duided reading groups. I had 10 centers (reading corner, making words, abc, listening, writing, buddy reading, poetry, computers) Students were required to do 2 centers each day. If they finished all of the centers through out the week and did an acceptable job they got a free center on Friday. I love centers. My students learned more in centers than I could believe.
     
  4. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Jul 5, 2006

    natjoejag said it all! Most teachers decide to have centers during guided reading -- while you are leading your guided reading small group, your other students will be rotating through literacy centers.
     
  5. jeanie

    jeanie Companion

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    There is a book that would be a great resource to you:
    Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work (Paperback)
    by Debbie Diller. I used it as a reference last year to help me get going. I am still working out how to coordinate it all, and keep students responsible for what they do during center time. I like your idea, natjoejag, about requiring students to finish two centers a day.
     
  6. natjoejag

    natjoejag Companion

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    I found that students like having the choice. If all they feel like doing on a certain day is reading corner and computers (they want to take it easy) then I do not have to fight with them. They know that tomorrow they will have to do some harder centers. If I noticed that a student was not completing his/her centers then I get to choose the centers for them. They don't like that and so they usually work hard to get their centers done.
     
  7. natjoejag

    natjoejag Companion

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    The main thing with centers is TRAINING!!! Guided Reading by Fountas and Pinnell teach procedure training for centers. If you follow their guidelines, you will have very few problems. It is so nice to work with your reading groups and not have to worry about the other students and they seldom if never bother you.
     
  8. Loves2TeachinSC

    Loves2TeachinSC Rookie

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    Jul 5, 2006

    are these centers just in boxes that you bring out? or do you have them set up all the time? what materials go in the centers? or is that in the books? thanks for your help!
     
  9. Loves2TeachinSC

    Loves2TeachinSC Rookie

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    Jul 5, 2006

    Does each child have to do all the centers each week? Or can they double up. Like, do reading corner and writing on Monday, then on Tuesday they want to do reading corner and poetry? Can they do that, or do they need to switch it up?
     
  10. mrsnoble116

    mrsnoble116 Companion

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    Jul 5, 2006

    I'm interested in this too. My complication is that we're semi-departmentalized and I teach Grammar and Writing, along with Science and Social Studies (but we alternate weeks with these subjects). I'd love to be able to do a few kids with writing and expanding their sentences and ideas, but have no idea what kind of centers to have besides reading (class library) and computer.
     
  11. natjoejag

    natjoejag Companion

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    Jul 5, 2006

    You can do it how ever you would like. You can have a Social Studies center, science center, math centers, incorperate what ever you are learning about. My centers are set up all the time. But I just have baskets. EXAMPLE: Making words center they use the letters we have on the board or letters on the paper in the basket to make words. They can do this at their seat, then they turn it into the INBOX.
     
  12. natjoejag

    natjoejag Companion

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    On Monday I give a brief introduction of any new centers or new things in centers. Like I may have added something to the writing center or I might want them to do a specific thing in writing center. I would explain that to them. My centers are so easy to manage. Sometimes I may do an elaborate center, but a lot of the time I they are about the same.
     
  13. natjoejag

    natjoejag Companion

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    On Monday I give a brief introduction of any new centers or new things in centers. Like I may have added something to the writing center or I might want them to do a specific thing in writing center. I would explain that to them. My centers are so easy to manage. Sometimes I may do an elaborate center, but a lot of the time I they are about the same.
    Like my Poetry Center, I have a crate that has large manilla envelopes in it. I typed a poem and put it on the outside of the envelope and an assignment to go with that poem. Then on the inside the poem is put onto sentence strips and cut apart. The students use a pocket chart to put the poem together and then do the assignment, having either to do with phonics, writing, reading strategy, ect.
     
  14. lteach2

    lteach2 Cohort

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    Jul 6, 2006

    At my school, we have to do centers for reading 4/5 days (we're usually on a 6 day rotation for each story) per story. During reading, I try to keep it simple and only have 3 centers so that way I am working with a group, my assistant has a group, and then there's an independent group. As far as what I do for these centers, I try to vary my activities. With my bunch, it's usually more focused-such as working on rereading the story and working on skills such as author's point of view and vocabulary. With my assistants bunch, I usually have them doing something with making words or skills such as using a table of contents/dictionary/etc. or something our program is big on-file folder games. In the independent group, I always have a day they do listening ctr. (listening to the story and/or recording themselves reading it) and doing more word building or spelling activities. Often they will focus on the phonics skill(s) that goes along with the story. I did my student teaching in the first grade, so I am used to morning centers as well and even though I am teaching 2nd grade, I thought about doing that this year. What my cooperating teacher did and I will probably do, is to make a center wheel with the names of the centers on it (writing, math, science, etc.) and then have clothes pins with students names or numbers (however you do it) and then just clip their respective clip to the center they are to visit that day. If you just rotate your pins/clips in a clockwise fashion, it's easy to keep up with who has been to what center(s) already.
     
  15. jeanie

    jeanie Companion

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    Jul 6, 2006

    Great ideas... natjoejag, and iteach2 ! I was a Kindergarten teacher for 5 years, and never had a difficulty finding things for the kids to do during center time. Many of the activities were art related. Last year, my first year teaching second grade, I found it challenging to find independent work for second graders that they liked to do, but also learned from. I also had some difficulties, mostly in dealing with noise level.... (I have a very small classroom) and also how to store the materials in a kid friendly organized way, but I think I might have both of those things worked out now. The first year is always the toughest, I feel... expecially because I may see flaws, but I find it hard to make big changes mid-stream that might (or might not) clear up the problem. Any way....the book that I mentioned above by Debbie Diller has many great ideas for centers in all subject areas. It explains what you may put in the center, etc. It also gives age appropriate ideas for training kids how to learn and work independently. Most resources about centers for older kids say that you should plan on 4 to 6 weeks just going through a training period... when you may give lessons about appropriate conduct within the center... then allow students to practice that skill while you watch, observe and give feedback, also have them discuss what went well, etc. After they have been trained, that's when you begin your guided reading lessons with a small group, because you will not be interrrupted. Last year I also had to train my classroom aide to be quiet and not interrupt me during this time! Anyway... I love the centers idea... and I think it is the way to go... especially since I need time to work with kids on guided reading. This year I think I am going to focus on reading and language arts only in the centers. I may try center time in math as well, in a separate, smaller block of time.
     
  16. lteach2

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    Jul 7, 2006

    I think it will be easier for me to do morning centers since I have 45 minutes from the time they come in til the time we have to start reading...so they can do their morning work and then go straight to their center. I like to pick a theme for the week and then incorporate it in other things as well. Since my classroom theme this year will be around frogs, our first full week of school will have a lot of froggy things. I also like giving the students a folder with all of their morning work in it for the entire week and they get to choose which assignment they do each day-as long as all 5 are done by the end of the week. They seem to like that choice.
     

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