Centers in middle school?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by teach_4_ever, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. teach_4_ever

    teach_4_ever Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2013

    Does anyone use centers to teach middle school? What do you have your students do? I teach 6th-8th ela, but any ideas would be welcome!
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jun 28, 2013

    I tried it. My problem was that I had 35 kids per class. The kids didn't have enough room to move around.
     
  4. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Jun 29, 2013

    Just a suggestion because whenever I want to do anything I don't have space for I just move to the GYM, Auditorium, or outside. Would any of these be a possibility for you? You would just have to make the centers portable.

    I teach in a Catholic School so there is a lot more freedom to do things like this because the rooms are only used certain days/times.
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Our library and gym are in use with scheduled classes all day. We don't have an auditorium. We do have an outdoor classroom, but it would be hard to get center materials out there.
     
  6. Listlady

    Listlady Companion

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    Jun 29, 2013

    Are centers the same thing as stations? I'm new to all the lingo, ha ha. If they are the same thing, there are all sorts of options.

    You could have them do a little bit of everything: grammar in one, a reading exercise, a writing exercise, some sort of learning game, short quizzes: it all depends on what you're teaching them at the time. I'd be sure to include a few fun options at some of the stations--maybe a fun one after each of the others.

    Last time I used stations, I had a station on types of irony (they reviewed the definitions and read a scenario and had to write a paragraph about which type was displayed); they did a matching game on the smart board (of vocabulary); they defined fiction terms on index cards and had to put them in proper order (and relate it to their recent reading); they had to make lists of all sorts of things for one of the fun stations (words that rhymed, word that began with certain letters, words that ended with certain letters, words with certain letters in the middle, and others--we used them to demonstrate sound devices); and a tag story or poem (each group member contributes a line of poetry or five words of prose at a time to write in response to a prompt.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Jun 29, 2013

    I'm more a circumference sorta guy.
     
  8. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Clearly a Philosopher :lol:
     
  9. muinteoir

    muinteoir Companion

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    Jun 29, 2013

    If this is what you mean by centers, I use them quite a bit in science.

    My tables are set up to make groups of four, so I use each group as a station. If I need more, I can use cabinet space too.

    I do it much like listless, different activities or mini lessons at each station. Sometimes I am a station and I assess, remediate or review kids.
     
  10. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Jun 29, 2013

    Could you explain a bit more about how you facilitate your centers in science? I'm not really familiar with the concept of centers/stations. How do the students use them? What's the teacher's role? Thanks!
     
  11. muinteoir

    muinteoir Companion

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    Jun 29, 2013

    Sure. Let me describe some of my stations and you will see the different ways I use them.

    First - picture my classroom with 14 traditional two-seater lab tables. They are grouped so that I have 7 groups of 4.

    1. motion stations -
    There are seven stations in the classroom. One set up at each table group.

    • Acceleration & Mass
    • Action - Reaction
    • Friction
    • Gravity
    • Inertia
    • Measuring Force
    • Velocity
    • Each station is an investigation on force and motion.
    • There is a task card at each station with an explanation of the investigation.
    • Students have a data sheet to record data and observations as they go through the stations.
    • Students work through the investigations with their group.
    • They spend 8-10 minutes at each station (depends on the kids)
    • I give them the signal to change stations & they move in a specified order.
    • While students are at the stations, I move from group to group, asking guiding questions, assessing what they have discovered, pointing them in the right direction as needed.
    • This takes about three days to explain, complete, and process with students.

    2. weathering & erosion stations -

    There are 12 stations in the classroom.
    • wind erosion
    • splash erosion
    • dissolving rock
    • mechanical weathering
    • chemical weathering
    • wave action
    • soil erosion
    • preventing erosion
    • slope & erosion
    • more soil erosion
    • more chemical weathering
    • computer review

    • Each station has a task card with instructions for completing the investigation or activity.
    • Students have a data sheet to record data and observations or write answers as they go through the stations.
    • The computer review is an online review from the textbook.
    • Students work through these as they can.
    • Some take longer than others.
    • No more than 3 at a station at a time.
    • Move whenever there is an open spot at a station.
    • I walk around and facilitate.

    3. cell stations -

    There are 4 stations set up in the classroom, each one set up in two places.

    • Comparing Cells
    • Internet Activity
    • Living Cells
    • Prepared Slides

    • I assign each table to one set of stations.
    • Each station has a task card with instructions for completing the investigation or activity.
    • Students have a data sheet to record data and observations or write answers as they go through the stations.
    • Students move on my signal.
    • I walk around and facilitate.

    4.body systems review

    There are 10 stations
    • teacher station (where I quiz and review the kids)
    • circulatory system
    • skeletal system
    • respiratory system
    • digestive system
    • muscular system
    • endocrine system
    • excretory system
    • nervous system (structure)
    • nervous system (stimulus/response)

    • These are not investigations or labs.
    • They are strictly review.
    • Graphic organizers
    • BrainPop
    • short reading/writing
    • online games
    • I stay at a strategically located spot (so I can watch everyone) and quiz kids as they come to my station.

    Stations are great in science when you have equipment/supply limitations.

    They are great to provide several experiences in a relatively short amount of time.

    The kids like the movement of them.

    Like anything, they can be overused, so make sure stations are the best way to accomplish your goal.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
  12. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Jun 29, 2013

    Copied this directly into a word document.
     
  13. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Jun 30, 2013

    muinteoir, thank you SO MUCH for the details! This sounds like something I'd like to try in my HS science classes. I'll dive into some research about centers. :D
     

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