centers?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by sizzla_222, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. sizzla_222

    sizzla_222 Companion

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    Nov 5, 2012

    hey guys, first year teaching 3rd grade.

    I have a question.... what exactly are centers?

    Are they different stations that students work on then rotate? I have a few ideas that i can use if this is what centers are lol.

    I think this would be a great addition to my school day. I will be kind of like a break for the kids too. They will still be learning at the same time though.
     
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  3. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Nov 5, 2012

    Yep, that's pretty much it! You can really set them up to be whatever works best for you...
     
  4. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Nov 5, 2012

    Yes!

    Centers are often run independently or in small groups.
    A key to center success is showing them the right way and the wrong way to be at a center.
     
  5. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Personally, I use a modified version of The Daily Five. My kiddos need more structure than the original provides (free choice), but basically, I have the (semi) daily 6 (computer station), plus the teacher table.
     
  6. sizzla_222

    sizzla_222 Companion

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    Thanks for the reply guys. I know I can cater it to how I want it but do you guys do it every day? And about how long does it last usually?
     
  7. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Something else to keep in mind is that most teachers use them while they are concurrently running small reading (or other subject) groups. So, the centers are intended to be educational of course, but also an opportunity for the teacher to work with a smaller group of kids with the rest of class still occupied with meaningful work.

    As you plan, there are really 2 categories of things to consider: 1) management of the groups (e.g., who is assigned to which group, how they rotate, how they receive instructions/support, how you teach independence with those groups), and 2) what activities actually occur. There are a number of resources out there for both, and I'd suggest getting your hands on some of them as it may really make your job easier, and of course more effective!
     
  8. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Nov 5, 2012

    You also have flexibility in how you run your centers/stations. For example, during the Daily 5 (I call is the Daily 3), I teach a mini-lesson, then do a D3 rotation (read to self, partner read, or word work), and essentially do that 3 times a day. During D3, I am with a small group doing guided reading. During math, we do one center a day. I have four centers each week. Group one starts with center A, group 2 with center B, etc. Tuesday I just move everyone down so that by the end of the week all groups have done all 4 centers. During their center time I am doing math with a small group.
     
  9. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Nov 5, 2012

    I do a math workshop, a reading workshop and a writing workshop so essentially the kids are doing "centers" during that time when not working with me.

    They are also called workstations or tasks.

    I vary the content of each by ability and need. It's a great way to address skills, but I agree that taking the time to really model and teach your expectations is key.
     
  10. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    One of the main buzzwords around here is that the center work must be meaningful.

    I group my table groups heterogeneously, but my rotational groups are ability-grouped (low with low, high with high, etc.). The time frame for each teacher table group varies from 15-30 minutes, with my low sweeties getting the most time, because they need it. I do mix the groups for partner or buddy reading, so that I have a higher level reader with a lower level reader, for scaffolding purposes. I am fortunate in that (1) I have enough working computers for an entire group to be on individual computers and (2) I have obtained, found, or been given great self-differentiating software/websites, so my lowest babies don't need a lot of help. I tend to do writing during the "content" areas (science & social studies), because most of my babies are so low we need our entire ela time for reading, grammar, and spelling. After Christmas, my highest kiddos will each receive a chapter book (Junie B. Jones or Magic Treehouse) to keep in their desks, and they will read and write about those. My lowest will still be working with me on trade or basal stories, and will basically be writing within frames. Word work tends to increase fluency with sight words or our phonics (i.e., decodable) words. My students do cloze activities, word sorts, write sentences, word searches, word building - anything that increases their comfort level and/or fluency with the words themselves.

    I really hope this makes sense.... I tend to get going, then next thing I know, I've written a book!
     
  11. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Nov 5, 2012

    I use mine everyday! But I know many teachers who have center time 2 or 3 times a week. It really depends on what works with your schedule.

    I use mine everyday so that I can meet with small groups daily for reading. I have math centers 3 times a week. My centers are only 20 minutes (but I'm in K). In third grade, you could definitely have lengthier center times.
     
  12. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    :yeahthat: I have centers 2 times a week. In total I have 6 centers, but students only do 3 one day and 3 the next.
     
  13. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I do centers 4 days per week. On Monday we just don't have time, because I'm usually introducing all of the new skills.
     
  14. NewTeacherNJ

    NewTeacherNJ Rookie

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    Nov 6, 2012

    Ive rarely seen centers done above first grade for anything other than language arts. Some schools i havent seen centers done above 1st grade at all or done rarely. Is this true in many places or just the districts i see?
     

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