choice during centers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by love2teach, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Sep 23, 2008

    Does anyone allow choice during centers/stations? Meaning do you allow the kids to chose the literacy statiosn they can visit teach day? I was thinking of having "must dos" for each day but allowing the rest to be choice....but I have no idea how to schedule it. How do the kids chose, do they chose each day, week, on a pocket chart, piece of paper etc....and how do I decided who goes where when?! :help:
     
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  3. elliemay

    elliemay Rookie

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    Sep 23, 2008

    I am having the same issue. I have thought of having 3-4 groups of 4 or 5 kids each. (I have 14 pre-k students.) Two groups would go to my center and a center led by my asst. The other "free" center would include maybe 1 or 2 activities (math or writing) that they must do each day, the computer center (we only have 1), and maybe an art center or housekeeping center. The computer center would have to have a schedule of days so that each child would get a turn each week.

    Center time is driving me nuts! I don't know whether to have rotating free centers or make up a designated center chart. I look forward to hearing from others as well.
     
  4. swtteacher

    swtteacher Rookie

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    NO way...the time I did free choice drove me insane. Kids were bouncing from one center to another, not really finishing anything. Now I schedule every center for them, and they visit every center every week. I put lots of activities in each center so they never run out of things to do.
     
  5. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Interesting!!
    I am trying to balance the two, give them the CHOICE of which center to go to (with some "must dos"...that is where my control comes in) and also keep tabs on the time that they are in each center (or station...we are in the mists of changing our lingO!!) So the kids would pick the stations they want to visit along with the ones they must do and I would continue to time them and make sure they do not leave until they are done with the activity at hand.
     
  6. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    As a sub, I have seen teachers who did it both ways. Like said before they were never staying at a station long enough to get it done. What I hate (I can deal with it) is when I sub kindergarten and they start crying when they don't get to go to the computer if its not their day. I like it scheduled it helps the flow and students are not fighting of stations they like better such as computer. With the exception of the few K students I said above. (This class in particular was one of last yrs K class at a certain school. This class had a lot of "cryers" and "whinny kids". Some were all day and some were at certain times. When they got in trouble for example(cip moved or sent to office)) Sorry to have gotten off topic.
     
  7. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Sep 25, 2008

    Thanks for your help.
    No one else offers choice during centers?
    What about letting S choose the centers they go to?
    Does anyone have a great pocket chart for centers (for keeping the kids ogranized with a schedule?)
     
  8. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    Sep 25, 2008

    I don't let students have choice during our literacy centers, but I do let them have choice when we do "Choice Time" (math centers). They are expected to choose a different activity every day, but I don't keep solid track. I try to keep it on an honor system, although at the beginning of the year they've all been choosing the same center each day, so it makes it easy for me to tell them to choose something different the next day. :)

    I don't use a pocket chart for my centers, I use magnetic signs with the center color on them. (I have 5 writing centers, and each is named a different color. Purple, blue, green, red, and yellow.) I stuck magnets to the back of the signs and I keep them on my whiteboard, and underneath I stick student names (also with magnets). The colors also correspond with the tub where all their center activities are stored. I don't have room to keep centers set up all the time, so I keep them all in a tub, and the students get the appropriately colored tub when it is time for centers.
     
  9. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I have 3 choices for each group of students to choose from each day. However, the K-Crew has an awesome center management where the kids manage themselves and have 5 must-do things each week and the kids have free choice on when to do them and what their other favorites are. Scroll to the bottom part: http://www.thekcrew.net/centersphilosophy.html
     
  10. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Thanks, Tasha. I like the idea of the pins for the kids to wear, but being I want the kids to do more than 1 center a day, the pins might get to be a little much!

    I was thinking of offering 10 -12 centers a day and have the kids visit 3 or maybe 4 a day. I was hoping to find a pocket chart that was large enough or if I have to, make my own board!
    I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see any pictures of center boards that anyone has (esp. if you provide choices for the kids to make). I am wondering how to mangange having the kids pick the choices they go to....finding the time, storing thier name tags or sticks etc......
     
  11. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    The K-Crew actually has the kids go to more than one center per day as well, the kids just put the clip back and move to another center where there are available clips.

    I don't have sticks at the actual centers. I have a pocket chart with the 3 choices going across each row horizontally ( I printed them out with clip art). Then, I printed the kids names on card stock so that they were taller than the center names (the students that can't read their names have a plain colored dot sticker next to their name so they can find it - eventually I will cut the sticker off). I just pull out the cards on Mondays, make the groups and put 3-4 student cards on each rom. The next day the group at the bottom moves to the top and everyone else moves down a row. It lets the kids see where they can go without too much drama. They are really good about only going to the places on their row because they can see that they will get to all centers by Friday and no one wants to miss out on center time.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 28, 2008

    I do lit centers only once a week. I let the kids choose which center they will be working in but they must stay in that center the whole time. The next week they pick a center they haven't been to yet.
     

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