Fifth Grade Centers? - HELP

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by SunShinePumper, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. SunShinePumper

    SunShinePumper Rookie

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    Jan 12, 2007

    We just got the heads up that soon we will be required to do centers. The goal is to differentiate math instruction....

    I need help. I've just been teaching a few years, and none of my colleagues have ever done them either.

    Where do I start?
    How do I manage behavior? I have kids that won't stay on task as is.
    How do you assess?
     
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  3. Miss_J

    Miss_J Habitué

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    Jan 12, 2007

    In the afternoons, I do interventions with the 5th grade and I taught 5th grade last year. I don't know how you will be working them, but we split them up according to understanding. We spend a long time at the start of the year teaching them how to decide if they are "good to go," "almost there," or "Sit with me." If we note a child does not go where they should, we tell them to go with the group we think they belong with.
    I have different assignments for each group.
    For example, with fractions:
    Good to go
    Finish workbook page 146
    Work on math project 3
    Almost there
    Finish workbook page 146
    Work on page 147
    Play fraction action
    Sit with me
    Finish workbook page 146
    work on worksheet
    play multiplication race

    I wonder around the three groups and help as needed. I spend a great deal more time with sit with me. The kids help each other.
    If anyone is not behaving, they return to their seat, do not get to do the fun activity at the end of the work, and depending on behavior will lose other privileges (like recess)

    Spend a LOT of time going over the expectations.
    1) What will look and sound like in the room.
    2) HOw do you get help (can you ask the teacher? If so, when? Can you interrupt?)
    3) What should you be doing?

    That is just what we did and it worked very well. I'm not sure what your center requirements are.

    As for assessing, we always came back as a class afterward and closed the lesson. I used a lot of exit slips as formative assessments.
     
  4. teach 4th

    teach 4th Rookie

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    Jan 12, 2007

    I do 4th grade math groups (and have done the same with 5th grade in the past). I give a pretest at the beginning of the chapter, and divide the class into 3 groups. One group is with me, 2nd group is working independently on classwork/homework, 3rd group is doing something more engaging. My highest group is always with me last, in case I run shorter on time. I either teach them the lesson the day before, or do a quick whole class at the beginning, so they can try the classwork on their own.

    I am really able to differentiate using the groups, while still having the same lesson for all students (equal access).

    There was a lot of procedure practice at the beginning, but the kids know what my expectations are for behavior. I circulate when I can, to monitor. They are really good about staying focused. They know that I am paying attention.
     
  5. SunShinePumper

    SunShinePumper Rookie

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    Jan 13, 2007

    Thanks for the advice.

    I'm glad to hear someone has worked centers with fifth graders.

    How many kids do you have per group?
     
  6. Miss_J

    Miss_J Habitué

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    Jan 13, 2007

    Because the students fit into areas of need, the number changed. I had 27 students last year. My Good to go group would generally be about 9-12, Almost there would be around 12-15 and my sit with me would just be a handful.
    Thats how it worked for me.
    I didn't start the groups until the second marking period (That's when I was taught the procedure) and my grades took a dramatic turn upward after starting the groups. It works!!
     
  7. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    Jan 21, 2007

    As far as expectations for their behavior and what quality of work is expected, I would brainstorm the rules to follow for each, have the class help make the posters for each center and hang them up. They tend to pay more attention to those things they have made themselves than that which is store bought and becomes just part of the "scenery". I use literacy centers for my reading and l/arts, but have just started with them this year. Our school also because of the push for inclusion next year is pushing for center driven teaching for the upper grades.
     
  8. katenar

    katenar Cohort

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    Jan 21, 2007

    I tried math centers in my 5th grade classroom last year and broke the kids up into 4 groups in which they did the following:

    1. Met with me for the lesson of the day
    2. Worksheet practice from yesterday's lesson
    3. Laptops playing math games focusing on the current unit of study
    4. Correcting the previous days homework and helping each other on questions they didn't understand.

    They would be at each center for about 15 minutes and for the last 20 minutes we would work as a whole class and practice problems for the current days lesson. It moved a lot smoother if I had a parent (or two) in to assist me.

    I've ended up breaking away from that this year but currently I do literacy stations during reading. If your interested in information on that you should check out Debbie Diller's book called Practice with Purpose. It's for 3rd - 5th grades. She also has another one for earlier grades. The book is awesome and has some ideas that you can easily implement in your classroom right away. It might get your mind going about math as well..... :D
     

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