Poll: Do you use centers? Y/N

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Mrs_B, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. Mrs_B

    Mrs_B Comrade

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    Jan 7, 2007

    I have been out of teaching for awhile and this site has been great for me to try to get back up to speed. I noticed many posters mention using centers but as far as I can tell my son's 1st grade teacher does not use them. So, I got to wondering which is the more common practice and thought it might be interesting to do a poll. So...

    Do you use centers?

    Yes or No

    Maybe as you post could you keep a running tally? So for example if the first person says yes their response would look like

    1 Yes
    0 No
     
  2.  
  3. ctopher

    ctopher Comrade

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    Jan 7, 2007

    1 yes
    0 No

    I typically only run them one or 2 days out of the week.
     
  4. lcluigs03

    lcluigs03 Cohort

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    2 yes

    i do mine everyday! i have 7 or 8 different centers. that's how i do my spellng lessons too. i have to have something for them to do when i run my guided reading groups, so i set up curriculum based centers for them to do. they enjoy it!

    LC
     
  5. hanvan

    hanvan Connoisseur

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    3 yes

    they do stations (I don't call them centers because they think its play time...I call them work stations) daily during my guided reading time
     
  6. 101dalmatian

    101dalmatian Companion

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    4 yes

    Like hanvan we call them stations. Our stations have strict guidelines from out district. (They must be changed everyday, be differentiated, and cover comprehension/fluency, phonics, and vocabulary based on the skill of each day.)
     
  7. TXTCHR29

    TXTCHR29 Cohort

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    5 yes

    I also call them Work Stations. They are done during Guided Reading time, everyday. They are all literacy based. Students rotate through 10 stations throughout the week.
     
  8. Ms.T

    Ms.T Comrade

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    6 yes

    We do them 2 days a week while I do guided reading groups. (I also do guided reading groups 4 other times a week while the kids read alone or with partners).
    I have a math center with 3 different activities and a Literacy center with 2-3 different activities each week. The centers are the same for the week - on one day half the class goes to math center or does seat work and then the other day that half goes to the literacy center or does seat work. They decide how to manage their time, as long as they are not causing problems. But they have to have certain seat work things done by the end of the week or there are consequences. So they have to learn how to prioritize their centers.
     
  9. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    I do use centers so I can meet with small reading groups. I do mine a little differently than most in that the kids work independently and self select their centers. See my class website below for more info including files.
     
  10. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    8 yes.
    But I teach kinder and all kinders have centers! :)
     
  11. LakeSophie

    LakeSophie Comrade

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    8 yes
    1 no

    I don't do centers. My reading curriculum is structured in such a way that doing them is difficult. I use Open Court & we do many things whole group.
     
  12. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    9 yes.....
    I do them every day for abt 1rh 15 min....5 centers every day
     
  13. NCP

    NCP Comrade

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    10 yes
    1 no

    I use them four days out of the week. Fridays are used as a catch-up day and if the kids have their work completed and turned in, they get to play games.
     
  14. amyt682

    amyt682 Comrade

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    11 yes
    1 no
     
  15. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    I also use Open Court which does not lend itself well to centers. However, I keep 6-7 activities going weekly which are done during math time. We call them "work places" rather than centers.

    11 yes
    2 no
     
  16. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    11yes
    3 no

    We don't have time for centers! Our day is so structured that we don't have time to do centers...I wish we did though! :)
     
  17. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    12 yes
    3 no
    I use centers 3 days a week in the after school program. I teach after school for 2 days and then tutors are hired to teach after school the other 3 days so I leave centers available for them to use for after homework time. Works out great!:love:
     
  18. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    12 yes
    4 no

    I work with another teacher in the classroom and she does not do them. She has been teaching for 36 years and still teaches the same way - whole group and a lot of independent worksheets.

    I would like to incorporate them but have a difficult time doing it with the teacher I am working with. She does not want to do anything different. Old school type teacher.

    BTW I teach 2nd grade.
     
  19. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    I wish I could but I just don't have time the way our schedule is this year. I am mandated to teach certain things in certain hours. It really cramps my ability to run the room the way I want too.
     
  20. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    13 yes
    4 no

    I have to use them in my enrichment reading class, but that's it. I'm more old school, though... even though I'm a third-year teacher and young.
     
  21. Dutch

    Dutch Rookie

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    Yes, four each week (because there are four tables) over four of the five days, but only for reading activities. I haven't found them as useful in my experience for maths and writing as much, although I know others will swear by them.

    Usually at least one of them will be 'proper' work with writing or comprehension work, etc, but I always try to have at least one (and on a few memorable weeks, at least according to the kids) which involve fun activities such as experiments, drawing, constructing, etc.

    Also, I use proper English and spell them 'centres'! ;)
     
  22. Mrs_B

    Mrs_B Comrade

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    Thanks for all the great replies. Keep them coming. It is helpful to know what grade you teach as well. I wondered if centers get used less in the upper grades.

    I believe the current tally is

    14 YES
    5 No
     
  23. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I have always done centers (first grade) and loved them, but my group this year isn't mature enough to handle it. They are coming along and I hope to add centers in the next 6 weeks or so. Let's hope! I have done much more whole group instruction this year because they can't work independently and stay on task. I love centers because you can do more hands on things and it allows students to achieve more at their levels - less leaving behind or holding back.

    So I guess I can't count as a yes or no right now!
     
  24. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    14 yes
    6 no

    I guess it depends on your definition of "use". I have file folder activities that I put out for the students to complete during free time. I don't require them to use them file folder activities, but I do acknoldege those that complete 10 or more each quarter. At the 5th grade level we have very little down time. I only do this because my principal is big on centers at all grade levels.
     
  25. AngelHead

    AngelHead Comrade

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    15 yes
    6 no

    I love centers and so do my kids. I was surprised to find out that less than half of my fellow teachers use them, but I do.
     
  26. Bonnie gr. 2

    Bonnie gr. 2 Companion

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    Sort of. There is no room to set up centers but I use some center type of activities. I use the Harcourtschool website for activities that go with the stories we read together. I have dug up an old SRA kit, which is differentiated and can be a center. Sometimes we read to a stuffed animal, which could be a center.
     
  27. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    16 yes
    6 no

    I do, every day in reading for about 60-70 minutes. I teach fifth grade. We are asked to in reading & math. I have not been in math as much as I should this year.
     
  28. Starista

    Starista Cohort

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    17 yes
    6 no

    While I do "literacy centers," I find it often difficult to keep my classroom of 28 to a "dull roar" during center time. It's my first year attempting centers, and I also find it difficult to occupy the children when they tell me that they're finished their center work. I'll keep trying!
     
  29. LakeSophie

    LakeSophie Comrade

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    I tried "centers" for the first time today and I had that problem too. (and it was very difficult to plan & find activities for them to do with this Open Court Series!) I love the idea I just don't think it will work well with my reading/LA series
     
  30. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    I tried centers last year and they were a flop. This year I've implemented "Stations" and they have worked well. My students sit in groups of 4 (which I've designed to have one low student and one high student in). Each group has 2 stations that they have to go to during station time. It is their responsibility to make sure they get to both stations. I am also calling their reading groups during this time.
    My normal every day stations include:
    Listening (they have a form to fill out)
    Peer Resource (this is to help each other with writing, or to buddy read)
    Reading and Writing around the Room
    Computer (they have 3 different computer assignments to complete each week)
    Word Study (1st they stamp our new word wall words and write them, then they may play a game in the station)
    Independent Reading (they have a form to fill out)
    Independent Writing (free writing time)
    LeaPad
    I also have other stations that relate to what we are learning at the time. Currently we have:
    Money station
    Map station
    Gingerbread Glyph (we're studying fairy tales)
    Free Choice (I don't have this one very often.

    If they are finished with their stations early, I have a poster of "Things To Do When You're Done". It has ten sections with lines under each section to put details. The sectins include: Read, Draw, Write, Study, Play, Help, Complete, Clean, Create, and a blank. I got it at an education store and the kids know to look at that whenever they are finished with what they are doing.

    It took a lot of teaching a reteaching at the beginning of the year to get my kids where they are today. They are now very independent during station time. They know they must go to the 3 people in their group before they come to me with a question. All I have to do is rotate the station cards and teach new stations that I might put in the rotation. My station board is part of my white board so it is magnetic. Each of my station cards have magnets on the back, as well as my individual student cards. That helps so if I have to change groups it is very easy.
     
  31. jennyd

    jennyd Companion

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    18 yes
    6 no

    I do centers 3 days a week, MWF (we have an extra special on T and Th so there's just no time for centers those days). The reading program I'm using is a lot of whole-group stuff, so I use the centers as sort of a review of skills from the previous week(s). And since I'm not meeting with guided reading groups during that time, I can use it to pull kids to work on whatever they might be needed (i.e. catch a kid up on some math they've been struggling with, test them on sight words, just giving some extra reading practice to a lower kid, etc.) It's not quite what I envisioned at the start of the year, but it works for us at the moment.
     
  32. MsWilks13

    MsWilks13 Rookie

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    19 yes/ 6 no

    I do centers and dont feel 100% confident that they can control themselves in a mature manner. We rotate stations in 15 minute intervals and I have a hard time with time management because it feels like too many things are going on at a time on some days. The noise level is too much and I get frustrated easily.
     
  33. turtlegirl

    turtlegirl Companion

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    18 yes
    6 no

    I used to teach 3rd and 4th and used centers there...
    now I teach 1st and use them.... I don't know how I would ever get in my Guided Reading groups without them!
    I used to do 4 different centers every day but that was too much work for me and the students.. now i introduce them on Monday and they must do all 5 by Friday... They have a check list and must mark off which one they finished for the day... I have found that this is better for them and I get quality work!
     
  34. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

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    20 yes - 6 no
    I love centers. I do them 4 days per week. I change some everyday and others every week. Every center has alternative small games to play if the center task is completed early. It is a great use of file folder games and small matching games. I pull small groups out at this time so I explained right off that they may miss a center every day. They are very understanding. Noise was a problem at first but I was consistent with sending noisy students to work at their seats and now they are really quiet. I love how busy they are while I do small groups! The class looks like a little community with kids all over doing different tasks. I use a timer to keep track of the time. 1st alarm is a warning to clean up and finish task and the 2nd alarm is the signal to rotate. That way I do not have to watch the clock. The kids are really used to the beep and it does not disturb the reading group. They just keep on going while I push the buttons and reset it. Centers have been really successful. I have actually replaced the dreaded "seatwork" that they used to have to do during small group time. I HAVE LESS TO GRADE!
     
  35. Research_Parent

    Research_Parent Cohort

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    21 yes 6 no

    multi-level class practically requires it.
     
  36. cinaminsweet

    cinaminsweet Companion

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    22 yes/6 no

    We are required to have centers during our guided reading and math times. I have reading centers twice a week, and math centers four days a week. I really like having centers.
     
  37. srh

    srh Devotee

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    23 yes (Kinder)
    6 no
     
  38. teachkids

    teachkids Rookie

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    17 yes
    7 no

    I also teach Open Court and we don't have the time for centers, but I really wish I could.
     
  39. mhirsch

    mhirsch Companion

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  40. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Jan 14, 2007

    17 yes
    7 no

    When I taught kindies YES. But in 2nd, I don't have "centers" but I am going to start incorporating that same idea to build skills. It's a project I am working on.

    By the way..centers take alot of time to make!!!
     
  41. cinaminsweet

    cinaminsweet Companion

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    Centers do not have to take a long time to make. Most of the centers I put together take no more than a few minutes to make.
     

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