Yet another question - Centers?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Kris8806, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. Kris8806

    Kris8806 Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2009

    As I've mentioned before I'll be teaching third grade. I'm introducing reader's workshop and writer's workshop for the first time this year. I will also being using an interactive board for the first time. I hadn't even thought of using centers though I've seen some math and reading centers that would be nice to use.

    Today I spoke with the fourth and fifth grade teachers (both new like me) and they plan on using centers from the beginning. So now I feel like I should do centers too! :eek: But I really think I'm spreading myself thin. The workshops are going to take more than enough time as it is!

    So my questions are: Should I try to fit in centers? Would it be okay if I don't introduce them till October so that I can get adjusted to the workshops first? Can centers be done perhaps only one day a week for an extended period rather than daily? Will it really be THAT detrimental to my class if I DON'T do centers??

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2.  
  3. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2009

    I'll have take-it-to-your seat centers but I want to students to work on literature circle roles while I meet with other groups. A friend of mine suggested I allow students to do centers as a may do after they have finished with their role assignments.
     
  4. Kris8806

    Kris8806 Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2009

    I was thinking of that. That maybe instead of it being a mandatory activity that I could have take to your seat centers (I was thinking large ziplocs with everything they need separated in baskets) for when students finish their work. But then I thought that students that really need the extra help won't be getting it through centers because they are usually slower to finish their assignments. On the other hand, fast workers that "get it" can challenge themselves with the centers.

    Hmmmm... So lost!! :confused::confused:
     
  5. DaMaddHatter

    DaMaddHatter Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2009

    I think a lot depends on your class. I was mandated to do centers in my class. But my kids simply could not work together independently (many fights, verbal and otherwise) very well. Also, even when they worked together happily, they were extremely LOUD. Plus, at my school, we were told to do centers and then given little to no guidance as to how to do them. It ended up being a tremendous amount of work for me to get these centers set up each day.

    By the end of the year, I moved to using work folders for each child. These folders had a paper in the front that specified what the students needed to do each day, and all their work was kept inside the folder. They then had to get students I chose to check their work to make sure they had done everything for the day. Then I checked it all at the end of the week. This is kind of like centers, except that the work is to be done independently. I made the sheets up just once a week. I kept it from being a ton of work by basically keeping the framework of the assignments the same (ie there was a word search every week) while changing the content based on what we were reading. I had templates on my computer that I could tweak each week. The consistent structure also helped the kids to work independently. I differentiated the work load for students based on ability. I had two levels of differentiation, but it could be done with as many groups as possible. Unfortunately, I do not have any samples to send you, as my computer crashed last year, and I lost all of my data!

    Last year was my first year in third grade, and keeping yourself away from burn-out is critical! If you do centers, I think waiting to October is fine.
     
  6. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 14, 2009

    MaddHatter,

    Do you mean you had the other students work on their differentiated folders WHILE you met with a small group?

    Or did you have the whole class work on their folders as you walked around and monitored/tutored those who needed it?

    I did something similar to this, but students worked on their Must Do's in their folder first and THEN could do a take-it-to-your-seat center as one of their May Do choices.
    Some of the Must Do's included:
    1.Skills page (usually just finish it since we started it as a class during whole-group instruction)
    2.Edit current writing piece in red ink (from prompt given at writer's workshop)
    3.Post response to Concept/Question board
    Some of the May Do's included:
    1.Choose a center (wonder if I should assign them a certain TYPE of center [like spelling] and let them choose which particular spelling activity/center to do)
    2.Read and respond
    3.Write a letter to a friend
    (I got my idea from Laura Candler's website.)

    This year I'll add Accelerated Reader to May Do list.

    I plan to do the folders only when I'm NOT doing a novel with a group. Otherwise, they'd work on assignements from our novel study/book club.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. J.D.Sam,
  2. miss-m
Total: 286 (members: 3, guests: 256, robots: 27)
test