Next message: Lorraine Steckler: "RE: [Channel-talkreadingk2] learning centers"
I have developed what I consider meaningful centers that allow for student
choice and don't require me to plan different centers every week which I
always found to be so time consuming. It took a lot of prep and
organization in the beginning, but now that it's done and it is so easy!
Many teachers think I'm crazy for the way I do my centers, but it works for
me and the kids love them!! Some of these teachers have since tried a
modified version of my centers and have commented that it does work and that
the students were really engaged in their work. IT TAKES A LOT OF TEACHER
AND STUDENT MODELING AND REINFORCEMENT IN THE BEGINNING TOO, BUT ONCE THE
STUDENTS GET THE HANG OF IT--IT'S A GREAT SET-UP (at least I think so).
I have 20-24 centers available to my students at all times. At each of
these centers, there is anywhere from 3-6 (or more) different choices at
that particular center. My centers are Journal, Big Books, Read the Room,
D.E.A.R, Buddy Read, Poetry/Rhyme/Song, Wonderful Words, Writing Folders
(revisit work done during our separate writing time), LIstening Center,
Pocket Charts, ABC Center, Write the Room, Sentence Fun!, Story Center,
Letter Writing, Social Studies/Science (not always open-usually if I have
something for them to complete related to a science or social studies
lesson), Drama Center, Browsing Box, Computer, Story Retelling (with props).
Journal, D.E.A.R. and Browsing Box are "HAVE TO" centers. Journal and
DEAR(independent reading) need to be visited at least three times each per
week. Browsing Box is visited at least once a week. The rest of the
centers are not "HAVE TO" centers unless I decide I'd like to make it one
for the week, then I simply star the box on their center chart before I copy
it for the week.
Each center consists of the following:
Big Books: Students revisit big books we have done during shared reading.
Read the Room: Different kinds of pointers and glasses with the lenses out
for students to read all the print on the walls.
Buddy Read: Partner reading or reading with a stuffed friend (stuffed
animals that hang from a coat rack in my room)
D.E.A.R.: silent, independent reading on the child's level (they are taught
to know how to pick a book that is just right for them.
Poetry/Rhyme/Song: Poetry books and posters (many done during shared
reading), song books and posters with tapes (collected from book orders or
scholastic teacher resource catalog)
Wonderful Words: different word games, spelling games, etc. (many purchased
through Scholastic book orders)
ABC Center: games, magnetic letters, letter stamps, letter formation
practice (not worksheets)-rice, sand trays, sandpaper with letters written
on them with arrow where to start)
Listening Center: Books with tapes
Writing Folders: Students revisit something they've been working on during
our writing block of time
Pocket Charts: Poems, songs, nursery rhymes, sentence building, revisit our
making words cards from the week (Many cool pocket chart activities can be
purchased from Lakeshore catalog. That's where I've gotten several.)
Write the Room: Gel pens, smelly markers, colored paper, cards, etc.
Students use a clipboard and go around and write words up on the walls of
Sentence Fun: Sentence building--Magnetic words with cookie sheets, games,
cubes with words on them (color-coded for different parts of speech) Again-
many things ordered from Lakeshore or purchased at discount stores like TJ
Maxx, Marshalls, etc.
Story Center: Stamp a Story, Sticker Story, Never-ending story
Letter Writing: stationery to write letters
Drama Center: copied sets of readers's theaters and/or plays
Browsing Box: Students reread books read during our guided reading time and
books they choose to add to their browsing box from classroom book baskets
(books they could read) to practice fluency and expression
Story Retelling: Work on retelling a story with a book that has story props
that go with it. As the year progresses, they retell a book they've read to
a friend. We have a basket of books that lend themselves to successful
retellings with a good message (or heart as we call it).
The students have their own charts (with all centers on it) where they color
(coded for each day of the week) in circles to show the centers they visited
for the day. We also have a class wall chart with stickers that manage the
number of students at the center. The students use clothespins with their
name to show which center they are at.
So much info to share. I'd be happy to send you copies of my charts,
pictures, etc. Just let me know.
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of Lorraine
Sent: Monday, January 19, 2004 10:01 AM
Subject: [Channel-talkreadingk2] learning centers
I have read a lot of theory ideas on the value of useful centers, but I
only read general ideas about the kind of centers to use. I am new to the
teaching profession and could use all the idea help that I can get. Thanks
so much for any help on the matter. Lorraine
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