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From: Renee Wilson (rwilson@algonac.k12.mi.us)
Date: Wed Jan 21 2004 - 11:12:33 EST

  • 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
    the room.
    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.
      -----Original Message-----
      From: channel-talkreadingk2-admin@learner.org
    [mailto:channel-talkreadingk2-admin@learner.org]On Behalf Of Lorraine
    Steckler
      Sent: Monday, January 19, 2004 10:01 AM
      To: channel-talkreadingk2@learner.org
      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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