Thursday, September 14, 2017

Literacy Centers: Back to School

I kicked off literacy centers in my classroom two weeks ago.  This is our fifth week of school...I don't like to start them right away because I need to get the class managed and well behaved.  This post is dedicated to showing you how I set up and manage the centers.

The first thing I do is decide how many centers I want.  This varies by year/class size.  This year I went with 5.  Next, I take a photo of each student.  I group the kids using their pictures, being mindful of possible behavior problems.  I also group heterogeneously to mix ability levels.  Finally, I place the photos on my mini pocket chart (Target Dollar Spot) with different numbers or clip art next (see below to grab the labels) to each.  I place an additional set of coordinating numbers/clip art on buckets.  I use the white ones shown below from Target.  I've also used the Sterilite Large Latch Boxes for many years prior (shown below).



Each group visits ONE, yes just ONE center per day.  I do not do Daily 5.  Bless you if you do it with first grade.  I've tried and it's just too confusing for my little ones.  Every 5 days I change the centers, so each Monday, the kids have a new set of centers for the week.  It works really well and has for many years.  The kids spend 20 minutes or so in their center for the day.  After school, I rotate the numbers/clip art images down on my pocket chart.  It's such an easy system!

Each week, I have a listening center.  I have this every week, all year.  I've collected books from Scholastic over my 14 year career.  It's great!  The kids listen to a story and complete a response sheet (found for free HERE).  I also have some sort of sight word center.  The other 3 centers are Phonics-based.  I have two desktop computers in my room.  Sometimes I will have the kids go to that for a center, but they have to take turns, which is annoying and can sometimes cause problems.

Below are pictures of my first centers of the year.  They are simple and can be completed without much assistance.  My role during the first few weeks of centers is to float and assist/manage behavior. Eventually, I'll pull a Guided Reading group during center time.  Each center has a link below the photos below in case you want to grab them!!




The next several pictures are pictures of centers in action from my "Back to School BBQ Set" found HERE.

You can also find all of my literacy and math centers in a BIG BUNDLE to save you $$$.  Click below to see them!



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