Sometimes I think there needs to be a support group for folks like me--"Hi, my name is Liesl, and I have a center problem." Its not what you expect it to be-its not that I don't know WHAT to do for centers (or workstations), its that I'm constantly looking for new ideas to improve my centers. I also do a lot of differentiation during center time, so I try to find ways that I can 'level' the activity at each center. My goal for center time (both morning and afternoon times) is for students to be able to practice what we have been learning and using together in reading, writing and math. I want most of the centers to be process based, as opposed to product based. In this way, I can teach the process, and not teach the 'center'. However, I want to change out the materials in these centers so that they stay fresh.
This is my real problem. This is my center board.
The top two rows are the morning centers, the bottom two rows are the afternoon centers. For me, I like having specific labels on the center board that match the labels on each bin. I'd take a picture of the bins, but right now, everything I own is packed up into a gazillion boxes as I move from one school to another. One of my summer goals is for me to completely organize my center cards, and when I get that done, I'll show it to you.
Each year, we start simply, by introducing the way we 'do' centers. Then, as the year progresses, the challenges increase.
These are a few pictures from the very beginning....
And here are some from the end of the year. They are much more complex, and often more 'game based'. Often my students don't know how to take turns and play games with each other at the beginning of the year, so we start off slowly.
For now, I need to stop blogging and start packing for iteachk!