How can we allow our students to practice building skills and working with learning ideas in a way that is engaging, fluid, and leveled?
We allow our students to have time during centers!
We want to be centered on learning.
Centers are often referred to by many terms by teachers and organized in many different ways.
Some people refer to this time as small groups, stations, or even something else.
I do small groups or Daily 5 for reading.
I do stations for Sight Word Stations.
And I also do centers for center time.
This week we learned about the Letter Gg.
We are working on ordering numbers and number formation.
Our orange table worked on number writing.
There are 4 differentiated writing mats that work on formation of numbers 1-30,
but different numbers are missing.
Here is a peek at the different mats being used.
I have a small number line on my name plates.
Some students use those for support.
We also have a huge number lined posted on the wall,
so other students used that one as well.
The red table is home to this FUN goldfish sorting activity.
I found it for free here from Prekinders.com.
I bought the colored goldfish and poured a small amount into snack sized bags for each of my students.
I knew prepping the baggies ahead of time would be a huge help in managing this center and getting my students working fast.
My student took one baggie each.
They sorted out their colors and laid them out on their paper.
Then I came around to help them see how to graph the rows in colors.
Next I asked them questions about the graph and let them answer how many red goldfish they had,
how many yellow goldfish, which has the most, which has the fewest.
The purple table is our water color table.
As I am prepping my students to launch Sight Word Stations,
we are completing these stations now to gain independence during the completion of the activity now.
So we are water coloring our sight words.
If you recall, I have a major hurtle in my classroom this year.
We have no sink or sink area.
My old room had a sink so we could easily get water from there.
I would keep a few cups next to the sink as well so we could reuse them for painting.
Now that a sink or sink area isn’t an option, I had to get creative.
I decided to try using a small water bottle for our water cup during this station.
AND IT HAS BEEN AMAZING.
We have less issues setting up water, less spills of water,
and students can still clean up their area easily buy closing the water bottle with its lid.
The blue table hosted this gumball station.
I do not know who made this. But this was an activity my team mate have been doing for years.
I could not bring myself to just coloring in the gum balls to match the number.
I had to make it a bit more fun!
I decided to use a dollar store (or Walmart in this case) ice tray to hold paint.
I put four colors of paint into the slots.
Then I have the students a few dot the gumballs in to the holders for each number.
Here is another glance at the painting tray.
(I also didn’t have to cover the paint from day to day.
We just placed the tray inside the blue basket and put it away. Then we pulled it out the next day.)
Our green table was a BLAST.
We used this Fill the Ten Frame game with G words on it.
Students roll the pocket chart die and see what image lands on top.
They find that image on their sheet and fill in ONE of the ten frame numbers.
The first image that gets to 10 WINS.
I copied the two different versions of the worksheet to one sheet of paper so my learners could choose which side they wanted to use.
One side has the students color in a ten frame.
The other has students writing in the numbers to fill the ten frame.
(You can read more about this game here.)
What a perfect combination of sound, word, and math skills!
Because I have a lot of students this school year,
all 6 of my work centers that can hold 4 learners each, are always FULL.
This creates issues with getting students to be able to move around to new centers as they need to.
The truth is… I have to give them more space work and play.
I did not want to give my students another work center.
I can trick them into “working” by making it much more like play.
Most of all, my young class NEEDS tons of OT help.
I have always had a sand table, until this year, because the sand table belonged to my old school.
As a result, I pulled out my sensory table hubs made… which I use for sensory fun… as this station.
I think we teachers think these centers have to be detailed and pretty to be fun.
I have to tell you… the simpler I make this center, the more fun my students have LOVED.
I decided to give my students a task of creating GRASS at their sensory table.
Here was my “I Can” statement and example.I put some construction paper strips and scissors in the bin.
Check out these hard working students and their grass.
I also think this skill will come in handy with art later on.
And almost done!
Finally, I have to add a pink table too!
I am planning on making this center our art center.
I think this will be a lot of fun for them and allow me to get things done while meeting all their needs in a fun way.
Here are some links for Letter Gg fun if you need some ideas to make learning fun.
If you need some more center management tips, read here.