Thursday, June 28, 2012

Center Series from Pocket Full of Kinders-Part 3

Hiya Peeps
Shuna P from Pocket Full of Kinders here!

Did you miss me?
Aww shucks you did miss me
Now I feel special
If you didn't miss me just pretend you did
Today is my 3rd installment of the center series
for Lacey

Once you have set up your stations and organized them what is next?
Today we are going to talk a little about how to manage stations so that they will run smooth and effectively for the entire year
Are you ready?
This might get a little long
When I set up my centers I also determine my center jobs for my students
These are different from classroom jobs
Here are my center jobs
* Center Captain: The center captains are responsible for getting their center card and their center bucket. The center captain gets to wear a special hat and is the only person in that group allowed to disrupt my station or my TA's station if there is a question
*Material Master: The material master is responsible along with the center captain for putting all material back into their bucket and cleaning up.
* Noise Monitor: simply put they monitor the noise level
If a group gets too loud and is playing in their center the center captain loses their hat and that group can't get their number for their BINGO Board
I start the year off with a Ten Frame chart with numbers on it as a reward system
If the center groups are on task they get to pull a number and cover the number on their bingo board
When they get all numbers filled on the board they have a small treat such as popcorn for snack
As the students get better in stations I begin to use a 20's chart, 50's chart and finally after Christmas I use a 100's chart to manage center behavior
This is the same idea as behavior bingo I just called mine Center Bingo
Works pretty well for me
The next thing that I noticed that tends to make my centers run smoothly is using center signs

These are posted around the room and are also written on students center cards that the center captains use
I use a sheet protector wrapped in duct tape stuck to the wall to slide the center signs in
Each of my center groups has a name
I had a jungle theme classroom last year so all of my center names where jungle themed
The large picture cards are my center group names. At the beginning of the year the center captains would come in and look at their group picture and see what two centers they would go to for that day
The books are my guided reading groups

The two books at the top showed what groups I would get for that day
I would see each of my reading groups 3 times each week


This worked pretty well but I did not like that they numbers were so small and some of my groups forgot where they were supposed to go causing some confusion so I changed it a little and I was so much happier with the results.
I like this system much better and I am going to use it again next year
Sorry I don't have a picture of them in the pocket chart so I had to improvise
Here are my center group cards
Don't worry about the numbers along the side they were from a previous management system that I used but didn't like so well

On the back of each card is the student's numbers who are in that center
Helps me out when I am rotating center captains plus I had a couple of students who for the life of them could not remember what center group they were in
With 30 kiddos it was hard for me to keep track
Problem solved

Instead of using the number cards from the earlier pic I used some ready made center cards
The small black numbers on the cards are the center number that match the numbers on the large center signs.
These are the cards that the center captains get to tell what station they go to,

In my pocket chart the animal cards are next to the center cards
So using this system in the pocket chart the giraffe center captain will come get their card and go to station 10
Lions would go to station 6
Monkeys will go to station 2
When it is time for students to go to their next center they will just rotate to the number that comes after. Remember my stations are set up in a circle so the next station is right next to the station that students are already in. So giraffes will go to 11, lions would go to 7 and monkey would go to 2
Here is a look at how the cards would be arranged in a pocket chart so when I get ready to assign students their centers for the next day all I would have to do is rotate the cards up

The first group will always start in center 1  in this case it is giraffes. I do centers on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Tuesday the first group, the giraffes, will go to Station 1 and when the next rotation is called they will go to station 2.
On Wednesday when we get ready to go to the next station I just simply take the cards 1 and 2 from the top of the pocket chart and move all the rest of the cards up! The giraffes will now have the station card that says station 3
This is by far the simplest management that I have tried and it worked really well last year!
Okay enough of that
Now what do you do with all those recording sheets?
I used recording sheets in just about all of my stations and I do not like the kiddos bringing all those sheets to me at one time so.......................
Each student has a center folder that they put all of their recording sheets in and their guided reading books in
These made it ALMOST till the end of the year
The students just slid in all of their center work and guided reading books
At the end of each day I would check them and give stickers to the ones who completed their center work. On Friday if the students did not get a sticker on their work they went back to that center
On all of my center recording sheets I write the station number in the top corner so when the students have to go back and complete work they know which station to go to!
After we cleaned up stations the students would put their folders back into a pocket chart attached to the back of our door
* sorry my pinkie is in the pic*
Next year I think I might use these folders that I got from Target to see if they hold up better
Alright peeps I think I have rambled enough
Make sure you check back next week for a center goodie bag
What would you like to see in the goodie bag?
If you missed the other two post you can click here and here
Till next time
When you have time come and visit me sometime
Peace out Peeps
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  1. Thanks for giving a peek at your centers! With 30 kids, you had to have alot of centers! For me that's a class and a half. The paper trail that's generated from workshops is the bain of my existence. Organization is a chore for me anyway, I'm too freespirited and I hate filing. So, I gave that job to the kids. Last year, I gathered up enough letter trays to create three stacks and placed them in one of my shelves. I numbered them and the children quickly learned where to place their papers after my TA or I gave them a thumbs up on it. It worked better than the years before.


    1. The basic procedures are the same from all the centers and we practice them a good month before we actually start centers.

      Since I only do centers on TWTh I explain all the centers on Friday and Monday and the students walk through each center with me and my TA on those days since we don't have centers. The students go to each station and get to see and touch the materials and determine if they have any questions. The students don't actually do any work on the centers on Monday they just explore the material

    2. Ohhh! I really like this little detail of Monday's touch and question time. Thank you for all of this!

  2. Love this post! Great ideas!!

    Jessica Stanford
    Mrs. Stanford's Class
    I need your help! Please check out my last post ♥

  3. I like the center folder idea! I get overwhelmed with piles of paper from center time & I think this would solve the problem! Thanks for sharing more great center ideas!
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  4. Thanks for all the details. one question. how long do you spend with each of your groups? Is it the same amount of time that each of the other groups are in their rotations?

    1. No the independent student groups are about 30-35 minutes long!

      My DI/Guided reading groups are about 15-20 minutes long

      The students go to their regular groups for the first 10 minutes or so and I either set up for the Guided REading group or walk around to make sure that each group is on task before I pull my group

  5. You have been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award! Come over to to pick it up.




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