Monday, February 27, 2012

This Week's Centers

Today was the first day back and boy oh boy were they crazy rowdy.  I felt like a broken record repeating SIMPLE directions...directions and tasks that we have done since September.  Oh well, I am sure my normal kiddos will return tomorrow.  Let's hope so since we start new Centers tomorrow!  I admit that I haven't been great about them in January/February.  Between test prep, working on a few texts, and everything else I just want to get back on schedule.

Oh, and I have a new addition to my room.  Once my little girl left I have a student switching in from another room. It's intense.

Anyway, I plan on running just 5 centers (instead of the usual 6) over the next 3 days.  The once FLEX center has two components and will take the entire 30 minutes.  I will meet with 1/3 of the class each day for that.  The other 16 kids will divide up between the other four centers for about 4 kids per center.  It will work.  It has to. :)  Anyway, here are the centers!

Love the use of Inter Office Mail Envelopes? hahah Someday I will beautify them...
The first 3 centers are basically a combination of word work and group games.  Two of these were from Pinter's Potporri...the "The Day It Rained Hearts" parts of speech sort (to be done independently), and the "To,Too, Two" game.  While she teaches 2nd/3rd, my kids really need practice with these basic skills.  It will keep them entertained and yet independent enough that I can work with my small group.  I don't have as much help these days since we are doing Literature Circles/Book Clubs/Whatever you call them today (more on that later this week).  In short, the time I have push-in services is the Literature Circles time, so my other 30 minutes is run by just plain 'ole me. :)

The next center has students going out in the hallway where our Harris Burdick stories are displayed.  (Want to read some amazing stories?  Go here to see my kid's work! Harris Burdick Stories).  Anyway, they are in the hall like this.  My amazing teacher's aide displayed them all for me!  She's great!
Anyway, for this center they will go into the hallway with the following bucket:
Bucket compliments of my dad who bought my mom Valentine's Day flowers in them! :)

Anyway, so inside this cute little bucket I have pads of sticky notes and some gel pens (ooooohhh gel pens---the kiddos LOVE them).  I stuck some quick directions on the bucket.  Essentially, the students are to read other kid's stories and write them a specific comment.  We have talked about how comments should be more than, "It's cool."  Anyway, students will fill them out and stick them in the bucket (where I will then proof them for kindness and make sure all the kids have them) before I hand them out.  I figure this is much easier than having them all read aloud...especially when you read them and see how long they are.  NOT THAT I AM COMPLAINING BECAUSE I AM SO SO SO HAPPY WE WROTE SO MUCH!

Now, for the final center, the kids will be working with me.  I am still working with them on text features of non-fiction so they will be working on the activity below.  Meanwhile, I will pull them to go over their Main Idea Assessment to continue to reinforce what they need to do and how to improve.  On to the text features activity.  I go over with them the sheet from Runde's Room on text features and show them how to find them in a book.  I then show them that they have to pick a page in their non-fiction book and re-create a mini-book showing these features.  This is the BEST part:
 SO many books can be used for this that vary in difficulty.  This is a quick sample of the ones I have.  The Mummies one is a bit more challenging along with the space one.  The one on Native Americans is a good level for them and I have several different titles in the series (inventions, mammals, reptiles...) and even that Dr. Seuss book has the major features such as a Glossary, Index, bold words...EVERYTHING!  But it a nice, neat, simpler way for my struggling students.  They all can be successful with just a few different texts.  I let them self select, but I do "guide" a few in a particular direction!  (*wink wink*)

Anyway...there you have it! Centers for the week!  Stay tuned for a post on Pinterest (and yes, you have my permission to "pin", just reference me) and a post on Literature Circles.  Woo-hoo!

Happy Monday!

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