Getting Smart About Centers

Every year I struggled with the same thing. Students are doing busy work, not motivated or even caring about any of the activities they are doing in reading workshop. I walk over and find students making circles on the whiteboards with their dry erase marker.

Another student has decided to bypass the roll and record and just start writing the sight words in the boxes. I was honestly about to go insane! I wanted to pull them over and say "REALLY!" "Do you know the time and energy I put into these activities for you!"

but now... that wouldn't be very nice. In fact, I probably wouldn't have a job.

So, I chugged on. Praising those who were doing a fantastic job and those who needed more motivation got to sit next to me *wink* *wink*


My newly devised student centers were born. You always hear the talk about integrating your reading with your thematic unit. Why not take that a step further and place this into your center activities? Every teacher has a ton of activities that help their kiddos really understand the content. We already do a ton of discussion and learning during our reading lesson. Time to add another step.

I am sure that there are a handful of teachers out there that feel the same as I do; there is never any time to do anything. You struggle enough to get all of your small groups in by the end of the day. Kindergarten is nothing like it was 10 years ago.  

Sorry. I'm starting to rant. Ugh. 

Well, moving to a happier place... centers. Here is what they look like.

Every Monday I present the new thematic unit that we will be studying. Sometimes I have my kiddos guess after reading the poem. We tally up the responses and graph what we came up with. They love it! Our little library has a book stand that contains all the books for that unit. I gather anything I can think of. I might have a little book of vocabulary cards, newspaper clipping, articles from magazines or even the internet. I collect brochures too. On Tuesday, I present the activities that they will be doing throughout the week. The beauty about these activities is that it is already things that we are doing. I just give my students independence.

Here are a few snapshots from our weather unit. 

So here is the low down. Basically students are expected to complete a number of different activities throughout the week. They can work individually, in pairs or small groups. The beauty about this setup is that students are able to accommodate their own learning. They work at their own pace. 

Let me know what you think. Leave a comment down below. 

Happy Reading Y'all!

1 comment

  1. How are your centers stationed around the classroom? Does each center have it's own area in the class?