Have five centers that stay
the same, except the task or activities change. The five centers
are: Book Center, Writing Center, Phonics Center, Pocket
Chart/Magnet Board Center and Listening Center. Literacy centers
usually last about 15 - 20 minutes. The students are divided into
five groups. They go to only one center each day to do the assigned
task. By the end of the week they have done all five center tasks.
After literacy centers, they may go back to any of the centers, but
they have to wait to do the required task. After centers some
children share what they did at their center.
work with partners during center time. When they work in a pair vs.
a group of four or five, they generally don't bicker or fight. So if
you have 20 students, for each week there will be 10 centers going
on in the room at the same time, each with two children. Suggested
"core" centers are:
Teacher (guided reading)
All the centers are basically located in a circle around the room.
The names of the students are in a pocket chart with the first
center where they begin; they stay there until the teacher rings a
bell (about 20 minutes) Then they get up and move to the next
center. The students are always moving in a circle around the room
for centers. They know clearly where they are to go next. Students
complete three centers a day and some even repeat some centers
toward the end of the week. If there is a product from the center,
they place it in a basket on the teacherís desk to be checked.
Using Fountas and Pinnellís
workboard, have five groups go to five different centers daily for
approximately 10-12 minutes.
Group 1 goes to writing,
then reading center
Group 2 art, then blocks
Group 3 ABC, then home center
Group 4 listening, then computers
Group 5 science (or social studies), then puzzles/games
There is a product in the
first center rotation, not in the second. They don't have to go to
the second center. They can stay in the first center the whole time.
At first, listening doesn't have a product, but then later, they
respond in their journals. Sometimes, ABC doesn't have a product. It
could be white boards and dry erase markers, ABC puzzles and games,
but it usually has a product. Home center doesn't have a product,
but when paper, markers, clipboards, and junk paper is put in there,
they come up with something they want to share. Other centers that
are sometimes used are Write around the Room with clipboards, Read
around the Room with pointers, browsing baskets (guided reading
books they've read), buddy reading, and overhead.
Our clean-up system
includes playing music (one song-3 times) and they have their
centers cleaned and their work on the tops of the tables ready to
share. They always share writing center or Write around the room
first, then go to ABC, Art, and Science last. The children know
exactly what to do to make it a snappy pace, but it takes practice.
20 kids and 5 centers. The Literacy Center time goes from about
9:30-11. There are 5 groups of 4 and I tried to put one very high
student, two average and one low in the group.
Group 1 always starts off at the journal table for a writing
changes daily. Some activities include ABC BINGO, SIGHT WORD BINGO,
ABC memory, sight word memory. (The students may help each other in
these games because they are learning.) Sometimes they do ABC
puzzles, playdough, cutting pictures from magazines that correspond
to letter sounds, or highlighting word wall words with a yellow
Group 3 is the Listening Center. Activities include the sign
language alphabet from Dr. Jean and a sign language chart, books and
tapes, and following direction tapes.
Group 4 goes to the library (Reading Center). There is a beanbag
there and stuffed animals. They read to each other or to their
GROUP 5 is the handwriting group. They may write their ABC's or
those that can't quite get it, I just give them a copy of the abc's
and they trace it with a yellow crayon.
Each rotation lasts about 15 minutes. When the bell rings, they get
up and rotate on their own.