Next message: Lorraine Steckler: "Re: [Channel-talkreadingk2] learning centers"
WOW! Thirty-five students is a lot!! I only have 19 students. I teach a
first and second multi-grade classroom. I'm very fortunate because my
students loop with me. So when they come to me as first graders, they stay
with me for second grade too. The students do not have a particular number
of have tos to complete each day. It is on a weekly basis. They need to do
three journals, three DEAR (independent reading), one browsing box and
usually one retelling. Sometimes I also make Science/Social Studies a have
to. On their center chart I put a star in the box for that center and they
know that they need to do that center however many circles are in the box.
For those students that aren't as independent about completing their have to
centers, you could write a day of the week by their circles so they have a
guideline of when to complete their have to centers. I'm sure this sounds
very confusing, but I would be happy to send you a copy of my center chart.
I'm going to see if I can scan it and attach it to an email with some
pictures (at a later date). If this doesn't work, I can mail you a copy.
I'd just need to get your address.
It sounds like your off to a good start!! It does take a great deal of time
modeling. I actually spend about the first month-six weeks of the school
year modeling center expectations. Once I have enough centers modeled and
practiced so that all students would have an open center to go to, I begin
running "true" center times and each week add two more centers (modeling
first) to the mix until they are all open. If ever students aren't handling
a particular center well, I stop everything and have students re-model what
the center should look like. If it continues, I simply close the center by
putting an X over that box on the center chart until they feel they are
ready to give it another try. :)
The modeling of centers involves not just what to do at the center, but also
how we move, talk (noise level), get out and put materials away. Ample time
is given for teacher modeling and a small group of students modeling while
the rest of the class observes. While observing, I ask students to share
out loud what they notice about the students working at that center. They
share all the things they see happening. Of course this group of students
is doing everything 100% correct because they know all eyes are on them and
that they are the teachers at that point in time.
My philosophy has always been to empower children and these centers do. If
they get to choose what to do and when to do it, there are less disruptions
and fewer discipline problems. It frees me up to do guided reading and
It's a lot of work in the beginning, but it's so worth it in the long run.
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 9:19 PM
Subject: Re: [Channel-talkreadingk2] learning centers
I just started literacy centers this week and have found them to be very
positive. I have a wild bunch of 35 second graders. At this time I am
rotating them. I explained this is just a stepping stone to self selection.
I love the idea about have to's and then so much choice. How many have to's
do you do at each center time? What grade do you teach? How many children do
Thanks for all the wonderful ideas.
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