Next message: Lorraine Steckler: "RE: [Channel-talkreadingk2] learning centers"
I've done centers many different ways and found the self-selected with 20-24
centers to work the best because the students are actually choosing what
they want to work on which for the most part keeps them on task. Granted
any center they choose is going to reinforce or work on different skills, so
there aren't any bad choices. Modeling expectations and allowing time to
practice routines and expectations before sending them out on their own is
what always works for me. I feel it sets them up for success.
I forgot to mention before that I do have a separate chart at centers with
the words "Gainfully Employed" and "Unemployed" on different sides. The
students are explained the term "Gainfully Employed" in relation to their
center work being their job and when your actively engaged, using your
whispering voices, you are learning which is your payment. I explain that
if I didn't do a my job well, I wouldn't reap the benefits of their learning
and also my paycheck. And then there's the flip side-- to be "Unemployed".
If a student is not on task and participating in centers like we had spent
so much time modeling and practicing, I have the option of moving them (a
clothespin with their name) to unemployment. Being on unemployment means
they have to sit somewhere alone with a clipboard and worksheets
(handwriting papers and other papers you find that your students are not
excited about). I've had to do this one time in four years.
There are times when I have to just give "a look" :) or a quick verbal
reminder to keep students on task, but for the most part they are always
engaged in what they are doing.
Hope this helps!
P.S. As much as my students and I like the centers, I am in the process of
cutting back and moving to a Reader's Workshop which will give my students
more actual "reading" time. This goes along withf what Nancy brought up in
an email. I've been attending workshops and reading some great
professional development books that emphasize this idea. Have any of you
read Reading with Meaning by Debbie Miller? It is a great book--an easy
read!! I highly recommend it.
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of Lorraine
Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2004 7:29 PM
Subject: Re: [Channel-talkreadingk2] learning centers
I also have a wild bunch of 19 2nd graders. They have a difficult time
staying focused on the tasks given them. What are some of the techniques
you use to help them learn to focus better? Help! Lorraine
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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