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From: Renee Wilson (rwilson@algonac.k12.mi.us)
Date: Fri Jan 23 2004 - 10:25:23 EST

  • 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.
      -----Original Message-----
      From: channel-talkreadingk2-admin@learner.org
    [mailto:channel-talkreadingk2-admin@learner.org]On Behalf Of Lorraine
    Steckler
      Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2004 7:29 PM
      To: channel-talkreadingk2@learner.org
      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

      Naylorblue@aol.com wrote:
        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
    you have?
        Thanks for all the wonderful ideas.
        Lea

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