Monday, August 5, 2013

Management System for Centers

Every kid loves centers! I think what's most appealing to children is the fact that they can CHOOSE which center to go to. But if you have any experience managing centers in your classroom, you know it can get pretty crazy. This is what goes through the kids' minds: REALLY? I CAN CHOOSE A CENTER? YOU ARE LETTING ME CHOOSE? And they literally have no idea how to handle this freedom that comes very rarely - either they don't know where they are going or everyone is at one center with not enough materials.

So this is a center board that I use in my classroom. It is pretty visual for kids and works well. There is no right way to do centers, but here is how I manage it:
  • Every child has a popsicle stick with his or her name on it. The popsicle sticks are color-coded and grouped by reading levels, as you can see in the bottom row.
  • While I work with a small group of students, the rest of the class has independent work to complete.
  • After the students complete their independent work (we talk about not rushing and making sure they do their best work), they choose a center.
  • Only three students are allowed at each center, so if they see three popsicle sticks on a center pocket, they have to choose another center.
If you are wondering how I made the pockets - real simple! I laminated medium-sized envelopes and cut them in half - and voila! Pockets ready to be used. Since the pockets are laminated, you can use a dry-erase marker to write the name of the center and change it to another center if you want. The board is pretty sturdy and lasts the whole year. 

1 comment:

  1. This is such a great idea! I'm excited to try this in my own classroom.


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