Tuesday, June 10, 2014

C is for Centers (ABCs of 2nd grade)




It's time for the 3rd post in my ABCs of 2nd Grade series.
Today,  I am going to focus on centers. Centers are a huge part of my classroom.
FYI - Part of this post has been recycled from a previous post.



 My students do literacy centers during my small group reading time. I usually have 4 rotations because I have 4 reading groups. The rotations are Meet with Teacher, Read to Self, Writing, and Centers.
Here is my center shelf. I have all my centers in these flexible totes that I got from Hobby Lobby. I'm wishing I got some more of them for my math centers. Anyways, these are great for centers. I've used them for 2 years and they look brand new.

Inside each tote, I put the center direction card and a plastic envelope with the materials they will use in that center.
I was going through Ziploc bags like no other so I was looking for something that would last. I got these plastic envelopes in the mailing section at Office Depot. There are 3 in a pack. These envelopes have lasted for over a year and are still in great shape.

This year, I made some changes to my centers. I used to put the recording sheets in the tubs with the centers but I had some students doing the same center over and over again. So, to make it easier on me and them, I made a center checklist for them to color when they are finished with that center. (These checklists are in my packs of literacy centers.) I've also stapled all the recording sheets to the checklist so everything is together. This is much easier for me to grade than 12 loose papers.

For my math centers, I don't have many pictures. Sorry! I was so bad at taking pictures this year.

I've been trying to do math rotations for several years but I could never work it in during our short time period for math. This year, I tried to make it a priority. I was able to get math rotations in a lot more this year but it all depended on the skill we were learning. When we were struggling through regrouping in subtraction, those rotations just didn't happen. 



This picture shows my math rotations board from the beginning of the year. This is when I was really ambitious about getting all this in. By the end of the year, I only did 3 rotations. The students always met with me during one rotation. The other rotations changed throughout the year but I usually had them do a math center with their partner and use IXL math on the computer and iPads. 

If you are looking for some great monthly literacy and math centers, be sure to check out my TPT store. 

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Swimming-Into-Second/Category/Centers

I have made a freebie for you with the math rotation labels. Click on any of the images below to grab the freebie. These labels will be free for one week only. Be sure to leave me some feedback while you are there.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Rotations-board-1270228http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Rotations-board-1270228


Check out my next post about that crazy dismissal time.

http://www.swimmingintosecond.com/2014/06/d-is-for-dismissal-abcs-of-2nd-grade.html



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9 comments:

  1. I am loving your ABC blog series! Thanks so much for the free download. I have started using math centers/rotations and have loved it. However, it needs much improvement for the coming year.
    Mechele
    Barrow's Hodgepodge

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  2. Thanks for the information and freebie. I need to get rotations going next year. Do you have more information somewhere about your math rotations? Thanks.

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  4. Thank you Courtney! I love your idea about the center checklist, and giving the recording sheets as a packet. When you give them as a packet, I was wondering how you keep your accountability and help the kids learn time management -- do they do one each day and then show you at the end of that rotation and they take about 2 weeks to complete? We also use IXL. I would be interested in hearing more about how you use this within in your math centers and tract student work. Thanks! Your blog is always great!

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  5. I love the plastic envelopes and may go out and get them today! Thanks so much!

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  6. I wanted to start math rotations this year this will help me to get started. Thanks!

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  7. Do you group homogeneous or heterogeneous? I ve been in a rut with my math centers

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  8. How do your kiddos know which center to do each day? Do they have an assigned center; do they have a center partner; how do you handle when a child doesn't finish his center? TIA...these are my ongoing issues with centers and curious how a seasoned teacher handles this.

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    1. Hi Lauren! My kiddos choose their centers from the ones that are available. I start the year with 10 centers and bump it up to 12 after Christmas break. My students work on their own but can ask others for help. I do let my lower kids work together sometimes. Usually, they are out of the room at their remediation groups during center time so this usually doesn't come into play. The centers I make have a checklist that goes with them so the students color in the matching picture of the center when they have totally finished it. I started stapling all the recording sheets together so they had a better idea of how many they had done. At the end of the month, I take them up and give them a completion grade. They know they are expected to get most of them done.

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