Let's talk centers

Finding the right way to have students move to centers without too much commotion is a little tricky.  Here is how I make this crazy situation work for me:

Each station has a basket.  This is how I am organizing them:

Each of these centers has an activity inside.  For example:  The monkey is literacy, the ladybug is math, the elephant is games, etc.

Every 5 days I put a new activity in the basket.  I always have them play the games in the same spots too.  The math always plays on the carpet, the literacy always in the middle of the room.  This way they always know where to go.

Here is how they know where to go:

So the students names are at the top.  I rotate who they are with from time to time.  I try to group them by ability.  But sometimes I heterogeneously group them, like they are now.

The art center goes to the art section of my room and does the project of the week.  When they get done, the can do drawing.
The math center does everything in the ladybug basket and then moves to the games in the elephant basket.
The dramatic play area is the kitchen area in my room, but there is almost aways some play activity for the week, like this week I have legos for them to work with.
The literacy center does everything in the monkey basket, then when done, they can move to the fine motor center, lion basket.

Finally, the listening center goes to the listening center, does some type of story response, then can move to the computers.

Right now, it is working great for me.  I need to add one more center, Writing.  But I am not ready for them to have that center just yet!

I hope this helps you see what I do to help make center time a little less crazy for me.


Tawnya said...

Great! I love the animals on the baskets. I was thinking of changing my centers to something more like this where they know where to go when they are done instead of me stopping to switch them. We do Literacy and Math centers at different times so I have 6-8 lit. centers and then we have math centers the same way later in the day.


Giggles and Squeals said...

I like this system. I forgot to add I just move the names day to day to the next center, until they have done all the centers.

I think you could do this have certain baskets that are the literacy centers for the morning and other for the math in the afternoon.

I got the animals for less that $1 at Michaels. You could also use shoe boxes with the lids. Then they would be easier to store and you could velcro the animals on so you could put the animals on when you are using them and off when you aren't?

I hope you find what works best for you! I secretly love when they stay at the academic center the whole time because it is "fun"!