Monday, December 17, 2012

Center/Rotations Change

In my previous years in third grade, Reading and Math Workshops were A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. My kids just "got it," and it was such a smooth time of the day in my room. Jump forward a few months into second grade, and the workshops just weren't working. I don't know if it's that my kids are too immature, if it's just this group of kids I have, or if it's something I'm doing wrong. No matter what the reason, it just wasn't working.

I needed to change it up, so I did! I've always HATED centers and the chaos they create. I never quite understood how to manage all of the groups at one time, so I just avoided it. However, I knew this group couldn't handle workshops (with 4 or more people in a group), so I took the plunge.

I created 10 centers so each student would have a buddy to work with. That alone has made SUCH a difference. Before I had 5 kids in 4 rotations. Complete fail. I was disciplining more than they were working. I know 10 centers sounds like SO MANY, but it's really not that bad, and I wish I could squeeze in more. What is even better is that I really don't have to prepare for my centers unless I want to. They are practicing right now using things I already have in the room (this will be fantastic when I have a sub). Eventually I will create/add more games to certain rotations, but for now, the games in the room work.

Here is what my board looks like:

I have the center names in a simple pocket chart that hangs on the wall. I move each pair of numbers down each day. They will go through this whole board in 1 or 2 weeks, depending on how much time we have. 

I'm lucky enough to have inherited the old team leader's room, so all the games for the grade level are stored in here. (Don't get me wrong, some days I'm so annoyed by this b/c they take up so much space, but I'm SO HAPPY to have them:)) I used the same exact signs from the pocket chart to label where to find each center around the room.

I'm SO HAPPY with the results. My classroom is an organized working machine! Even my teaching assistant I have for about 30 minutes in the morning made a comment on the change. 

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