I thought I would share how we do centers in my classroom and some of the centers we worked on last week. Our centers are structured. Students are divided up and they spend a given amount of time (generally 15-20 minutes) at each center. We do centers Monday-Thursday and there are three center rotations a day. However, one center each day is always the Teacher Center with me (what they do at my center varies each day). By the end of the week, they have completed all 8 learning centers, plus four different teacher centers.
I use this handy dandy chart to keep track of which centers they are supposed to be at and when. I add sticky notes with the students names on them, written in pencil. Since their abilities change so often, it's nice to be able to easily switch things around when needed. Each column represents a rotation. The numbers correspond to numbered centers I keep written on the board. The red part turns each day. It seem complicated, but it's so easy to get the hang of it. I tell the students before each rotation where they will be going, but by the end of the year they can usually figure it out for themselves.
I always try to integrate a lot of different things into our centers - writing, ABC's, sight words, math, science/social studies.
Here are some of the centers we did this week.
For our letter center, we did a worksheet to practice recognizing upper and lowercase Mm's.
For the math center, students used pattern blocks. We incorporated letters into this center by having them make letters with the pattern blocks. I printed the templates from this site.
For an ABC center, I used a foam puzzle and put the missing letters in a bin of colored rice. They had to search in the rice, find the letter and put it in the puzzle. I found this idea on Pinterest.
Our sight word center involved stamping our sight words "we" and "can" into a sentence. Then they used the pictures to help them read the sentence to their partner and then to me.
We also did a science-related center about our five senses. Students had to sort pictures according to each sense.