Management of Math and Literacy Centers

I’ve tried lots of different ways to organize math and literacy centers.  Sometimes I’ve needed to change because of the kiddos in my class, sometimes I’ve had to change because it doesn’t work for me.  So far, I like what I have so far!

Here is the management/rotation chart:

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The top (red) chart is for literacy centers, the bottom (blue) chart is for math centers. (Thanks Julie for the great idea!) We do our literacy centers in the morning and our math centers in the afternoon.  Each child goes to one center a day, and it takes about 15-20 minutes.  I don’t pull any guided reading groups during literacy centers right now since we have extra support that comes to our classroom for guided reading/interventions.  I try to pull small groups or individuals for strategy work or assessments.  

The yellow strips are transparency/word highlighter thingys (I don’t know what they are called!).  These rotated every day in the beginning to show who was responsible for keeping the group on task and cleaning up materials.  I’ll admit, I’m not very good at changing them daily anymore! The kids have started to manage this on their own.

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These drawers are where I keep the centers.  If something is too big to fit, it just goes on top.  The kids take the drawer to their table and take out the supplies they need.  Each drawer is labeled with a letter (literacy) or a number (math).

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The tables are labeled to correspond with the number/letter.

Any questions?  Just leave a comment below!

18 comments:

  1. I have pulled literacy teams & stations for years!! I am just taking on math ones this year -- isnt that silly! To think that math was more generic than reading!! ha! I LOVE your double colored pocket chart. I will be looking for a way to manage mine -- next week is week 1!! LOVE IT!

    For math do you pull sm group to gear lessons to each set of students? Are they grouped like reading by skills or are they all mixed up to help for more divers learning? Just wondering b/c next week my kiddos will all be together but after that ...I am not sure ....

    Thanks for any insight!
    Sarah
    shetrick@gmail.com

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  2. hi Sarah - I pull groups based on what they need. I still have some kiddos that are struggling with numbers 1-10 and counting -eek. So, I'll pull them for 5-6 minutes to do some quick number work. Sometimes I will just sit with that child and work with him at the center. I also pull kids during rest time to do some extra work with them. Give them lots of time to learn the math centers (just like literacy!) so they know what is expected of them, so you won't have to manage them! If they finish quickly, I have them turn their paper over and practice writing their numbers. It's simple, but easy for them (and me!) to remember. Soon, I'll start to put out some extra math tubs for when they're finished. They won't always get to them, but they are there "just in case!"

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  3. My centers last year were very similar (even used drawers, which I LOVE for saving space) until they cut our full day kindergarten:( Now I have half the time to squeeze centers in! I love your labels too. Good idea!

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  4. Love the idea of using the drawers......I have some at school and I could put my stuff in there. Would love to know what all you use for your centers in math. I have tons of games and stuff, but not sure where to start! Any insights? Thank you!

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  5. Love the idea! I have a ton of kids, so I am not sure the small pocket chart would work for me. Do you put more than one activity in each drawer, or is it just one?

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  6. I'm so nervous to jump into centers. I'm used to 18-20 kids who all get along well and handle centers fabulously. This year I have 23 (so far) and most can only handle 3 max in a group. We've obviously been practicing but even trying out anything of substance resorts to arguing and eventually me breaking away from my group to get involved elsewhere so that it doesn't escalate. Should I just make tons of groups meaning extra work for me or keep practicing with what we've been doing and hope they tune into the fact that they need to suck it up and work things out for themselves for this 10-15 minutes?

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  7. @Jen - yep, I have one activity in each drawer. It usually takes about 15 minutes for everyone to complete their center right now. If they finish early they can write their sight words or alphabet on the back of their paper or read their sight word ring (literacy), or write their numbers of the back (math). I will start to introduce some extra activities for the quick finishers soon!

    @Sara - I would keep on practicing! You might just not have a group this year that can do centers! Keep it simple so you are able to pull some groups. Always pre-teach what you are doing. You don't want anything they haven't seen in your centers. They should be practicing what they have already learned.

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  8. I love the idea of using drawers to organize the math workshops! What size drawers are you using?

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  9. WOW! What an interesting way to look at organizing both literacy and math. I LOVE it. I may look at changing how I do my centers as well. Do you use them like workstations where the kids have a product to turn in each day?

    Diana
    coleslittlepups.blogpsot.com

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  10. Sara could also do 6 centers :) then her groups would not have more than 4. That's what I do and it works AND lucky there are 6 drawers. It works great to have the number/letter on the table that correspond with the buckets (helps when you have a sub then- they will know where to place things!) So glad I started doing that a couple of years ago! Weird how it took a few years of doing centers to figure that out! ha! Just need cuter letters now :)
    Leslie

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  11. Good point, Leslie! It's so nice this year to have groups of 3-4! I'm treasuring it! Last year it was groups of 4-5! A few years of doing centers, and some good friends to help you along the way :)

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  12. Mrs Cole - yes, most days they do have some sort of tasks to show me. Sometimes there is nothing to bring home, but most days there are.

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  13. Este blog é uma representação exata de competências. Eu gosto da sua recomendação. Um grande conceito que reflete os pensamentos do escritor. Consultoria RH

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  14. Hey there! I am new to this whole centers things and I would really like to start doing it this upcoming school year. I was wondering how long does your centers last?

    Ashley

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    1. I usually have 5 centers a week, and each group rotates through them. So a set would go for a week. We usually do centers for 30 minutes a day (less in the beginning!) I sometimes have 6 centers if I have a BIG class!

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  15. Where you find out your numbers and letters for your centers?

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  16. I'm a first year Kindergarten teacher, straight out of college. I did student teaching in 5th grade so it's a big adjustment. We've been in school for some time now and I have been doing centers, but feel like I'm struggling to come up with meaningful ones. I sometimes feel like I'm giving them "busy work" but in the form of centers. Any suggestions on what I should do as a beginning teacher with K centers? Also, do you change them weekly? Are they usually similar centers so the kids know what to do, or do you have to kind of introduce your centers each Monday? Help!?

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    1. I teach a 1/2 day kinder and this is what I found works for me and my kindies. We have 4 days a week to have centers and so I have 4 centers. I have them at different tables and each has a subject: Math, Writing, Listening/Reading and Art. With each subject there are 4 activities, 2 new and 2 that stay the same for a month. Math for example this week is a 1. "roll a penguin" 2. Teen number memory 3. Math Games (sand table search and sort 4. Math games (dominos). They have to do the first two boxes (star boxes first) and then they can choose what to do next or they can go to the libary. The children have to stay at their center for the full 30 minutes and figure out how to manage their time and stay occupied. At this time I call groups to read, so that makes the groups a tad smaller and a little more quite.

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