Saturday, June 8, 2013

What Do You Do? Linky Party Week 1

I have spent more time at school this past week then I did when school was still in session... Thanks to my wonderful in-laws (I know, many people cannot say that), I have been able to make the move to my new classroom.  I had to clean out the previous classroom and keep what I wanted.  I unloaded about 7 dumpsters the past few days.  Here are a few pics.  Right now, I am at the point of putting away my classroom supplies that I moved from my other room.  Once that is finished, the custodians can clean my room and then I will be able to start setting up.






This is my son Trever.  He decided to fracture and dislocate his elbow last week. Ugghhh...


Behind the desk, this picture turned out pretty dark.

I have been a little LOT overwhelmed!  But, I am getting it all organized.  Thank goodness I was following Jodi over at Clutter-free Classroom this year and cleaned out much of my classroom.  I was easily able to pack up my belongings without much hassle of trying to figure out what to keep and what to toss.  

I will keep you posted on how my room is coming along.  Even with all of this, I have been already trying to figure out how I want to set up my room.  I have decided that I NEED the expertise of all of my cyber friends out there.  There are thousands of talented teachers out there that I would LOVE to hear how you do different things.  I am interested to learn what works for you with centers, writing workshop, guided reading, classroom management, and MANY MANY other things.  

Here is my plan!  I want to set up a linky party once a week through the summer.  I am going to post a new topic each week and do a little research myself.  I will share some fun ideas that I find from other bloggers and Pinterest.  I would love to have other bloggers share on their blogs what they do and what works in their classroom as well as have teachers (without blogs) share their ideas in the comments section.  So, to start... I want to know how you run your center time.  Here are some questions that you can think about to help me (and others) out:)


1.  How long do you do centers each day?
2.  How many centers do you do in a day?
3.  Do you let the students choose or do you require them to do certain ones?
4.  Do you group the children by ability or do you spread them out?
5.  Do you use a pocket chart or other visual so the students know where to go?
6.  Do you time your centers or do the students switch on their own?
7.  Do you have students do "worksheets" so that they are accountable for their work?
8.  What centers do you do consistently each week?  What are some that you change?

Here are some fun set ups that I found!




I would LOVE for you to either link up from a blog OR post you greatest suggestions in the comments!  Thank you so much- teachers are the best at sharing their ideas!








8 comments:

  1. I'm Excited for you to have your own classroom. I've done interventions for a short period time
    but really prefer having my own classroom. The way I do centers is rather loose. I teach Kindergarten and first grade in the same class room so I often have center activities for one grade level when I teach the other grade level. Math centers always included IXL Math and a collection of math games I would guide them to based on what skill they needed to work on
    1. How long do you do centers each day? Centers rotated throughout the day during math, reading, and writing
    2. How many centers do you do in a day? At least 3
    3. Do you let the students choose or do you
    require them to do certain ones? I give them options with in my guideline for them. It's not only based on academic levels but the student ability to work well with one another without disrupting the rest of the class.
    4. Do you group the children by ability or do you spread them out? I try to have a high and low performer in the same group if I group all low performers together they won't get anything accomplished. If I have mixed groups I can have my outstanding students model and help the children that are struggling.
    5. Do you use a pocket chart or other visual so the students know where to go? No I use different baskets to put their centers in and point them to the write direction.
    6. Do you time your centers or do the students switch on their own? Children are not times they now when they have to be done by and that if they finish early they can, read, write, or go on an educational game on the computer.
    7. Do you have students do "worksheets" so that they are accountable for their work?
    8. What centers do you do consistently each week? What are some that you change? I always use computer programs such as IXL math, and Starfall, I have a wide variety of games available to play to reinforce skills. I tend to switch out my laminated folder games dependent on what the theme is for the week,

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    Replies
    1. Charlie- Thank you so much for the great feedback. I have a lot to think about:)
      Jennie

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  2. Hi Jennie,
    I am so excited for you!!! I love my firsties and couldn't imagine doing anything else! I hope that some of this helps you out!
    1. How long do you do centers each day?My reading centers last at least an hour while I am in guided reading groups. My math centers are usually 30 to 45 minutes.
    2. How many centers do you do in a day? I have 5 to 6 centers out during the week, depending on the skill and what I have or have bought on TPT :)
    3. Do you let the students choose or do you require them to do certain ones? My students are required to complete each center that is new each week. If we have had a game or a center that they really enjoyed, then I put that in a "Fast Finishers" basket and they can do these, read, write or illustrate when they are done with what they "have" to do.
    4. Do you group the children by ability or do you spread them out? There are times that I assign groups, and when I do, I spread them out. I usually let my students choose where they are going to go, and try to differentiate my centers. Some, like writing naturally differentiate.
    5. Do you use a pocket chart or other visual so the students know where to go? I have everything in baskets for each center.
    6. Do you time your centers or do the students switch on their own? I let them move at their own pace. I was one of those kids who would be in the middle of something and was frustrated when I had to leave it and come back.
    7. Do you have students do "worksheets" so that they are accountable for their work? Some of my centers have a recording sheet, but not all of them.
    8. What centers do you do consistently each week? What are some that you change? I always have a spelling activity, writing activity, fluency activity and a phonics activity. I will pull in other games etc. that go with the skill as additional centers.In math, I pull a game that goes with the skill, and usually the whole class plays that in small groups.

    The Daily 5 is where I learned to hand the choice of centers over to the students. I have found, that overall, I get much better results this way. At the beginning of the year, I talk about responsibility. Good Luck!!!!

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    1. This is great help! I love the idea of the " Fast Finishers" basket also. The way you are running your centers sounds a lot like what I did in the past. Thank you so much for taking the time help me out!
      Jennie

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  3. This is a fantastic idea! I'm excited to get new ideas for my center time. Here's how it currently works in my room.
    1. How long? Math centers are about 30 minutes, literacy centers are between 1 hour and 1 hour and 15 minutes.
    2. How many centers? I have 10 math and 10 literacy centers.
    3. Choice? The students I work with need a LOT of structure, they are used to doing whatever they want at home, so they like not having to choose a center as well. Sometimes, as a reward or on special occasions, I'll let them choose.
    4. Grouping? I mix them up in groups, focusing mostly on making sure I steer clear of personality conflicts. I also make sure I get some good peer scaffolding going on. I make sure that my centers are open ended, so that my higher performing students can challenge themselves and my lower performing students are being challenged as well.
    5. Organization? I have math centers in buckets, and students take the buckets to their choice of area in the classroom to do their center. Literacy centers are positioned areas in the classroom. All materials needed for that center are in that area. Then I have magnetic labels on the whiteboard with students names next to which center they will go to that day. I rotate the center labels each day.
    6. Timing? They have the allotted amount of time, and that's all. We have a really tight schedule. They stay in the same center the whole time.
    7. Worksheets? Some centers have a worksheet/recording sheet to add accountability, some don't.
    8. Which centers? I have a computers, fluency, listening, reading, writing, poetry, theater, research, and 2 word work centers. I change the activities in each of these centers every 2 weeks (that's how long it takes for my students to rotate through all of them). My math centers are number sense centers, so each of my students can use a different number and do the same activities.

    The most important thing I've learned is that each group of kids is different, and they each need different things. I start things out pretty strict, and release control as I see my students are ready. My class last year had a lot of freedoms because they were more responsible, but this year's class needed a lot more structure. Teachers always need to be flexible to bend to the needs of their students!

    Here's a link to my Teachers pay Teachers store, I have some center ideas if you'd like to check them out!
    http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Wyckoffs-Workshop

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    1. Thanks Jodie! I love your ideas!
      Jennie

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  4. There is a lot that goes into stations. Here is a link to a blog post I did last year as I finished setting up stations for the year. It includes details and pictures.
    http://firstgradefingerprints.blogspot.com/2012/08/stations-and-room-ready-to-go.html

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Stephanie for the link! Great ideas!
      Jennie

      Delete

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