Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Literacy Centers Management & FREEBIE!

It sure has been a while! Going back to school full time is exciting, but very exhausting! We've also been renovating and doing lots of work around the house, so I apologize if I've been neglecting you all! I decided to share this freebie with you to make up for it! I had made something similar a while back, but I remade them with cuter clipart, PLUS Lillian Davila translated them into Spanish for us! Thanks, Lillian! These Literacy Centers "I Can" Posters now include both English and Spanish - perfect for a dual language classroom! Yay! If you like these, you might also want to check out my Literacy Centers "I Can" Cards.

With these posters, children can visually see the tasks that are available for them to work on at each center. Not only does this help them gain independence, but it also gives them ownership of their learning. They get to "choose" the activity they want to do, even though it's actually what WE want them to do (shh, don't tell). The kids love being able to choose their own activity, and I've found that using task cards helps them to remain focused on what they're supposed to be doing at centers.

I think the simplest and easiest way to manage centers is to use a pocket chart. Visuals are essential for emergent readers and ELL students, so I use big icons for each center along with photographs of the children. I also hung posters around the classroom for each center so students know exactly where to go. You can get my center management kit here: Literacy Centers Management Board. It includes 40 posters and 40 center signs, as well as some editable cards.

I usually had my kids visit three centers per day, with each rotation lasting about 15 minutes. This would give me three 15 minute sessions to meet with my guided reading groups. When my timer went off, I'd ring my chimes and students cleaned up. While they cleaned up, I would rotate the center icons. When I saw that everything was cleaned up nicely, I'd ring the chimes again and the children would make their way to their next center. This method worked pretty well for me and my kiddos. Of course, it took a lot of practice - first introducing each center, modeling it, and practicing it. Then having them practice reading the chart, finding their centers, cleaning up, and rotating. But in the end, it's all worth it! Children LOVE this time of day; they are so engaged in the activities and usually don't even realize they're learning! I think that's the best kind of learning! Plus, it frees me up to work with my small groups and meet the needs of everyone in the class!

I'll try my best not to neglect you anymore! But for now, I've got to go because I have 3 papers to write and a project to work on! See you soon :)