I began thinking about doing centers in this class over Christmas break. I was feeling like the Rotation period was too long; the kiddos didn't really like getting on the computers for the whole time they were supposed to; there was work being accomplished but I felt like I still didn't have enough time for review with the kiddos; and when the student teachers needed to do their projects, it usually took up most of the rotation period and other work wasn't being touched on that I wanted to do.
I wanted to improve this time to make it have more review and include computers, but also keep the free choice play time and having them work on things during this time also. I decided that having different centers would be a great way to work on reviewing things, give them time for computers (but shorter than during rotation) and it would also cut into Rotation, which we are now calling Free Choice, making it shorter for play time and still giving us enough time to work on a paper or two during that time.
I decided on having six centers for the week. Each day, the kiddos would get to do two of the centers and by the end of the week, they would have participated in all six. On weeks that we only have two days, we would cut out two of the centers.
Our centers will focus on (1) computers, (2) name practice, (3) letters, (4) phonics, (5) numbers, and (6) a game. Here are the centers for this week with explanations so you have a better idea of what will be going on each week:
Names Center: The name center will focus on the kiddos working on writing their first or last name correctly and then a game to correspond with it. This week they are working on finding the letters of their name on clothespins and clipping it to their name card. This is really good fine motor skills practice also!
Letters Center: This is part of the letter binders for this week. Each week, new letters will be added to the letter binders. The papers are placed inside of page protectors and put in a binder. They each grab a sock with a dry erase marker in it and can work on writing the letters. They also will use bingo dabbers to stamp the lower case letter of the week in a letter search page. You can download my Lower Case Letter Search on my TPT store for FREE!
Phonics Center: Here is part of the phonics binders for this week. Each week, new letters will be added to the phonics binders. The kiddos will work on finding pictures that begin with the letters we are working on. Then they played a game where they matched upper case and lower case letters together.
Numbers Center: The numbers binders will have new numbers added to them each week where they can practice writing the numbers. They also will be doing a number search with the bingo dabbers. If they still have time remaining, they can count the objects and use clothespins to mark the number or circle it with a dry erase marker.
Games Center: This week the game will be a new game called KABOOM. The children will pull a popsicle stick out of a cup and read the letter off. If they are correct, they get to keep the popsicle stick, if they are incorrect, they put it back. A few of the sticks say KABOOM on it. If they pull this stick, they have to put all of their sticks back in the cup.
Monday the centers were a huge hit so Mrs. M and I are looking forward to this working well with the kiddos.
Next week, Ms. S and Ms. O return as our student teachers for the Spring Semester and two new field students will be joining us a couple hours each week.
Have a great week!