Sunday, February 23, 2014
I still call them Centers. I guess it is just stuck in my head. I know a lot of teachers call them rotations or stations. Some like them, some don't. I love centers! Centers keep my students moving and they are practicing what they have been taught. Centers free me up to work one on one or with small groups.
Centers also let students choose how they are going to complete their work. This is from a Daily Five, read to self rotation. I like the way he found a spot that he felt comfortable in.
Sometimes an entire table is working on one center. This may not be their table, but I put the graphing on the RED table. I like the pencil boxes because all the tools students need for each center is in that box. (Please just overlook my messy room!)
|This is from my American Symbols Unit on TPT.|
This is one of my Black History centers. We call Black History, Shades of Color in my K room because when students color a picture of themselves they were coloring their faces black. I told them to really look at each other's skin color. We are all shades of some color. I am not white, but actually pinkish. Someone else is a little tan mixed in with a brownish color. It helps them realize that we are all different colors as well as shapes and sizes. We are so fortunate to be living in the USA where a man of color, a black man, an African American man was elected President! I guess when Obama is replaced in 2016, I'll add the new president, but I will leave him in my packet. Now when a woman of any color is elected, that is when I will jump up and down and Woo Hoo for the USA!
Finally my Freebie! This is the 'at' family part of my CVC Word Work Collection. This freebie contains all the pages that have to do with the 'at' family. In the complete unit I have 27 Word Families represented and a little over 105 picture cards (I put some new ones up.)
There are several reasons I like to make units like this... one is that they keep my students engaged and learning what I want them to learn. They are not boring. The main reason is selfish, I will not have to keep on telling my students what to do. I take the time with the first family to explain everything, and I help them fold and go over and over what to do. The next family I might have to go over a tad, but it is familiar to them. After that they are good to go and can do this all by themselves. What teacher doesn't like that!
Here are some videos that explain how to make the products included in this Unit.
This video shows how to assemble the little 'hotdog' book.
This video shows how to make the Scrambled Letters book.
This video shows how students use the four square activity. My dear co-worker explains things so nicely! Her blog is Sugar~Spice & Everything Nice! Jodie's research projects are great. I use them all the time and I feel my students are learning more than just information about bears and all. They are using their brains to think! Try some of her freebies (you will be glad you did!)
I think this is all I needed to add. If you read down to here, THANKS! Hope these videos help! Pam
This is just a short post about over doing things. I know some teachers are getting very stressed out lately about what looks good, what sounds good, and how they are comparing to other teachers. I think sometimes we get carried away. There is nothing wrong with getting carried away once in a while, but if it becomes burdensome.... stop it! You are still going to be a wonderful teacher and your students are still going to love you.
This is one of my sweeties on her birthday. She colored her birthday headband and chose a stuffed animal to carry around with her all day. She was thrilled, all of my students love this. It isn't fancy or hard to set up, easy peazy, and I have a happy student. I know I won't get accolades for this, but my students will always remember their special day.
The headbands are for sale in my TPT store, but you can make your own. I printed out 20 (number of students I have) and when it is their birthday, I just take an already stapled together headband out. It is easy to take out, make them feel special, take a picture, give a hug, and then I go on with my Common Core teaching day.
Monday, February 17, 2014
I've read quite a few blog posts about centers and how a few teachers dislike them intensely. I can understand what they are saying because I would really dislike working with a small group of children and my other students were playing and making all kinds of noise in another area of my room. I wouldn't like that either. In fact, I couldn't teach with that going on.
I can teach with noise, the kind of noise where you can walk around and hear students talking about their work and what they are learning. I can't teaching with what I call "Noise Pollution." Nope. I will stop my class in a second if I hear talk that isn't related to learning.
There are times when talk is fun and students are just happy murmuring away about whatever strikes their fancy. Those times are usually at recess, the cafeteria or free time during the day. I hear this sometimes when students are reading to a stuffed animal in the room. They are retelling a story and getting sidetracked about their experiences. I usually let this just happily end with the story. I expect centers and carpet time to be learning time. They can talk, but I tell them it has to be "Academic Talk." Yes, Kinders know what that means if you explain it.
I enjoy centers. I like the whole process. Finding center work that is engaging and meaningful, which means my students are having fun learning, is not easy. Once you have your centers in place, and the students know what to do, it is really not work at all. I don't add everything at once. Especially since I started the Daily 5. Word Work is next for my class and I am looking forward to this.
One of my centers for Word Work is my Sight Word Cut And Paste. I have this for Pre-Primer, Primer, and First Grade Words. I also have the 100 Fry Sight Word Word Work product that was requested by a teacher. This does not have as many graphics and the students can focus more on the academics. Either way, all the work is done for you. It is easy for students to understand after the first few days of instruction.
As usual, thanks for visiting my blog! Leave a comment and the link to your blog so I can pay you a visit!