Friday, June 22, 2012

Center Time

As I was blog stalking (no point calling it anything else) tonight, I noticed that a lot of people are talking about center time and Daily 5. So, I thought I would add my 2 cents. I tried Daily 5 and just wasn't happy with it. I didn't feel that it was effective with my lovelies. I could not get them to increase their time reading and felt that I was spending more time arguing with them than reading time. So what works for me now is a mix. I do centers but try to incorporate Daily 5 into them. I have 6 centers every 2 days. I don't always do centers on Friday. I try to use this time to make class big books, complete writing projects or special art projects that we just don't have time to do during the week. I have 4 centers daily. The kids meet with me every day. They complete 3 centers during the rest of the time and the other 3 centers the next day. One of my centers is always some kind of reading - listening to, reading to self or reading to a buddy (usually a soft toy). Another of my centers is always word work (sometimes two of them). This varies with our skill and theme. I had computers this year as a center but next year probably won't be able to as one of my computers crashed and won't be replaced. I always start out the year with a writing center - either write the room or handwriting. As the year progresses, I start writing centers and we complete those activities then. I try to have at least 1 book tub center a week. This is when I give them a book that emphasizes our sight word. When the books are completed, we read them at the teacher's table and then put them in our reading box. I send them home every few months. I try to have a response center at least once a week which is usually some form of art activity. As the year progresses, we use these art activities as a writing project. I was very lucky this year as I have a special needs aide and also had 2 wonderful moms who came in and played games with my kids. I have many different versions of Candy land that I have made over the years (abc, cvc words, sight words, phrases, etc). This helps to differentiate this center without any extra work on my part. I usually prep all my centers on Friday and keep them in baskets and then just change them. I tried introducing all my centers on Monday but found that I was spending way too much time explaining them and having to review them. Not all my centers are differentiated (that is one of my goals for next year). I am working on new center cards both for my center chart and larger ones to display in the classroom. When I get them finished, I will post them here. Post a comment and let me know how you do your centers. Sharon

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Awesome Giveaway (Part deux)

Believe it or not, I wrote this post last night and pressed publish but it disappeared. So, second time around, I wanted to let you know about the wonderful giveaway over at Buggy in Kindergarten. I found her site last night and haven't had a chance to explore it yet but summer starts tomorrow so I will have the time. So scoot on over and good luck. I have never won a giveaway yet so fingers crossed. I will be back in the next few days to talk about memory books. I know I'm getting ahead (ya think) of myself but that seems to be when my creative juices flow. Sharon