I too have a love hate relationship with centers. I love them in theory and adore making them for my class to use. I was wondering if you have a set math program that you have to use or if you have the freedom to just simply teach the common core standards in whatever fashion you see fit? In my school we are tied to a specific math program (Everyday Math) and we don't have enough time to squeeze in all that we have to fit in. I think that guided math and the use of math centers would work so much better if teachers were not tied to a specific program where they had to be completing specific math journal pages and math boxes for each skill. Teachers know best how to teach their kids and I really wish we were allowed to do what we know is right for our students.
I agree Natalie. I am in the same boat.
I've always wondered how to manage the noise. I realize that talking will go on when kids are in groups, but how to keep them talking quietly so others can work has always been a dilemma for me.
I've been using "Center Cups"....each group has a set of cups (one red, one yellow, and one green). Each group starts on the green cup and if they get too loud they are told to go to the yellow cup as a reminder to quiet down. If their cup gets moved to red they have to return to their seat for a time out. My kids rotate centers so I pick a "Cup Keeper" who gets to carry the cups from center to center with them. I try to reward the groups who keep their cup on green the entire time by moving them up the clip chart or giving them a ticket for our reward system.
I love this idea!!
Ya got me on the 'consistency'! :/ I struggle in that area with regard to math centers because I teach with a basal. :( I would love to know more about how you manage getting the elements from the basal taught and balancing the center rotation time. I'm thinking it might have something to do with preparation beforehand...but...I'm going to wait to see what you write about! ;) Thanks for a great series of posts! :)XOXO,Tamara
I love having stations. It is the perfect way to spiral in concepts previously taught. But how do you keep the kids accountable? How do you keep it organized? AND how do you keep them intersted? Because it seems to me that after a week or 2 they are bored! I will surely be following along your journey.