Monday, June 18, 2012

It's Center Time

I have heard a lot of different feelings about "center time" and what that means in the classroom.  Some people will argue there should not be centers, and others feel confident that it should be a part of everyday in the classroom.  I have adapted my ideas of centers and have found them to be extremely useful when done appropriately.  At the beginning of the year, each student is assigned to one of the five centers in my classroom each day of the week. 

For Example, Student A's Schedule:
Monday: Book Shopping and Word Work Center
Tuesday: Science/Social Studies Center
Wednesday: Math Center
Thursday: Writing Center
Friday: Computer Center Time

Each child has a similar schedule and 3-4 students have the same schedule in the classroom. This way, no center is too busy.  The great thing about centers in my room is that students are able to go to their center when finished with their work during designated time during the day.  This provides each of my students motivation to complete their work. They are able to go to their center when finished with morning work, math or social studies/science work.  They do not get the opportunity during reading because they are Independently Reading, which every child is responsible to do.  At each center there are activities they can complete, which are changed every few weeks throughout the year.  For example, on Monday Student A finishes his/her morning work and gets to Book Shop for five new books for the week.  He/she may choose 3 on-level books and 2 "desert" books which might be above or below level.  Once book shopping is completed, this student can choose to read quietly or go to the Word Work Center and complete an activity such as a Synonym/Antonym Find.  On Tuesday Student A can visit the table with Science and Social Studies activities, which match the units we complete in daily lessons.  They may be playing a map game or sorting rocks into different characteristics.  On Wednesday, this student would work individually or with a partner to play math games on the red rug, enhancing the math lessons we are focusing on like money, flash cards, or clock practice.  On Thursday students have several options at the Writing Center to complete different activities with language, letter writing, or choose a specialty paper and gel pen to complete a final draft of a previously written story.  On Friday this student has the opportunity to complete an activity on the computer in previously chosen programs such as Destination Reading/Math, Reading Counts Quizzes, Voki Classroom, Starfall, or type a story in Microsoft Word.  Once I ring a bell, students know they have to clean up whichever activity they are doing and go to the next activity.  It works very well, as I can modify the amount of time spent at centers.  If a child would rather read a book independently at their seat rather than go to their center, that is always an option.  I believe my students motivation to complete work has increased drastically as I implemented Center Time in my classroom.

                                      Social Studies/Science Center Table

Writing Center with Activities

Word Work Center in Reading Area


  1. Love the pics of your classroom! I just found your blog and am now a new follower! I teach 2nd grade in Georgia.

    2nd Grade Pig Pen

  2. Hi Suzie,

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