Now that my kiddos are much more independent, I have finally started my literacy and math centers. I was inspired by Keen On Kindergarten's blog: Work Center's Board and created my own centers board for my classroom. The lady bugs cover my students pictures. I laminated my cards and put velcro behind the them. It allows me to easily move the cards at the end of each day so they are ready for the next time. You can also use the cards in a pocket chart. That would probably be easier, but I didn't have an extra pocket chart or the wall space.
Here's how I manage my centers:
Students have partners (2 per center, heterogeneous grouping).
Here's how I make my pairs: First I rank my students by their ability level (high to low).
After ranking my students, then I divide them in half. I match up my high level student to my middle student, next highest student to another middle student, etc.
Here's how they would pair up the students above:
The reason I pair students this way is to allow the proficient students to help those still developing their skills. It also prevents me from pairing a very proficient student with a student that is not yet meeting standards.
Students rotate to 2 centers (30 minutes) for literacy and 2 centers (30 minutes) for Math each day. All the students have to do is look for their picture and find their centers for the day. This allows me to meet with at least 4 small groups each day. My small groups are homogeneous and I work with no more than 6 students at a time.
My literacy centers are spread out throughout the room. My math centers are placed in baskets or folders with numbers on them. Students just grab their numbered folder or basket and work at their desks.
At the end of the first center I ring a bell. Students are required to clean up quickly and put away their centers (2 minutes). Then I ring the bell once more and students must freeze. I say "class." Students respond by saying "yes." Then I say, "march." and like soldiers they march to their next center.
click here for my Literacy Center Cards.
Click here for my Math Center Cards.