Saturday, December 10, 2011

Back to school and December centers and a Freebie!

Last week was my first back to school after being on maternity leave. I had a fabulous week! The kids were so excited and we did so many great activities. They LOVED the December centers. They take it so seriously and feel so proud of their "menus".  

First, I'll start with a freebie from the menu because tis the season to share! :)
Click here for a sentence scrambler from the December menu (four are included in the actual pack)

While I meet with reading groups, students work on these literacy centers. They use their menu to guide them and help keep track of what they've done and what they haven't done. When they complete a center, they color it in on their menus. 

I combine this with Daily 5. They get to do one or two centers a day (depending on time, how they are pacing themselves, and on the student), and then they get to do Daily 5. I love Daily 5, but I also love these centers because the kids absolutely love them, and they get to practice so many skills. I feel like I get the best of both worlds.

During my reading workshop, I have 3 rotations usually, so they get to do centers for one rotation, daily 5 for another rotation and then meet with me for a rotation. Because of the size of the class, one group does not get to meet with me each day (but will meet with me the next day). They get to do two centers the day they do not meet with me. My kids literally picked up on this by early October. I have maybe one or two kiddos who need redirecting, but that is usually to be expected. I use a chart to show them what they are doing for each rotation (centers, daily 5 or guided reading).  I train them on Daily 5 first, then add in the centers. Since Daily 5 teaches so many good behaviors, centers go right along with it. They know the expected behavior. They also pick up on centers really fast because they want to do them. Parents enjoy having the papers come home too, because then they can see what we are working on and how to reinforce at home. when I post my January menu next week, I'll be adding some more management tips with pictures. 

Here are a few pictures of my kiddos working on their centers. If you are visual like me, then you probably want to see them in action! :) You can click here to see all of my literacy centers.

Sorting gingerbread men in Sounds of Y (long e sound or long i sound)

Sorting pictures by short vowels sounds, then recording on recording sheet

Santa Sentence wheel (huge hit because of Santa)

Rebuilding a poem (I leave the first word of each line in the pocket chart. Since it is color coded, this helps the kids to rebuild the rest)
Matching contractions to the word pair

Sorting ending blends

Sentence scrambler

Sentence endings: ed vs. ing 

Adorable sticker story!


  1. I wish I had seen your December centers pack sooner! I can't wait to see the January one. Do you think it will be ready soon? Love to have it ready to go when we head back after the Holidays!

  2. Okay, I just purchased the December set (even though I probably won't get to use it this year!) I have a question for do you store all of these stations? Where do the kids go to get the station and the materials needed?

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