This is inside one of my closets. My literacy centers for every month are stored here. All the folders I use for each month go in the monthly folder holders (what are they really called?). Each month, I take out the folders I need and...
Place them in these folder holders (below). These are set out for the students. They are divided into four categories: reading, word work, writing, and sentence building. There are four centers for each category.
The categories match the student menu (this is an older picture so the clip art doesn't match, but in real life the clip art for the folder holder matches the clip art for the categories on the menu).
Students keep track of their centers using the menu. They color in a box on their menu to show when they finished a center. They color it halfway to show they started but didn't finish it. They keep their menus, unfinished centers, writing notebook, books for daily 5, and student word book (like a dictionary without definitions) here in their book boxes.
Each center has a folder with a cover. The cover matches the menu.
I put a sticker label on each cover to show what category it came from. That way they know which folder holder to return it to, and they can find it quickly on their menu.
In the past, I've used this poster to guide students with their centers (putting their faces below the category where I wanted them to go for that day)...
but since I started integrating daily 5 with my centers, I stopped using it. To see how I organize my reading workshop time (mixing daily 5 and literacy centers and guided reading), click here or on the cute Thistlegirldesign clipart below.
To keep track of student centers, I have a checklist. They work on their centers ALL month. Once they complete a center, they turn it in. I grade them with a plus, check or minus.
If you really want to keep track of student progress, you could do your checks in a different colors for each week. That would help you keep track of how many centers they are completing each week (which will also set you up for how to support them the next month).
After grading the centers, I file them. Each student has a hanging file and I keep the graded centers there until the end of the month.
If a center is incomplete, I pass it back to them to complete. If a center is super sloppy, I pass it back to them (in most cases). If a student gets a minus I take that a sign that I need to sit down with them and find out why (was it lack of effort or understanding). There's a mini-conference right there! It usually ends up being well worth the chat and full of teachable moments. :) As the year goes on, if you continually set those expectations and follow through, you have fewer instances of passing back assignments that were sloppy or incomplete.
At the end of the month, I put the centers, the menu and this rubric (below) together in a packet and send it home.
You can download this for free by clicking on the picture. It could be used for any literacy centers that you use.
At the end of the month I take the folders out of here:
and put them back here:
and get the next month's folders. Don't you love how I came full circle there. :)
Here are pictures of all the menus:
If you click on the label literacy centers on my sidebar, it will lead you to different posts about each menu with lots of details and pictures.
If you are interested in purchasing them, you can get them at my Teacher's Notebook Store or TPT Store. I also have 2nd grade available and I'm working on kindergarten!
It's taken me a while to find what works for me. What works for you? I'm always looking for tips and tricks for organization! :)