Literacy and Math Closet
As a looping teacher, keeping materials organized is a challenge. When not being used by students, centers (math and language arts) are stored in a closet. In kindergarten, I tend to change the centers more frequently; about once a month. In first grade, I change the centers every trimester. When selecting materials, I think about what we are learning and what are the needs of the students. Since many are games, I teach them to a few students. They teach them to others.
Daily 5 Center Rotation Pocket Chart
This is the chart that I use to manage students while centers. It is an old weather pocket chart that I cut in half. Depending on the class, I either choose for them or they pick their center themselves. Center time is at least one hour to one and half hours. During that time, I meet with literacy groups. In the beginning of the year, we get to 2 rotations. Now, we are up to three. Each center lasts 20-25 minutes.
Word Work Centers
This shelf is dedicated to Word Work centers. I like to keep it in one central location so that everyone knows where to go find materials when we get started each day. Students are responsible for keeping it neat. There are a few rules as well; two people per game and no changing center activities unless you have finished the game. This limits the talking and wandering around. I also have a few independent centers for those who prefer to work by themselves.
The library takes up a good portion of our classroom. I traded all my uneven shelves and bought these a few shelves instead from Walmart a few summers ago. It is much neater and easier to use. I labeled all the baskets and books using stickers from the teacher supply store.
During Buddy Reading, students read with a friend from the library or read Big Books. They love to get the pointers and read together. I tend to have easier Big Books so that my struggling and approaching readers will have more options. Many of the Big Books were part of our shared reading during kindergarten or early in first grade.
My other centers are listening and writing. Read here to see how I use iTunes and two computers as our listening center. For writing, I keep a tray of paper available to students. They can write about any topic. Their writing is stored in their writing folder. I go through them with the students every few weeks.
Well, that's how I keep my literacy centers organized. It's a system that works for me.
Happy Teaching and Learning!