Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tricks of the Trade Thursdays- Center Organization

Okay, first let me say, sometimes blogging makes me feel so dumb. Tuesday I made a signature picture. It took several hours. Yesterday, I created my first giveaway with Rafflecopter. I am still hoping it worked. I know I need to tweek a few things, but it took so many tries. It took about 45 minutes. I was so tense afterward. 

But, as hard as they seemed, I am so glad I did them. I kind of like my little "Herald" guy. And because I am close to my "blogiversary" I needed to learn how to do the rafflecopter. 

Oh, and plus I was adding the link for everyone to see the great bloggers doing a giveaway. HTML is a little scary. 

Be sure to enter my giveaway here

Finally,  today's post. This I know how to do. LINK up for a PARTY!!!

Time for Tricks of the Trade Thursday with Joy in the Journey
Today's topic: Center Organization/Stations Set up 

For me, in middle school, I haven't quite perfected centers. 

First of all, I have called them centers, stations and rotations. I think I need to choose one and stick with it. 

I have used a pocket chart to let kids know where they go. This was for one group of kids though. It worked well. They did one center a day, I moved their names each day. There were only 13 of them. It was a math lab class. 

But for the other 100 kids I have this didn't work. 
Plus, with larger classes, having them move around is hard. 

One way I did center activities was give the group of 4-5 kids their six activities and they work together on the six things. 
Each group had "packet". They labeled fractions on a number line. They had recording sheets and stayed at their seats. 

The other way that I want to work on is to have 5-6 stations and make me (teacher table) one of them. 
Either kids will move rotations or baskets with the items needed will move. I would also like to have computers has one of the stations. For me, I need six rotations to make small groups. I also need the independent work to be something they can actually do independently. If they need my help, then I can't work with kids at my table. By doing this, I can incorporate more practice time of skills though, and they really need extra practice. 

When doing stations though, I keep all materials in baskets. I include instructions in the basket and on a wall that has the rotations posted. This way there is no excuse for not working.

Before I even begin stations, we go through what they look and sound like. This is the poster I started the year with. Because I am middle school, I may just stick with "rotations" and change it for August. 

Click the picture for a FREE copy. There is one for centers, stations and rotations. 

As I try and figure out how to make this work in my classroom, I can't wait to see what others link up! 


  1. I love your little Herald guy...Too cute!! :)

    I really like that you still try to use centers - or rotations or stations :) - with your middle schoolers.

    I love the file folder idea - it's clear and easy to follow.

    Next year I'm going to have 27(!) fifth graders in my room, so rotating around for centers is going to be quite the challenge. I'm going to be brainstorming ideas this summer - and I am pinning the packet idea to use!

    Thanks for linking up! and for the Freebie!!!

    Joy in the Journey

  2. Hey! I am lost in bloggy world as well. I attempted a link-up this week and a giveaway. #epicfail. I love your math centers. I am not at school or I would link up with you today! :(

  3. Rafflecopter - boo, hiss! My kids don't like "centers," but they love their "rotations." It is all in the wording for the middle school kids:)