Making Centers Work in Your Classroom

At the beginning of most school years I start to twitch ... just a little ... thinking about reading groups and centers.
Hi, I'm Sarah from Learning is for Superstars!  I teach a first and second grade combo in central VA.
Some of my thoughts include ...

 How much time do I have for each group and each center?
Will I have additional help in my room during this time?
Are my groups going to be huge? Or really small?

Once I finish assessing my children and start looking at the data, I calm down ... because I have a game plan and a way to make it work. And it does work - every year.

One of the stops in our classroom is an activity center. I put something in this spot where I don't have to teach them anything new. It's review of something we have already learned. We will talk about the center at the beginning of the week, along with my rules and my expectations of and from them.

Here's a couple of our centers this fall.

This center was a review of the ed inflectional ending. I found this great freebie on Teachers Pay Teachers. The students sorted and then wrote the words on a dry erase board. All I had to do was peek at their boards at the end of the center.
 This was another great freebie off of Teachers Pay Teachers. There are 24 cards to sort under the number of phonemes. Just walk over at the end of center and check out their sort. {For shorter centers, I usually add a printable for them to work on, too.}
 This center was a lot of fun last week. The children checked out the card to find the short vowel sound and match the card number to the correct spot on their recording page to shade in that vowel. I left everything they needed at that center - recording pages, task cards, pencils, and crayons. This activity is posted in my TpT store.
 This center will be in our rotation next week. We use SuperKids reading in our school. The first grade curriculum begins with digraphs .. reading and spelling them correctly. A few first graders get it right away and take off, while others can hear the sound and tell it to you, but can't use it at all. I periodically put a digraph center into the rotation to keep reviewing this skill. The cards are laminated and I put Velcro on the trick or treat bags on each digraph card. The other piece of Velcro is on the back of each of the little images. They sort the cards to the correct digraph and then stick it to the trick or treat bag. Easy peasy to check work at the end of the center. I also have a cut/sort/glue activity that goes with this to keep them busy.
I would love to hear about your reading center adventures!

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