Before I even start this post I am going to tell you that I’ve never been a huge fan of centers. I’ve just always felt that they’ve been a little chaotic and not such a great use of time. BUT, this year I have *promised* myself that I’m really going to work on this component of my classroom and I’ve vowed to making the most out of our center time.
In Dual Language, we are required to have 30 minutes of Bilingual Learning Centers. We must have at least 4 stations: Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, and Math. Other than that, we can pretty much choose which other stations we want to include in our rotation. Here’s a few other MUSTS for us:
1. Activities in both languages for each center
2. Partners have to be working together
3. There should be enough activities in each center so that students can choose which one to work on
With all that being said, I want to show you how I’m making centers work in my classroom this year.
Here is my center board. It’s actually a cookie sheet…
Underneath the center board are my bilingual partners. Each partner is assigned a number (thanks to Terri for the free numbers!). They look for their partner number (I put magnets on the back of the numbers so that I can easily move them around) on the center board to know where to go each morning. We do centers first thing after they get unpacked for the day. So, whether their partner has arrived or not, they can still get started on their activity.
If they are in Writing, Science, Social Studies, Math, or Words they pick up their bucket from my “Centers Bookshelf” and take it to a spot on the floor to work. Right now, each bucket has 2 activities, 1 in English and 1 in Spanish. If they are in Computers, Library, or Listening, they go to those designated areas around the classroom.
It’s really difficult for me to make Spanish activities because I just don’t know the language well enough. But, my teaching partner really helps me out. I make the English activities and she makes the Spanish ones, and we just share 🙂 I am using my Back to School Math and Literacy centers right now. I just changed a couple of them to Spanish so that I could fulfill my language requirements! (As of right now, I do not have these activities available in Spanish, but they are in English in my store) My camera died before I could take pictures of the other activities, darn it!
Within that 30 minutes of time, they can normally finish 1 activity and maybe get started on the other activity in their bucket. But, they are not able to finish both. If we get a chance, they finish their “unfinished” work during their free time or on Fridays. I do not grade center work, or really even keep up with it much. It’s more of an enrichment time to review concepts that we are working on in class.
We’ve been doing centers for 3 days now, and they have been very successful! I think the time that you put into preparing and organizing can really pay off!
In other news, we did the same writing assignment that my class did last year. Here’s how those turned out…
This week we will be doing a Henry and Mudge unit (that I hope to make into a pack soon!), 3 Types of Sentences during English, and Place Value for Math! I have lots of fun things ready for the week, so I’m pretty excited about it!
Not that I have much of a personal life right now (but what teacher does at the beginning of the year?!) but, the Mr. and I have really been enjoying riding in our new dune buggy. It’s lots of fun, and we get quite a few stares 🙂
And, I’ve gotten into the habit of always checking Pinterest before putting an outfit together! It’s like my go-to for Fashion advice!