Saturday, January 8, 2011

Teaching Makes For...

An interesting life!

People think teaching is Monday-Friday 7:40-2:40. Nope. No sir-reeee. It is much more than that.

I have been contemplating revamping the way I do centers. I finally decided to just go for it. It's not really the "how" that I am changing because the organization of it all works fine for my kids. They really like choice and the way that we do centers gives them a great deal of choice. However, the paper organization is not so great. I simply cannot find a way to manage all of the papers and stuff. I decided that this HAD to CHANGE or I am going to lose my mind. Ideally, I would be able to leave my centers set up and all would be perfect in the world. However, due to a lack of space (and really the room is plenty big enough, but we have math centers at a time later in the day and I can't leave out things for both literacy and math at the same time) I have to use the kids desk groups as well as other areas in the room. So, I went to the dollar store today and bought some tubs. Now, my plan is to hot glue the center posters on the tubs and place all of the materials needed for that center in the tubs. Had I been a brilliant person, I would have bought twice as many tubs so that I could have more than one day's centers prepared at a time. But, the key phrase is "had I been" and I am not. lol

Anyhow, I am not all about reinventing the wheel, so I found all sorts of great ideas online for things to do in centers. I've been doing centers that way pretty much all year. I feel like I need to have less options though. However, I really need to make the way that I organize them more organized.
You see, we have "must do, next do, can do" centers. (I did NOT come up with this. I found it on another teacher's website and I LOVED it... so, I adopted it.) The kids have must do centers each day. The problem is that some of the kids finish their must do centers all in one day and then the rest of the week they are roaming around driving their classmates bonkers. I need to figure out how many they need to do a day and tell them. That way they can also have time to do next do and can do centers. They kids really like the can do centers because they are FUN (but also educational). I mean for it to be that way because it encourages them to get their work done and move on.

So, here I am with all of these things floating through my head. I need to get them typed up so I can put them in the pocket outside of my door so that when people come in to observe they are not SHOCKED at the (what appears to be) chaos.

I am finding that there are things about teaching that I LOVE and things that I could honestly care less for. However, not a day goes by when I truly think I should be anywhere else. Teaching is what I'm good at. It's where I'm meant to be. I am excited for next year because I feel like I will be more prepared, but we shall see. haha!


  1. Have you read the book "Daily Five"? It's how I do "centers" now and there is basically no paper work and very little materials to manage. I like it a lot personally.

  2. I use a rotation chart and I have kids rotate through learning centers and fun centers. I have these centers set up all the time and just change out materials in these with themes or seasons: sand and water
    Dramatic Play
    Literacy-basically word wall, easel, calendar area where students pretend they are the teacher and go over the words or write messages on the easel, practice concepts from calendar, sequence numbers, read charts and poems and book of the week.
    Then I use my tables for paperwork like you. However I have one activity for each table that lasts all week so that I can have all the kids rotate through them. This way I do not have too may activities. Sometimes I don't use the paperwork and use file folder games, printable games that work on skills we are covering. I have some examples of these things on my blog if you care to look.
    I am at school too much as it is, I do afterschool tutoring for some of my students. I am leaving as late as 6pm and getting there at 7am. That is a long day I can't add more to it with trying to come up with 8 centers a week that would wear me out :D