Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Classroom Center Management

I thought I would share how I manage centers in my class. Whether you call them centers, stations or tubs, keeping track of who is where and who has done what can be daunting.
Here is my system.
I make a checklist with student names on it (I like mine in abc order by first name) and enlarge the list on the copy machine and print several copies. I then mount them on cardstock and laminate them. I also create blank header pieces which I also laminate.
I then have 4-6 lists and headers stapled to the wall.  When I make my resources for my TpT store I usually include a "header" with each game or resource (you can type up your own as well). I mount and laminate a header or title for each center. Soon my center wall (I have one for language arts and another for math) looks like this.
I add velcro to each of the heading pieces as well as the backs of the center names.
I hang a vis-a-vis marker on a string by the lists.
I choose which centers I want to make sure that my kiddos visit that week and place the title pieces on each header.
Now, as each student completes a particular center they use the vis-a-vis pen to make a check mark by their name. At the end of the week, I can quickly wipe off the check marks with a wet tissue, and change the headers for next week's centers, and am ready to go!                                                                

I have, of course, modeled how to record their progress and I normally have an accountability piece (worksheet, project, or writing) for each center. My kiddos also know that I check to make sure they they have indeed completed all that center's requirements before checking off their name. This system works well for me, whether I am teaching kinder or first grade. Perhaps you can adapt it to be helpful for managing your centers as well.