I love center time. Wait, let me make that clear. I love center time after the first two months of school. When you teach the youngest students in the school you literally need to hold their hands for the first several weeks/months. This is why routines are so important at the beginning of the year. Because once they get those routines down, it’s amazing what a five-year-old can do.
Our kindergarten program has center time in the morning where they are rotated through the seven centers we have set up (three centers per day for about ten minutes) and then in the afternoons at the end of the day they have 15-20 minutes to choose their own center for “free-play”.
I love hearing about the different centers other teachers have in their rotation and gleaning ideas from them. In my classroom the seven centers are:
Construction Zone: Outfitted with a Lego table and a ton of foam blocks for students to build with!
Imagination Station: Where there is an actual wooden treehouse/fort (we never know what to call it as it’s not actually in a tree), tool bench, kitchen, puppet stand, and dress-up clothes galore.
Reading Center: Books, books, books! (This is obviously our classroom library corner as well)
Technology Center: We are blessed to be able to have three iPads and two Mac computers to deck out our tech corner. This took time to integrate into center time as the other Kindergarten teacher and I had to work one on one with each student to teach them how to properly handle an iPad and how to log into their raz-kids account.
Writing Center: The students use what they learn during writing workshop and write stories, we usually give them a prompt or ask them to finish a story they started the day before. Our most recent guest blogger, Mark, gave some great ideas to add sight words and such into this center. I am going to add Jewel King!
Math and Science Center: At the beginning of the year it was lame, but after a couple of months we were able to get some great pattern block pages and other math games, as well as magnets for science (though, admittedly it’s more of a math center) . Later, I will do a separate post on some of the great activities we have been able to put into this center.
Art Center: Depending on the season, I will assign different activities for the students to complete during the week in art center. This includes creating fall pictures, making snowman to decorate the classroom with, cutting and coloring hearts for Valentine’s Day, etc. A friend told me that she has a cutting center (which I love) and since then I try to incorporate scissors into the art center regularly.
What are your favorite centers to do?