1. Create behavior expectations first.
I am a little
crazy passionate about behavior. I take a lot of time going over it at the beginning of the year. I don’t just have a list of a few rules and review it each day. Everything that we do has different rules. Centers is a big one. I encourage lots and lots of meaningful talk. I want the kiddos to know it is okay to have a ton of fun during center time. This fun does not include jumping around the classroom and throwing crayons at your friends. Have a game plan when it comes to what you want your center time to look like. Do you want controlled chaos? Focused learning? Music playing? Take a moment to sit and think about this. Flying by the seat of your pants when thinking about behavior is not a good thing to do!
2. Take a few days to do the center activities as a class.
I have seen too many teachers hold up the work, explain what needs to be done, send the kiddos off to do their thing, then get irritated because the kids don’t know what to do and must not have been listening.
Take the time to do each activity with the kiddos! Playing a game? Play it all together then at the end, explain that they will get to do this in small groups later. They will think you are a rock star letting them play a game with their friends during school. Working on a worksheet? throw that sucker up on your document projector and do it as a class! Either give each student a copy and do each part together or have students take turns coming up and doing a section (this was a big hit in our classroom). Give them a good foundation of what they will be doing and you will have less kids coming up to you asking “what do I do here?”
3. Let them know they are there to help each other.
Center time is usually the time for you to work one-on-one with your kiddos. Make sure you let the kiddos know that they should try helping each other first. Remind them to ask each other before they go to the teacher. I remember being so proud watching one of my kiddos who struggled with computer log in and going around seeing if someone could help. He always had a handful of friends that would jump up and go try to teach him how to log in. SO CUTE. The kiddos who helped are always so proud!
4. Don’t get too carried away with one-on-one work at the beginning.
Look, I know how we have to assess right away and I am not saying don’t do it. Just don’t get carried away. I would work on a couple of students then set my timer for five minutes. In those five minutes I would get up, walk around, praise students on their good work, maybe even join in on a game. The kiddos loved it! It also let me redirect some behaviors or help out strugglers.
5. Know that the process isn’t perfected the first week.
It is so frustrating at the beginning go over and over it all, I know. But it usually takes a few weeks for the kiddos to get a strong hold on it all. Hang in there. I promise it will click for all of them and it will be smooth sailing from here on out.
Well, For the most part!!!
That brings me to my last topic.
I am so excited to share one of my latest products with you. I know I have mentioned it a million times but I have never actually showed you what comes inside. I am soooooo excited!
These are my new August & September Math and Literacy centers. (If reading on Bloglovin’ please right click and open in new tab. There is some sort of glitch happening! Thanks!)
Y’all, these are so easy to implement at the beginning!
We knowwww beginning of the year is hard. This is such a great packet to get them into the swing of things. Plus it has math AND literacy bundled up into one! It has so many great activities that I know you will love. Some are fun for socializing with the other kiddos and some are there to actually see what your kiddos know. Such a good mixture. Let’s dive in!
Place cards upside down. Students take turns flipping cards over to reveal a color. Afterwards, they will color in the item that is that color! With four different worksheets and different pictures, each student can have different items to color… ORRR you have four weeks worth of material (I give a new sheet each week since I do center rotations every day).