Hi everyone! I am Pam from Mrs. P's Specialties here to talk to you about creating a re-usable centers system that allows your kiddos to become more independent when using it. The first thing I did was make a board by laminating a long piece of tag board. To be able to fit all of my students, I had to attach two pieces of tag board together before laminating. Next attach Velcro (I use the hard portion on this part) in two rows. Here is a picture of what it is going to look like...
Next, I make up a name card for each of my students, mount it on tag board and laminate them. Attach velcro (I use soft here) to the back side of each. I have 3 main centers, so I use three basic shapes to indicate which center the student should go to. Follow the same basic rules for making the shapes as the name cards. Next, I them make large cards to go at each of the centers with one shape on it. Here is an example of a centers card that a student has already matched:
The student simply has to find his/her name, take the shape next to his/her name and find the matching center. Once at the center, the student velcros his/her shape onto the large center card and completes the activity that is at that area.
The benefits of creating a system like this are:
- Gives more opportunities for students to practice reading and discriminating their name.
- Incorporates shape identification and matching skills.
- Is reusable and expandable. I always have an extra row on the main board in case I get a new student mid-year. I can quickly add them to the centers system. There is limited need to remake anything year to year, so it saves you time and materials!
- Students are able to become independent in finding their center.
- You are able to mix things up and change where centers are located. Many of my students have a hard time dealing with change. This is a great way to teach flexibility....by not always having the listening center in the back of the room, the big book at the carpet, etc.