Here’s a little post that I wrote over at Blog Hoppin’. I thought I’d share it here as well. Early finishers can be a major problem for the “flow” of your center time. You don’t want those kids to “take over” the room!!! Be prepared instead!! Need some help with organizing this??? Keep reading…..
It’s so, so important to have a good centers system for them to run smoothly. You need a good management system and ALL materials ready (or readily available in case of an emergency (lost or broken item 🙂 for your students at all times.
But, what happens when your students are all done at different times?? Oh, and it WILL happen!!! You will have little Suzy, who is done and finished with her center in PERFECT handwriting in five minutes flat. Then, you might have little Johnny who is still working on his second problem 20 minutes later 🙂 That’s just how it goes, that’s life. Everyone is different, works at their own pace and learns at their own pace. Instead of ripping your hair out….be prepared!!!
Here’s what I do for my early finishers. Some may think it’s a little much, or that I’m a little anal. But, I LOVE this system and it has worked wonders for me!!!!
This little system will help you avoid unnecessary chaos and prevent children from picking the same activity day after day, after day! It just helps keep things a little more organized AND the kids love it!! They love it because THEY get to CHOOSE the activity that they want to do, BUT, it is set up so that they have to pick a different activity every day!
I use activity cards to display the activities that the students can choose from that week. I hang the activity cards on mats that I have labeled 1-6 (or A-F if we are talking about Literacy centers). There are also a row of command hooks hanging across the bottom of the mats.
Here is what the can-do corner looks like. The orange side is Literacy and the black side is math. While we are doing Lit centers, we have the Literacy menus out. The math menus are tucked away on a shelf to avoid confusion…
Seem like a lot to handle and keep track of?? That’s why I DON’T do it!!! We have a class job for that 🙂 The “Center Patrol” Takes the tags down after every center time and switches the boxes out for us. At the end of the week, they also erase all of the X’s off of the menus too 🙂
Do I switch the can-dos out EVERY week???? Yes and No. Some I keep the same, some I totally change and some I just change the graphics on the paper to make it “new” 😉 Here are some of my favorites!!!!…..