Seriously readers- you should thank Tara for my consistant blogging. At least for now. Her calendar is all I needed to get it together! It could have something to do with my self-diagnosed OCD where I have this inner need to cross things off a to do list. But hey...whatever works right?!
A while back I decided to give it a go at creating my own literacy centers. I don't do centers in my classroom as I have never really figured out what worked for me. But I figured I was never going to figure it out until I had something I liked to try it with. And so I went for it. And posted about them here. In the past I have used some folder games and center games so I had an idea of what I wanted to do but no clue how I wanted to run it. Well one thing led to another and next thing I knew, November was practically over and we hadn't touched them! I decided to use them the Friday after Thanksgiving break (which I believe was actually December...) as a Fun Friday type activity. Each student had a partner and was given a game to play. When they finished their game, they kept the recording sheet and found someone else to swap with. At the end of the day, I collected and stapled their papers together into a packet for me to grade. (YUCK for this time but in most months I will only have 2 a week to grade per student so it won't be as bad!) Students had a blast doing it this way. We ended up completing all 10 activities that day but in a typical month, I would do maybe 2 rotations a week on Fridays and then finish them all by the end of the month. Of course, December wasn't a typical month because we are only there for 2 weeks and the ONE person who can laminate has been out so my December Centers aren't ready :( and I am terribly sad about this because I have some AMAZING games from some other teachers as well. On top of using my own center games, I also use math games from Stephanie at Sparkling in Third Grade and literacy centers from Amanda at One Extra Degree.
But since I have two weeks off coming up, surely I will have time to get everything ready to really do this right in January. Anyways... here are a few pics of my kids working on their November-but done in December- center activities.
I know I don't do centers like most teachers, but I found that this Fun Friday method is what works for me. We have a ton of testing that has to be done on Fridays so this is a nice end to all that. And I am in the process of figuring out how to do a reading workshop, compliments of Laura Candler's Power Reading Workshop, and I hope to have that up and running in January. We shall see...and I will post as I learn as I go.
On a completely unrelated note, we had the cops come visit our school recently to teach the kids how to stay away from trouble (gangs, drugs, etc). Our program was at the end of the day so my class brought all their stuff for dismissal with them so we didn't have to trek all the way back to the trailer and then all the way back in. Since we had extra time, my class got to have some personal time with the cops and they were just so fascinated. It was so cute that I had to snap a couple cell phone pics!
Seriously the one in the boots there...she would have stayed there all day talking to him if she could. They also got to spend some quality time with the Officer Visa... the drug dog. I know that some of these kids may not end up on the right path, but at least for that day, I had hope that these cops got to them.
And not to be a pain- but if you haven't entered my giveaway- hurry and do it! The sharpener is amazing. And my kids even told me yesterday after I got to work in the afternoon (half day due to sick baby) "The substitute almost broke your new sharpener...we told her not to use it."... they know I would have been crushed if it got broken. And luckily for that sub it wasn't broken because she would have been ordering me a new one!