Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My weekly centers in pictures

This past weekend, I spent all of Sunday working in my classroom. I cleaned, made copies, and organized centers. My week has gone SO MUCH SMOOTHLY as a result! I thought I'd share some of the centers that we've been doing this week. The kids had gotten bored with centers lately, so I decided to spice it up a bit. They have loved it and have worked so much harder. :) It's been a great week. A snow day tomorrow would just be icing on the cake!!!

I don't know about y'all, but I have a hard time finding passages that are short enough for my first graders (especially my strugglers) to read quickly and comprehend enough to fill out a graphic organizer about what they just read. I wrote these passages and made sure the kids could identify the four parts of SWBS. They have done GREAT with this! It's really helping with understanding plot.

This graphic organizer is included in my comprehension pack. My boys and girls this year have understood main idea more than any other group I've ever had. Isn't it funny how some groups really "get" a skill while other groups struggle with it. 

I found these skill word cards over on Little Book Lane. I had my kids pick a word and write a story about the picture that the card had on it. This is helping with their writing and practicing our sound skills at the same time!

This has been my favorite center this week. The story is a decodable reader from last week. The kids have to highlight the compound words (which was the skill from last week), write them in the box below and then flip over to the back.

On the back are comprehension questions and a small box for illustrating the story. Not only does this reinforce phonics, but helps with comprehension!

I didn't do good taking pictures of this center, but I did want to share it with y'all. Aren't these masks adorable?? I found them in the dollar section (what?!?) at Michaels. I created monster sight word cards that the kids practice while wearing the masks. Love it!

My kids actually gave me the idea for this next center (I originally learned this center from Kacey at Doodle Bugs, but my kids helped me remember it) . Last week in our independent/buddy reading center I noticed my kids had been taking a few word cards and hiding them around the back corner. Another student would find them and if they said the word correctly, they got to keep it. They just had the best time with this, so I decided to take cards, hide them around the room, and have a student try and find them all. I LOVE that it gets them up and moving.

I also remember to snap a picture of the focus board in action. This is not my original focus board, but me being the nut I am, changed it sometime in November. It works so much better now! 

 We have been working so hard on understanding plot! SWBS is helping! I'll share some activities with this skill later on in the week.


  1. Everything looks great! Loving the center with the decodable reader and comprehension questions...fabulous idea! :)

  2. You always have such wonderful creative ideas! I love how you used the Reading Street decodable readers along with a graphic organizer! This is on my project list for this summer. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Yes! Love the way you use the decodable readers. Do you sell copies of what you've redone? I realize that I could it myself, but sometimes it's great to just print it and GO. :)

  4. Great ideas. Thanks for sharing. I really like teh focus wall!
    :o) V.
    Special Teacher for Special Kids

  5. Being prepared makes ALL the difference!
    First Grade Blue SKies

  6. I love your focus wall! Your classroom looks so bright and welcoming from what I can see in that picture!

    Ladybugs Lounge

  7. OH MY. I would have NEVER thought I typing up the decodable readers as worksheets! Genius. I also love the hide and seek idea! Will definitely be adding that one to our centers next week!!

    Mr. First Grade

  8. Good idea for the decodable readers. Your focus wall looks great! I started using the plastic sleeves on my focus wall so all I have to do is slip the new info. in each week for the new Reading Street story. Works great!
    Thanks for the great ideas!

  9. Love your ideas and have purchased many items from your store. Any chance that you would post or link the SWAB activities? Many thanks!

  10. How do you get all this done? Sometimes I feel like I'm not doing enough after reading all of these blogs. I can't go to school on weekends because it's locked. We have library on Mondays and computer lab on Wednesdays. So I get a little break then. Other than that, they're with me all.the.time. Except for 30 minutes for PE. Which gives me just enough time to get their planners ready and swap out their stories for their homework.Oh, and to run to the bathroom myself. Do you get a planning period or something? I really love your anchor charts and have been making some myself. But they take forever and with a one year old at home, I just don't have time to make all this stuff. How late do you stay after school? If I stay late, I feel guilty because my baby's at daycare, and if I leave at a reasonable time, I'm not prepared the next day. This year has been really stressful. They took away our art and music which means the kids are always in the classroom.

    Ruth Anne

  11. I LOVE that focus wall so much!!! I wish I had something like that in my room!

  12. Love all your centers! I desperately need to spend a day organizing all my stuff! You have such great ideas, thanks for sharing!

  13. Love your center ideas! I have bought and used your comprehension worksheets- they are great! As a fellow reading street teacher, I would love to have your decodable readers with comprehension questions. Any chance you'd put it on TPT? I have done that with a couple of stories myself, but they take so much time and don't look nearly as cute!

  14. Do you have a link to your files or teacherpayteachers

  15. I am trying to find links to the SWBS passages. Are they available on on TPT?

  16. Love all the ideas. I am looking to get a copy of the decodable readers with comprehension questions! TPT? Or links available?