Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Center Storage

Do you get motivated to clean and organize in the spring? Well it's time to get your centers organized! Today I am sharing how I organize my seasonal and skill center materials.

Each day my students rotate during our Fairview rotation time. If the students are not working one to one with an adult, they are doing centers. I need to have a wide range of language arts centers from kindergarten to about the third grade level.  Each week I am putting out six centers for four different levels. Here's how I keep them all organized.

Seasonal Centers
Over the years I have accumulated a variety of seasonal centers. They range in skills from sight word write the room activities, ABC order to sentence building. Quite a few of them I have purchased from Amy Lemons. I just love her materials! I have these sorted by months in large Ikea tubs. I simply printed each month on a piece of cardstock to use as a divider. I also store the seasonal center materials at the front of the tub.

At the end of the month I pull down the tub, put away last month's centers and pull out what I can use for this month. I pull out the centers I will use and put them in the cabinet for easy access throughout the month.

These big tubs are stored on top of my storage cabinet.  I have a tub for August-December and then January-June. I organize my seasonal books the same way in these tubs. 


Skill Centers
Besides my seasonal centers, I have various language arts skill centers that are sorted in baskets. Years ago I made labels on little dividers to keep them organized. They sit on storage drawers right behind my Guided Reading table.

Due to the fact that I have my students for sometimes six years, I really have to keep adding to these centers all the time. I have started to keep track of when I use the center and with who simply by putting a post-it note on the front of the center envelope or folder with their name and date used.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Non-Fiction Text

Before Spring Break we finished up our Non-Fiction text unit. We had quite a bit of fun with this unit of learning and I think the kids really enjoyed learning about non-fiction books and text features. I used a variety of resources during the unit.

We started off comparing a fiction and non-fiction book on our anchor chart. We picked the Rainbow Fish and a Non-Fiction Fish book.

Then we started our Non-Fiction Text Notebooks. The unit I found on TpT came with definition posters to go along with the learning notebook. We explored all of the non-fiction books in my classroom library. Most of the features the students found I would scan for them to add to their notebooks. Some of them they drew and colored.

We used our Scholastic book order to sort fiction and non-fiction books.

After going through all of the notebook, I gave each of the students a non-fiction book and they did a Scavenger Hunt looking for all of the non-fiction text features they had learned about.

As a wrap up and assessment, they each made their non-fiction text posters. It was a a good way for me to see which students understood the features and which did not.

During our minimum days (for parent teacher conferences) the students did research for an animal report and completed their animal reports and clay models. I am really pleased with the way they turned out. This is a simple animal report template from Amy Lemons. The students selected a non-fiction animal book at the library and then wrote about those animals.

I am always amazed at how difficult it is for some of my kiddos to visualize and create a clay model. It's really tough for some of them. We need to practice this skill more often!

But this is one of my favorites. This little guy is an artist and loves to draw.