So I am always on the quest for easy ideas that take very little time, have easily accessible parts, and most importantly, are "high horsepower" in terms of student need. After all, the purpose of the centers is to give students opportunities for independent practice around skills they are learning. I want centers that are easy to make, easy to differentiate based on a wide range of needs, and easy to manage.
The center ideas featured on this post were ones I found on Pinterest. (pinterest.com/hastings1112) They fit the bill in terms of my easy to make, easy to differentiate, and easy to manage requirements. For the first one, I needed some popsicle sticks and a marker. I set this example up as a math center activity, but there are tons of other topics and subjects that could utilize the same basic format.
This activity is designed to form a kind of "chain" based upon the answer to the question on the stick. I started by figuring out what my list of questions would be.
Then I wrote the each question and the answer to the preceding problem on the sticks.
Again, in an effort to keep the center sorted and organized, I put the code ED for Earth Day on the top of each cup...by the way, the cups are recyclable! I stored them in a gift bag which could be put on a shelf or hung on hooks in the classroom.
Lots of other skills can be practiced using these cups...another center I made directed students to sort the word in the cups into parts of speech categories. Again, I found a way to mark my items...in this case calling the activity Sort #6...to keep them organized.
The answer key lets students check their work.
Centers, when well-designed, are great tools for student learning. They allow students to develop independence and accountability while giving the teacher the opportunity to work with small groups.
Teaching is the greatest profession in the world...and I look forward to sharing more ideas on my blog in The Teacher's Corner posts.
All the best,