Monday, July 15, 2013

Back to School Organization #1 - Centers

Classroom centers are an important part of self directed learning and exploring new ideas. Centers range from classroom areas to various curriculum activities to a multitude of rotations where everyone gets a turn to learn. And, as you continue to teach throughout the many years, you’ll collect lots of center “stuff.” With so many variables, it’s sometimes hard to remember what centers you’ve even set up throughout the year!

Therefore, it’s important to establish a way to organize your centers. Following are some ideas I use in my classroom.


First, I organize my closet space by curricular areas. These pictures are just samples to help you get started. I also organize science and social studies this way.

Closet Organization LA     Closet Organization Math

Next, I organize all the activities and games I have for each of these areas. For example, the pictures below (sight word activity centers) are activities I have lined up on the shelf labeled Word Work & Phonics.


The next set of pictures are activities I have organized in my math cabinet shelves. These resources are placed on the shelf labeled Geometry Activities. (Tip: I organize my math shelves by the Common Core Standards)


Finally, I took pictures of EVERYTHING I use in my centers and placed the pictures in a 4X6 filing box with the same labels as my cabinets.

4by6 center box

Now I can easily reference all of my center activities and games in one handy 4 by 6 filing box by the 4 main areas in Language Arts and the Math Common Core Standards right from my teacher’s table. And, it’s portable for those times when I need to take it with me and plan my lessons at home or elsewhere.
In addition, I never use the same center game over and over again when I have so many to choose from. And, when I need to rotate the same activity back in the mix, it’s easier to make it more challenging the second time around. The kids never get bored and learning continues to spiral in new ways.

How do you organize your centers and stations?


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