Whats in my centers

As promised in the post below, I will share what I use in each of my centers and a little bit of how I do my rotations. Bear with me. It’s not the easiest thing I’ve ever done. My kiddos go to 3 different centers a day for 20 minutes each. They are color coded like a stoplight….green, yellow, red. Students are paired up with different students throughout the week. Like I said….not the easiest thing to figure out. It was SERIOUSLY like a mathematical equation. First, I numbered each center:

Then I assigned each student their numbers throughout the week. (This stays the same…I don’t change week per week unless needed.) I wanted to make sure that kiddos went to some stations at least twice a week (phonics, writing, word play, computers). I switch out the pocket chart at the end of each day.
See? Crazy, right? I swear Deedee has it all figured out with moving one row up and one row down. I can’t be that simple…I’m just not made that way. I complicate everything! Smile
Now to the good stuff. Here is what my kiddos do at every centers:

Meet with Me
Well, that one is easy - Guided reading groups
Pocket Chart
I usually put something from one of my units in this. This month I have either done the sentence scramble or ABC order from my Winter Word Families unit.
Some students are still working on beginning sounds so they do this pocket chart:
<br><i>Sort 208 included cards to learn ABCs, letter sounds and more.</i>
I use a variety of things here. When I first began literacy centers, I used some of Lori’s Writing Station Activities for Young Learners.
I have also used writing stations from Deedee.
Right now, my kiddos are pretty good writers. We are working on nouns and starting to get into verbs a little. I am posting 4 pictures for the students and they are to write 1 sentence about each pictures describing it. Hence they can’t write “I like the snowman” because they are not on the picture.(Am I the only one who has kids write, "I like... I like.... I like...."? This has been really good for some of my kiddos.
Most of my games are ones I already had made up from my centers (I usually have 1-2 in all of my units) or I purchase them from who else…Deedee. These are all differentiated (usually 2-3 different games).
This center has a few copies of a book and a CD. Students listen and then respond. I may have them draw their favorite characters, write about their favorite part, draw and explain the setting, write if it is fiction or nonfiction and why. I usually do the same response sheet for a few weeks then switch it up.
This is differentiated as well. Typically, I use things from the units I have created to go in this center. This month we have been sorting short vowel word families from my Winter Word Families unit. We will be doing rhyming soon (that will be in my Valentine unit…almost finished!!!)
Time Me
Most of my students are doing our Read Words Around the Rainbow, depending on what level of the rainbow they are on. Once they master one level, they move on to the next.
reading around the rainbow preview
Some students have completed all levels and are ready for fluency passages. For that I turn to Deedee’s Time Me units!
Word Play
Now this center is a little bit of everything! This month we did a lot of Spin-A-Word and Write the Room from my Winter Word Families Unit.

Sometimes we do magnetic letters, stamping, etc. etc. etc. I have just bought a bunch of Scentos. I see a Spell and Smell coming soon!
Headsprout (required by our district), Compass (required by our district), Raz-Kids
What do I do when kiddos finish early? Well, I have been using Deedee’s overhead station unit….for Handwriting practice. When I began these centers, it left little time for handwriting and let’s be honest – these kids need some handwriting practice!!! So, when they are finished, they grab a page protector that has a handwriting practice page from Deedee’s unit, a dry erase marker, and an eraser and go to town! They enjoy it to be honest. I’ll be changing it up soon!

I hope this helps answer your questions. If you have any more, just let me know!


  1. Your stations look like tons of learning fun! Thanks so much for the shout-out!
    Ѽ Lori
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

  2. Amazing. Thank you for always sharing your ideas and for being an inspiration to your fellow teachers. I appreciate you and your blog.

  3. Thanks for sharing with such detail. I have been wondering how teachers still meet with small groups and do stations. Do your children go to 3 stations and you each day or is "Meet with Teacher" one of their 3 stations? Again, I'm wondering how this could work in my room. Although this seems to be logical for me! :)

    Shifting Teacher K-2