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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Managing Center Material

Hiya Peepers

Shuna here

Yesterday I got off work early and bought a cute new dress. 

Not like I need another.

I originally left work early because I needed to pick up a few things from the store for our math lesson but 3 hours later I didn't have a thing for math.

What I did have was a new dress, a new pair of shoes and 1 Kit Kat Dark Chocolate bar!

Well I got in the car and started to drive away from the mall and started to open my newly acquired kit-kat bar.

I was expecting to find a crisp chocolate covered wafer bar but instead 

I got some nasty white cover mushy crap

Dang it!

I was already too far gone from the mall to turn around


I was really craving a chocolate fix.

So since I still hadn't found what I was looking for math I decided that I was going to stop at CVS on my way home to get my kit-kat

Man, I was craving that little bar like a pregnant lady

CVS was a no go

So off I went to go there

Off to Dollar have got to be kidding me

Dollar Store....??????


Are you serious??????

I should have just taken my butt to Wally World 

but I detest going in there

I finally found my coveted treasure after visiting my 10th store


Wanna know what I learned:
 A crazy person will spend an hour driving around looking for 1 little candy bar 


I do believe the title of this post said something about centers

So I guess I better get to it huh?!

I have done a couple of post about how I set up my centers here and here

I wanted to share what I do this year to manage my center material

This is a look at my reading center buckets

Each bucket has everything the kiddos need for their center

If they are at a center that needs markers then they have markers in their bucket

If they are in a center that needs pencils, letter tiles or anything else their material is right in their center bucket

Have you ever been in your Guided Reading group and suddenly hear your name being screamed across the room?  Has the scream been so loud that you thought someone had literally killed over?
Where you shocked that the scream was actually coming from one of your littles

Who, ack,  has just discovered the lead in their precious pencil broke?

I mean oh my word

their world has seriously come to an end!


I was tired of my kiddos interrupting my GR time to ask me questions or generally try to get my attention

So I assigned my center captains a new job

I have a shelf of the most common things that we use in centers

Here is a closer look at some of the things that we use the most during centers

My students tend to have selective memory loss or sticky fingers

So when they need something for a center that is either too big or to replace a lost/broken piece the center captain can go here to check out the material.

This is the center supply bucket that sits next to the center material shelf

It includes glue, glue sticks, crayons, markers, pointers, scissors and pencils

When we get ready to go to centers the center captain goes and gets their center rotation card

Next to each animal ( my center groups) is a clothes pin that has a number on it

The clothespin represents who is the center captain for that group

Here is a closer look at the center card

On the back of the card are the group members numbers

The center captains each get a clothespin that they clip to their center card

When students need to check out material from the center station they come clip their clothespin in the spot that they borrow the material from.

That way I know who has what and the students remember where to put the material back 

Right under the center material bucket is the students' center folder

The students place all of their recording sheets from centers here

Here is a quick look at how I organize math stations

I have a rolling cart thingy that I got from DC last year that I use for my math trays.

When we go to math stations the center captain gets their tray and takes it back to their center

Each tray contains everything that is needed for that station

In this station a pencil pouch holds the base ten blocks and the pencil tray holds that cards needed for this station. This helps keeps the kiddos and me organized.
If I didn't have these things in the bucket the tray would look like a mess

Okie dokie

Peace Out Peepers


  1. Some great ideas! I have the same plastic totes and have similar organizing ideas!

    Learning is for Superstars
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  2. Great center organization! I love to have everything organized and running smoothly. :)
    Conversations in Literacy

  3. I always love seeing how others keep their stations organized and keep their kids focused. I have a file crate under each table. Each child has 2 hanging files. One (green)is for finished station work, another (red) is for unfinished center work. I teach 1/2 day kdg, so it takes my kinders 3 weeks to rotate through all 9 stations. Each week I try to have some "ketchup" time when they can work on the work in their red folder (red, ketchup = catch up). :) At the end of the 3 weeks, I collect collect all their finished station work, staple it together, and send it home with a brief cover sheet explaining the learning goal of each station.

    Happy Teacher Heaven


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