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I have been on a mission to break the mold and think outside the box in my classroom. Over winter break I really reflected on how I wanted my centers to function. How could I make sure that my students were getting the most out of a student run activity. While they are easy to prepare, I really want to move away from worksheet based centers. Yes they totally have their purpose and place in a classroom. However, I know as they move through the grades that learning will most likely move away from hands on activities.
So time to rethink.
So, math centers. How could I make them engaging and not monotonous? One thing I did do was purchase Osmo. EK! I am so beyond excited about this bad boy. I started by using the tangram puzzles. I am excited because they were working together to solve problems. And they are not sitting on a tablet....it's hand on!
During my math centers I also added a S.T.E.M. type project. This is the first time I am doing this as well, so they are not quite where they will be. This past week they used marshmallows and toothpicks to make models of 2D and 3D shapes. Next week they are completing one to accompany out gingerbread study.
Into my reading centers I am removing my letter of the week center and replaced it with a sensory bin. This is also new for me. BUT I feel that my students do not get enough creative time. So this past week I made one to go with our Penguin study.
It was so cute! I had a lot of fun doing it as well. For the snow I used cornstarch and oil. The water is made from water beads and blue food coloring. I am so glad I did this!
I have to say, these changes are feeling good for me. I hope that it is helping my little ones as well. I aim to teach the whole student. Every day I try and be better for my kiddos. And any ideas you have - please feel free to share!