Hey friends :)
I'm not going to lie, teaching with centers is absolutely HARD Work.. I know so many teachers that do not do it because of how hard it is. It's a lot of time printing, laminating and cutting. It's an investment, an investment that will pay off year after year.I still love people's reaction the moment they realize that typically everything in a classroom is almost 75% paid for BY THE TEACHER! They think all of this stuff just appears and is paid for by schools...not likely. I understand that teachers earn a small amount of money in comparison to the cost of teaching, and the amount of hours we work. I get it..but teaching is a CALLING. I know that God put me here on this earth for three things: To be a MOTHER, A WIFE and A T EACHER. That's my calling, those three things. I know so many of you feel the same way. And I know it's frustrating to spend our "own" money on our classrooms and feel as if we have no support from admin..I get it. But I also know what it's like to go without a teaching position (due to our family moving states). This is an emptiness like no other. I promise you. Even with ALL of the aggravation, hard work, and money spent, I wouldn't trade it a single day, to have my own classroom. Again, this is why I'm here, this is my calling. That's it. Bottom Line. Seriously, so many times I get asked "Why don't you just go work at a bank"..I always reply "Everyone who works a bank can READ"... The crazy thing is this has been on my heart all week....this little message. Then, today at church, we had a speak from Big Oak Ranch..oh my word..if you have a second take a look at this video..it will remind you why we are doing what we are..and God Bless the Croyle family :) John Croyle talks a lot about how we were all put here on this earth for something...what is God using you for? Take a look at this little Video Clip
okay.. back to literacy centers ;) I'm a little scatterbrained tonight :)
Build yourself a "center library"..and just think of how many students will benefit from it! Hands on instruction is the way to go these days...students NEED an approach to their education that fits in with things they do on a daily basis...children aren't going home and playing with sticks anymore people...they are playing with iPhones, tablets, e-readers, video games..etc...... So why not use fun, colorful and engaging literacy (& math) centers? Paper and pencil has it's place in the classroom, and ALWAYS will, but adding some variety to your instruction will pay off! I promise! Someone asked me the other day "Why do you use all of these materials"..and my answer is ALWAYS this "My kiddos love coming to school because of the fun and engaging activities we do". So yeah, it might require a little work on your end..but as my daddy always told me
"A little hard work never killed nobody.."
Remember going into a teacher store? Spending $29.99 on a "Literacy Center Book"...??? Getting it home, flipping through, and only being able to use one or two things from it? This is when I started creating my own materials..materials that MY students needed. Materials that were created with students first. So yeah, it's a lot of work...but the good news is, since the launch of TpT, you can now go and find centers already created for the exact skill that you need. Then, you have a digital copy FOREVER. So what if your computer crashes and you lose all of your files...guess what? TpT SAVES it ALL For you! What if students tear up your centers that you purchased with your (own) money?? Once again, just visit "My Purchases" and print the file that you need AGAIN. I am such a fan of TpT because of this, I can find exactly what I need and most of the time it is a huge hit with my classroom!
Even once an item is purchased, I realize, it is work for teachers...I get that...and I applaud you! For going above and beyond and making your students successful...isn't that the real reason we all sought out this path we call education? That might mean cutting things out while sitting in front of the tube with your spouse..or you could be like me and get your spouse to cut for you :) He's such a sport! Haha!
Okay..that's my rant and soapbox...
I wanted to share with you my center calendar that I have used for the last few years in First Grade!! Now that I'm in 4th grade, I am developing a calendar to keep up with what products I use and when :) But here is what I have used for the last few years in First Grade :)
For September through November, I relay heavily on these four packets:
Here are a few FREE Centers that I like to use as well!!
Till Next Time