I’ve changed up my small group and centers rotation display several times over the years. My first year, my partner teacher and I grouped between classes so we had several groups to manage. Our set up looked something like this (but with quite a few more places the students actually went to) and with three rotations each day. Every morning I’d move the rotation cards so the students knew where they’d go when since we didn’t do the same schedule each day. It was taking me 5 minutes each morning to look at my chart I had hanging with my small group display and rearrange everything. While 5 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot, it adds up, and it’s just one more thing I was having to do each morning before the day started. And, let’s face it, it didn’t happen many days. I’d come in late from a meeting, or I’d just forget, or I’d spend my morning prepping for the day and just didn’t get to it in time. So then, I spent valuable instructional time doing it or explaining what the students’ centers rotations should be, and my small group and centers rotation display just wasn’t working.
I realized that if I just made one Powerpoint with each day of the week as a new slide, it’d be done and my centers rotation would be much simpler. It has been a HUGE positive change for my mornings. It’s done. It’s ready. I open the file, go to the slide, and then when we’re ready, I just change it into slideshow mode. When we’re done, I escape out (of the file- not the room). 😉 I posted a picture of it on Instagram and Facebook last weekend.
I got a ton of responses from people who create the same thing. I also got a ton of responses from people asking me to create one for them that they could buy. I spent some time brainstorming all the different names for reading centers and math centers that people go to and asked for feedback from others. But, finally, my Editable Centers Management Powerpoint was born! I’ve provided a few blank templates that people can use to customize it to their needs. I’ve included most center options I think people need. It’s quick and easy to customize and saves you valuable personal or planning time throughout the year. Once you have everything laid out the first time, it takes just a couple minutes to swap things out to update it as your groups change. And, the next year, it only takes a few extra minutes to set it up for the first time since you’ll likely follow many of the same systems.
78 different images are included for the background. Some are printed in designs like quatrefoil and chevron. Others are simple and with bright colors. There are 58 different options for your literacy centers and math centers. If the center names I’ve given don’t match your classroom terms, there are templates included to add your text on top to truly customize the Powerpoint for your needs! This image above shows the options with an editable teacher rotation name and using the template to edit the group names. There are 4 different types of group names included (shapes, colors, numbers, letters) but most people customize it with their specific group names. This rotation display also includes iPads, Independent Reading, and Listening as center options (among others). It shows that the template fits 6 groups and 5 rotations.
This arrangement shows the setup with the included group numbers, Group as the with teacher title, Computers, and Partner Reading (amongst others).
I created a video to show you what’s included with my Editable Centers Rotation Powerpoint and how you can set it up and use it in your room. Once you get a handle on what’s included with the file, it’s super easy to use! I’ve also recently added timers that you can add into your Powerpoint to help signal that it’s time to clean up and switch. They are not featured in the video as they were added after it was made.
If you’re looking for help in how to schedule your reading groups, or how often to see each group, I created these charts a long time ago when I was an instructional coach. One of the teachers I was working with struggled to quickly decide how to meet with each group when the group numbers didn’t match the rotation numbers. I created these to help her figure out how often she could meet with each group, and which groups she should meet with each day. The charts help you visualize how often you could see each group, and how to set things up so you’re seeing your neediest students most often (daily or nearly every day)
There are charts for 4-8 groups with 3 and 4 different sessions. They’re meant to be a base in your planning to help you get a jump start, but of course they’re meant to be adjusted based on your kids’ needs and abilities.
What do you use to manage your literacy centers?