I used to create cards for my small group display and I initially loved it. My partner teacher and I combined groups so that our levels worked a bit better and then we split those groups up for centers. 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. This year I have 4 centers rotations most days and I have 6 groups. Every morning I’d move the rotation cards so the students knew where they’d go when. 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. 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 it 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 small group management would be much simpler. And, it’d be done for the year. Or, you know, until our structure has to change for the fifteenth time during the year. 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 really customize it to their needs, but included most center options I think people need. This should be quick and easy to customize for your needs, and save 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. 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 this file 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.
These are free in my TpT store so click the images to head over and download it to help you plan. I’ve also used Powerpoint to completely manage my math centers. Once it’s set up, it manages the time, the clean up, and the switching. It’s a different way of using Powerpoint and takes a bit more work. Click the image below to check it out.
What do you use to manage your literacy centers?
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