In my school district, we use something called "Center Maps" for students to tell which center activities they should complete on a given day. They are pre-made maps that have pictures to designate a center. I personally am not a fan of these maps. In some ways, I do like how they are straight-forward and kid-friendly. What I don't like is that, based on the current set up, students visit the same centers multiple times in one week. Although Kinder hasn't started using the maps yet, we are due to introduce them soon.
In my room, I've been using my own version of centers thus far. It's based similarly but at this point, students move as a whole table group. They are not yet grouped by reading levels, etc. We do sooooo many assessments at the beginning of the year to get those baseline levels that center time is when I do most of my testing. As we get further into the year, I am now getting ready to introduce Guided Reading groups.
We currently work on a 6-day rotation of 4 groups (not negotiable) so I'm forced to come up with a TON of center activities. What I have come up with is to introduce "anytime centers." Let's say Johnny goes to the Math center on Day 1 and works on the activity I have in that center. When Johnny goes back to the Math center on Day 4 I would instantly hear, "Ms. Hill, I'm done that center!" So instead, when a student is done their main activity (which is usually theme or skill focused) they are allowed to get an "anytime center." I keep a variety of games / center activities available to the kids that they can choose from. All of my games / activities have specific skills that we have practiced in class so the kids have already been introduced to that skill. It seems to be working really well.
The activities below are things I would put in my anytime centers.
This activity is READY MADE! I'm all about print-and-go activities! This is called "Winter Roll and Record." It is the same as my Christmas version. The kids love these games. There are a total of 10 different winter-themed playing mats in this pack. To access this game on my TpT Store click the preview picture below.
A few days ago, I posted a Christmas Bingo game. Do your kiddos love Bingo as much as my kids do???? The go crazy for Bingo! There are 10 differnt Christmas Bingo mats in this pack, all holiday-themed. Click the picture to access this pack.
Last, "Hot Chocolate" is another favorite for my kiddies. This is played just like Poisonous Spiders and Crazy Candy Canes. Hot chocolate is a winter-themed activity that goes in my literacy anytime center bin. Students practice sight word and don't even realize it. To me, that is the BEST kind of learning :) Because I have such a wide variety of readers in my class this year, I made the sight words to include Pre-Primer and Primer. Click the picture to access this pack.
When I sit down to make an activity, the most important thing to me is that it is practical. I am able (and do) use every center activity I made and publish on here. These center activities are also favorites of my students! I hope your students enjoy them just as much!
Have a great week!