Sunday, September 25, 2011

Centers verses Workstations

With my introduction to the world of teacher blogging, I've discovered a lot of new authors and books that I want to read. I'm currently reading Debbie Diller's Literacy Work Stations book.( and Ron Clark's The End of Molasses Classes) I am only a few chapters in and I already see things I need to change and work on. I would like to move more to workstations as opposed to centers. I love the idea of the workstation. While I've done some of the things Debbie Diller talked about. I'm trying to teach with the materials and then put them in the center but I realize I hadn't given enough instruction with my expectations. We had worked with play doh and the stamps before and they are doing well with those centers. They had also already sorted with the materials I had in the math exploration center so that one went well. But this week with adding a reading center, I had every intention of really talking about what they needed to do. I had books we've already read there and big books we had been using. I also had some wands and this is where I really messed up. I didn't give enough instruction with these wands or use them in instruction. But after reading this book, I'm starting to see the error of my ways and we'll do some mini lessons like Debbie Diller suggests.
I changed my promethean center this week too. I gave them the charts we had already used in class to work on. While some of them did well with it, there were some things they need some more instruction on. I didn't even think about how they didn't know how to move from one page of the chart to the next. So another mini lesson is coming their way. I'm always looking for ways to improve my teaching and make things run more smoothly in my class. Workstations are my goal but it will probably take us all year to get exactly where I want to be. This week we're continuing on with the same activities we had last week. But I have these mini lessons planned.
Monday - Reading center expectations. We're going to make an anchor chart and have some students model the behavior.
Tuesday - Promethean board expectations and mechanics of how to move from one page to another
Wednesday - Play doh center expectations and routines
We have a field trip on Thursday and Friday is our fun center days. Hopefully these plans will help me move more towards work stations. Check back later this week to see how it went. Do you do centers or workstations? Or have you even thought about the difference?


  1. My thoughts these days are about how to differentiate for different kids and get them to independently complete the correct challenge activity for them. If they already can do it to 10, then they need to go to 20, for example. I want to be able to get them to see what the goal is they need to learn. I guess I should set up math folders and conference with each kid and help them see what they need to practice. Hmmm. We are revising everything this year for Common Core, are you?

  2. We worked a little bit last year with common core and curriculum mapping but we're going through a lot of changes as well. Our report cards go out at the end of the next week and we don't have them because they've been revised. It's definitely a learning year for a lot of things.

  3. I just saw that you have me on your blog list. Thank you!!!!!! I have joined your blog and will put you on my blog list. I've never thought about the difference between centers and workstations so I will definitely read that book.