Centers in Kindergarten: Make it Simple
Starting centers in kindergarten can be a little daunting. My advice to you is DO. IT. SIMPLY. My goal for that first week of school is to have students GO to their station and STAY! So when I have a fun and engaging task for them to do there, it is simple.
The library station is a slam dunk! Easy!
Centers in Kindergarten: Build Them Over Time!
The writing station starts out really simple. Students just go there and write! They may only take one paper to work on. Over time, I nudge them toward doing more. Whereas, in the first few weeks, I am happy with my students just going, writing and staying.
As the month progress, we expect more. This station will be with us ALL YEAR, so I have time to tweak it to increase the quality of work.
Centers in Kindergarten: Keep the Activities Predictable!
When students know the structure of an activity, then you can change the content they are working with. As the year progresses, the complexity will go up.
These Just Roll With It center activities can be used all year.
I pick a BUMP game and play it several times in whole group during our first week. Then on the second week of school, it is ready to go into a center. I have a billion “bump” games in my stations, so I wanted to be sure they understood how to play. From now on, I can swap this version out with another “bump” game and I don’t have to reteach the rules. It. Is. The. Same. Game… but with a different academic skill or theme.
Centers in Kindergarten: Building Independence is KEY!
Centers in Kindergarten: Set High Expectations
One more thing…
I will advise you to NOT put 10 new and different stations out at one time. You will lose your mind. If you look at my plans you will see they build over time. Students can listen to about 2 new center introductions a day… that’s it! AND… if they are not going to that station for several days, I know I will need to touch base with them so they are doing the task as designed. Generally, I introduce a few stations on Monday, then a few more on Wednesday…
This time is important. Getting routines in place are important. I know small group instruction starts around the 3-4th week of school, so how I introduce stations is important. They must be independent.
Read more out about lesson plans HERE.
You can read more about my classroom set up by visiting HERE.
You may also be interested in these blog posts:
- What does my schedule look like
- Top tips for stations management
- What does a guided reading lesson look like
- Literacy station ideas
- Math station ideas
- Early Finishers “I’m DONE!”
- Writers workshop nuts and bolts
- Reading workshop nuts and bolts
- Math workshop questions answered
- Classroom behavior and expectations
- Organizing for Instruction (click HERE to view)