If you asked my kinders what their favorite part of our day is, most of them will tell you, “Centers!” On a typical day, I rotate three centers which include a teacher-facilitated literacy center, a technology center, and a third center which I alternate daily (fine motor, reading, math, reading & writing, art, etc.). Some days (and especially at the beginning of the year), I may use this time to assess my students individually in lieu of my teacher table activity.
In order for me to use this precious time to work with my small groups or assess, it is SO important that the remaining students can work independently on engaging tasks.
KEEPING IT SIMPLE
Keeping things simple is key at the beginning of the year. As kindergarten teachers, we must remember that these children come to us right out of preschool. Setting up simple independent centers will help students develop fine motor and basic alphabet and numeric skills. This will also help your students gain confidence.
These alphabet mats are a great beginning of kindergarten center that can be used in a variety of ways. Laminate the mats, and have students use fine motor skills as they roll Play Dough to create the letters. Dry-erase markers can be used for a write and wipe option with the laminated mats. Another great idea is to place in a binder in sheet protectors to use over and over. You can use the pages as worksheets as each letter is introduced. Pages can also be copied as worksheets for students to color, use watercolors, or paint with q-tips at an independent art center.
|These mats can be used in SO many ways…The possibilities are endless!|
These can be used in a similar fashion. I like to use Play-doh and have my students roll little balls to represent the number in the ten frame. These mats are perfect for introducing number writing, one-to-one correspondence, and number sense.