I recently had a conversation with another teacher about centers. As you may know, I think it is very important for the centers that I do to have some kind of a response sheet to go with it to help keep the kids accountable for doing the activity. Yes, that means MORE papers accumulate...more to grade. The teacher that I talked to said she doesn't check centers papers. She just has them put them in their folders when they are done to take home.
I understand that it's just more to grade and takes more time...but if you're not looking at the papers-how do you know that they are doing quality work, or even doing the work at all??? AND most importantly, how do you know if they are doing the activity correctly??? What if they don't understand the activity or the skill???...you may never know.
I think that immediate feedback on their centers work is crucial!!! How do you get those kiddos who mess around at center time and don't do a whole lot of anything motivated????
Here's what I've been doing this year....
This pocket chart is where all of the centers work from the day goes. Each time a student finishes a paper from centers-they must have it checked and starred by an adult and then it goes into this pocket chart. Each Kinder has their very own pocket.
Here is my first motivator:) This is what I star the kiddo's papers with. We call them "monster markers". They are actually Scentos Markers from WeVeel. I stumbled across them one day at the Dollar Tree and bought the last 4 of them up. I haven't been able to find any since...but have emailed the company-so I'll let you know where to find them if I hear back from them:) These ADORABLE markers are smelly!!!!! So, each time I put a star on their paper-they LOVE to smell it. They are a HUGE hit with my class....the BLUE one is the class favorite:) One of my little guys always requests the blue one. when he gets a star he takes a big whiff and says "MMMMMM! That's the GOOD stuff!" LOL! I ONLY use these markers for centers papers-or I think the novelty would wear off:)
At the end of the day, after we're all packed up-the kiddos get to work on their Math Journals. During this time, I pull out each kiddos papers from centers that day and call them up one at a time. Most of them will have all of their work done and will get a stamp on their Star Papers chart. I got this idea from Deedee at Mrs. Wills Kindergarten! She's BRILLIANT! Check out her post HERE. To get a stamp, they have to have ALL of their work finished and NEATLY done. They MUST have their name on their papers to get a stamp and ALL of their papers MUST be in the pocket. If any of these things are not done, then they don't get a stamp for the day...and yes, I'm very strict about this:) Most of them learn their lesson pretty quickly and things are done correctly next time.
This time also gives me a chance to talk to students who may have not understood the skill. It gives me the chance I need to talk to them about it and what they should do differently next time.
Here is an example of a stamp chart.....it's SOOOOO NOT cute!!!
So, I decided to spruce it up a bit:) Here is what I came up with. "Rock Star Papers" sounds so much cooler:) click on the image below to grab your copy:
Why is it so important to them to get a stamp???? Because when they get 5 stamps, they get to pick a sucker from our sucker pull bouquet. (Sorry, it's lookin' a little bald in this picture!!) I'm really sorry that I don't remember where I originally saw this idea-but the kids LOVE it!!!
So, that's it. That's how I get to and go through all of their centers work. It's all done the same day that the work was completed. I think this immediate feedback for the kiddos is crucial in making your centers run smoothly AND you don't have any extra work to take home and grade!!! Works out great for everyone:)