Tag Archives: Centers set up

My Flipped Classroom centers

27 Jul

The more I plan my Flipped Classroom, the more I realize I am probably not using the term “centers” correctly.  In my case they will be designated areas of my classroom for students to complete their work.  Read on and please offer suggestions.. 🙂

Students will receive a checklist that basically follows this pattern for the chapter:

Watch video/Read section.  Take notes.  Write question.
Hands on Learning activity
Worksheet 1
Worksheet 2
(both instantly checked by teacher)

Culture capsule
Tutor in Spanish 1 class

That is one section of a chapter.  Each chapter of our book has 4 sections:  Vocab 1/Grammar 1/Culture/Vocab 2/Grammar 2.  The vocab and grammar sections will repeat the above format until they complete the entire chapter. After Grammar 2 they will begin to work on a proficiency project and review for the chapter test.  Also mixed in is that we are in the computer lab on Wednesdays.  Wednesdays will be a day to take their quiz (online), use Edmodo, and do research if needed for their culture project or proficiency project.
Students who are ready for a quiz before Wednesday will take it on an iPad or computer in my room.
We will use Edmodo along with Spanish classrooms that we collaborated with last year from Maryland and California.  We post a prompt and the students take off with their discussions in Spanish.

So, when I say centers, this is what I am imagining and would like your input on.  The areas of my room will be:

Hands on: learning activity.  Most will be partner work.
Writing:  worksheets
Learn:  For students who did not watch the video or need to see it again.

Of course, all of the students will begin in the same place, so the whole class will be a hands on area.  After a few days I assume that they will begin to be in different spots.  I would like to keep them sorted as to what activity they are working on.
My thought is to hang large signs form my ceiling to direct them to the area they should go to.  I am trying to think of a simpler way since the ceiling is pretty high and centers (or areas) could change daily.

I am going to test the flipping with my advanced classes first.  I know some of them will move through the activities very quickly.  Lori Anthony, the other Spanish teacher at my school, and I were going over our schedules.  We noticed that during all of my Advanced classes, Lori has Spanish 1.  So, if a student takes a quiz and is way ahead of the rest of the class, they will be sent to Lori’s class to help a struggling Spanish 1 student.

If you have any ideas about labeling the areas of the classroom or the order of activities, please share!

Gracias, Penny





A TV Game Show Review Center

22 Jul

TV Game Show Review games are a popular way to review before tests.  My idea is to make it into a center.  Quite possibly one of my bulletin boards will be designated at the game show board.  Or, I could just outline a place on the wall with bulletin board borders…

I have several links and files of digital TV Show game boards, but this will be one that is truly interactive.  I LOVE technology, but I think in a center environment that this plan will work well.

Part of my “Centers” plan is that students will record their work in a journal.  We journaled last year.  Whenever there was an entry, students had to title it and date it.

For the game show center, a journal entry title might look like this:

11 octubre     “Juego de Jeopardy”

The entry itself would be to write down the answers to the questions that they answered.  I usually have them write the final score for all participants as well.  Since it is review, the second step may be be to make a dialogue or story out of the answers in their journal.  This would require each student’s dialogue or story to be unique.

So far I have plans to include $25,000 Pyramid, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.  I also think the bulletin board idea will work well for Tic Tac Toe, Memory, Checkers, What’s Missing, and many other typical classroom games.

I have also just pinned today a new game called Bazinga.  Love the Big Bang Theory….

Remember that the TV Game Show Center should only be used on “Active” days, not days when students may be working quietly and intently.

Let me know if you have any other ideas for bulletin board games!

¡Gracias!  Penny

Centers – Set Up Considerations

8 Jul

This is my second post in a row about centers.  I plan to use centers as a part of the Flipped Classroom concept next year.   

I recently read Nooks, Crannies and Corners by Imogene Forte given to me by my mother-in-law when she retired from teaching.  I learned a lot about centers reading it.  It will takke several posts to share the great tips.  Today I will share her ideas for setting up centers.

** Make sure there is free trafic flow.

** Centers (and classroom in general) must be clean, neat and attractive.

** Distance quiet & noisy centers.  Yesterday I mentioned that she suggests having days with quiet  centers and days with active centers…

** Centers have clearly marked areas.

** Centers must utilize optimum use with least amount of teacher direction.  I believe this is very important so the teacher canbe free to assist in a certain center or to assist students who are struggling, were absent, etc.

** Include specific plans regarding putting things away.

Although these may seem like common sense suggestions.  I have found that it is easy to try to focus on the task and worry too little about details.

I hope you find these helpful.  Keep sending me your tips for using centers or inncorporating the Flipped Classroom concept.

Gracias, Penny

Flipped Classroom & Centers in the WL Classroom

7 Jul

I have shifted my gears from a technology focus to my full pedagogy for next year.  I am still working with technology…

I am planning to implement the Flipped Classroom method.  I have just ordered Flip Your Classroom by Jonathan Bergmann.  I have also been attending webinars and reading many blogs about the topic.

Flipping the class of course means that the students will get direct instruction through video.  A great idea since they can watch it over and over…  I (usually) only lecture one time.  For practice, I believe that using centers is going to work well for my World Language and Flipped Classroom.   I would appreciate any advice from anyone who is using the Flipped Approach.  

This post will concentrate on planning centers.  I write this not only to share what I have learned, but because I have found that blogging (and tagging posts well) has allowed me to group similar ideas and resources.  It’s like creating my own reference guide!!

I read a very old book (1972) called Nooks Crannies and Corners: Learning Centers for Creative Classrooms by Imogene Forte and Joy Mackenzie It was given to me by my mother-in-law who was a fabulous elementary teacher before retiring.  It was very informational!  It started with planning centers and discussed individualizing curriculum.  It  was thorough about how the role of the teacher changes.  All of the practicalities were discussed:  measuring the learner’s abilities; shifting responsibility to the learner; materials; and evaluating and record keeping.

I took lots of notes.  Today I would like to share with you what I have learned about developing centers.  These are my favorite tips from the book:

**Centers must be carefully explained with clear directions.  Use modeling, place written directions also at center.   Seems like a no-brainer, right?  I got to thinking about it and there have been times when I have assumed that directions would be easy enough without explanation….

**Exemplary systems offer choice and alternative assignments.

** Offer an “Open Center”.  This center can be visited at any time by any student.  It provides freedom and a safety valve.

**Award “Excellence badges” sparingly for noteworthy achievements.

** Begin each day with goal setting.  End the day with evaluation.

** The move to centers must be gradual.  Familiar practices must still be in use.  Begin with one center and add new centers gradually.

**Provide a balance of Active and Quiet periods.

**Each center has open ended and varying expectations.

**Each center has a finished product.

Those are great concepts to think about when designing a center.  My future posts concerning centers will include:  Set Up, Student developed activities, Determining the needs of the learner, Keeping track of where students are; Cheating, and evaluation.  All of these topics are in the book.  I suggest anyone who intends to use centers buy it.  They are less than $4 used at Amazon.

I will also share the many types of centers I have designed so far (at least in my head).

As always, I appreciate any of your thoughts.

Gracias, Penny

A Lucky Mother


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