Easy Center Ideas

20 December 2015 / 4 comments

I am thrilled to write my very FIRST post on Classroom Tested Resources! I know this is the beginning of a beautiful blogger-ship....is that a  real word?  If not, let's just pretend!

This past summer I helped a few friends set up there classrooms.  One of my former colleges and friends is SO creative.  She had several EASY and simple ideas for centers.  

She planned to use hers as morning work.  Students could choose an activity after they unpacked for the morning.  I thought this was such a great way to help students ease into the classroom routine. I did this MANY years ago in my 4th grade classroom and loved it (and so did the kids!).

She had purchased several small tote bags and flash cards from the Dollar Store.  Each little bag had two sets of flashcards inside.  Students could grab a bag, and then take it to a spot in the classroom to work.

I thought this was a great idea because we all know those boxes for flashcards last about 2 seconds. Even AFTER the boxes fall apart, the flashcards will still be somewhat organized and usable since they are contained in the bag!

Here is another one of her clever ideas- and it is cheap! She just used an old Pringles can and small bathroom cups.

She took the  cups and put dots on them.  You can do a million things with these!  Subization and recognition of numbers, combinations of ten, adding three or more numbers, and so on. Students can "stack" the cups after they complete the activity to see how many numbers they worked on!

This is a similar activity.  She just put sight words  on the bottom.  Students read the words and then stack them.

Have you ever heard of the game BOOM?  It is a great review game and can be played in pairs or independently.

My friend used tongue depressors, but you can also just laminate strips of paper.  Her BOOM game reviews addition facts.  She wrote the addition facts on the end of the sticks.  On two or three sticks write BOOM!  

To play the game, students put the sticks in the cup (or container) with the facts side down so they cannot see what is on each stick.  Students randomly draw out a stick and answer the fact. If the student get the fact correct, they can keep the stick.  If it is incorrect, the stick goes back in the container.  If the student draw a BOOM stick ALL their sticks go back in the container.  Students continue to play until play time is over.  When playing in pairs (or more) the students take turns.  The student with the most sticks at the end of play time wins!

Got an egg carton?  Then you have another center ready to go!

Number the bottom of each hole on the egg carton.  I numbered mine 1-12.  Put in two counters or pieces clear vase filler.

Students close and shake the egg carton. Students open the carton.  Then the student can add the two numbers the counters landed in!

You can vary the game by using addition, subtraction, or multiplication. You can also differentiate by using large two digit or three digit numbers.

Hope these ideas help to keep it simple and add to your center stash!


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