I despise rotating through center cards so I created a wheel! I split my students up into 5 groups for reading centers. Usually, I end up with about 20 students total, so that is about 4 students in each group. Each group is assigned a color: red, yellow, green, blue, or orange.
We start our reading block with a read aloud and/or mini-lesson. Students then go back to their seats for independent reading. Everyone reads at the same time and the quiet is magical. Sometimes I read as well to model good behavior. Most of the time I conference with individual students or work with needs groups.
I set a timer. In the beginning of the year students only read silently for 10-15 minutes. By the end of the year they read for about 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, they quietly look at the wheel to see what their center is, and get started.
In the past I have had 10 centers so each group was responsible for 2, but it is a lot to keep up with. So this year, I am just going to have 5: Listening, Comprehension, ABC, Fluency, and Writing about Reading. I'll post more about each individual center later.
This year, I decided to create a reading bulletin board to display my center wheel. The center wheel is wonderful, I just turn it each day, and students can easily see what their center is. To the right of the wheel are colorful squares. I laminated them and I write students names on them with whiteboard markers so students know what color group they are in. I like to switch groups every once in a while. These are not my guided reading groups. For centers, I like to have mixed-ability grouping.
Below the bulletin board you can see my plastic containers from Target. This is where students turn in their center work (if there is something tangible to turn in). I can quickly and easily count to tell who has and has not turned in work with this system.
If you’re wondering how I made the center wheel, I taped a big piece of construction paper to my smart board, found a circle that was divided into fifths, projected it on to the paper, and traced it! I then made a 2nd smaller wheel. I love my smart board. It can do so many cool things! After tracing the wheel I cut it out, glued on the labels and graphics, and took it to Staples to get laminated!