Many of you have asked me how I “manage” my library centers. I sense that you’re a little disappointed when I say that I don’t really “manage” them. I allow for free choice within the occupancy limit of each center. And that works for me.
For those of you who crave more structure, I’m sharing this video that I think will really help you out. It’s from Greg Smedley-Warren, a kindergarten teacher in Tennessee and a top seller on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Here’s what I love about his system:
1) He has a “must do” that is each student’s ticket to centers. In the library, this could be writing a book review, or a specific exit ticket from the large group lesson.
2) When it’s time to clean up, he doesn’t say a word. He starts the music on the computer, and the students know to start cleaning up.
3) He has students grouped by a 4-color wheel. This would work for the many classes we have in the library. You could divide each class into groups by placing colored dots on their library cards (or shelf markers, or whatever they use to check out). Then you could just move the color wheel at the start of a new week, and the groups in every class would rotate to a new center.
4) I like that within each color assignment, students have a choice of 2 activities. I believe that choice is highly motivating for all of our students, and classroom teachers rarely provide as much choice as we can in the library.
What do you think? For those of you that want to structure your library centers, would this work for you?