Monday, December 23, 2013

2nd Grade Centers - First Round

I just recently introduced a new round of centers with my second graders.  I'm trying to use more technology with them, along with some basics that I picked up from some great sources.  We're using six centers.  Each student is assigned to a table, and tables rotate to a different center weekly.  I have each table letter attached to a clip, and move the clips weekly.  This way it's easy for the kids to see which center they'll be working with, and it's easy for me to keep track of things.
Center Signs

For the first two weeks, I've only given the kids about 20 minutes in centers, and have reserved 25 minutes for a direct lesson.  I'm not entirely sure that the 20 minutes has been sufficient to tackle some of the bigger things we're doing, and may make some modifications.

Links to center directions and websites that I used to help create the centers are all in brackets below.


For the [Computer Center], students are practicing shelving books using Mrs. Lodge's Shelve It Game, which you can find [here].  The kids are loving this game, and find it easy to access and manipulate.  If you haven't been on Mrs. Lodge's site, you should spend some time there!  She has some wonderful ideas for centers.  Check out her website [here] and follow her on Twitter @MrsLodge [here].


In the [Explore Center], 2nd graders are practicing using QR codes with the iPads.  They are using [Wonderopolis] to learn about about the Wonder of the Day.  I like this site because students can watch a video, read about a topic or use the "Listen" feature to have the text read to them.  Some of the topics have been a little advanced for 2nd graders, but so far the kids have seemed completely engaged in the content.


Students in the[Read Center] choose their books and then spend time enjoying independent reading.  They always have the option to choose to read a magazine from our subscriptions, and many of them do choose that.


The [Retell Center] is one that is taking a bit of time.  The kids are using a QR code and QR Code reader to go directly to our FollettShelf shelf page.  They are practicing logging into FollettShelf with their usernames and passwords and are selecting a book to read and retell to each other.

I attached the center directions to a legal size, expandable folder. For QR Code generators, I like to create them with Kaywa, which is linked [here] and the students are primarily using I-nigma, for the QR Reader, which you can find [here].

Writing Center

Observation form
Currently, I think this is my favorite [center].  Students are practicing writing animal observations.  The center requires the use of two iPads.  Students watch one of the animal web cams on the [San Diego Zoo] website a record [animal observations] using a Google form, which I embedded on our library website.  I like to use the Google form because I can keep track of the observations that they record; however, I think I got a little overzealous in the information I wanted the kids to record.   It's a bit time consuming for them to both access an animal cam and record the types of information.  I find that I really have to be a little more hands on with the center, but the kids are so amazed to know that they can watch the animals live, it's been pretty exciting for them.  I may try to keep this as a center for the next round because kids will already be familiar with the process. 

If you choose to re-create this center, I would suggest taking some time in considering the kind of info you would collect on your own form.  I may revise it to leave off the date and time, because the form automatically includes that information, but the kids like to enter the date and time - it make it seem more official.

Words Center

Words Center
For the [Words Center] I was inspired by Boggle Words, found in the [Library Centers Starter Kit] created collaboratively by [Jessica Lodge], [Carolyn Vibbert] and [Carrie Young].  From reading around about creating magnetic poetry, I discovered that you can actually print on magnetic paper.  Because the paper, which I found at Staples for about $2 a sheet, is a bit expensive, I decided to make my own [magnet letters] template so that I could fit more letters on a sheet.  I have two sets of magnet letters, each stored in a sandwich box.  The kids use cookie sheets, that I for real found at the dollar store, to create words. For 2nd grade, the kids keep score using a super easy point system.




  1. Thanks for sharing the links to your teacher resources. I'm in library school now and I hope to use these ideas during my internship.

    1. That's awesome! I hope they's always great to share and build a toolbox of ideas:)

  2. Wow, this is awesome! Thanks for sharing this as well as your library curriculum. What a great resource!

    1. Hope it's helpful! I love sharing when something is working. Especially since I get so many great ideas from other people who do the same:) We're all in this together!