Trying something new in the library can go one of two ways, ALL wrong or ALL right! I'm thinking adding library centers to the library is an all right! I recently went to a Library Expo in Plano and attended a session that discussed library centers. I left with loads of ideas and a new enthusiasm for the idea that I have been playing around in my head for a long time.
I decided to trial run it with one grade level. In this case, 1st grade! I chose First Grade because they have mastered the art of centers in Kinder and they are still doing them in 1st. Basically they know what's going on when I say the word "centers" and they LOVE them! In fact, when I said "Library Centers" their faces lit up and I got cheers! Yep...cheers! From that moment on I knew it was going to be great!
I started small and only with resources I had on hand.
Reading Buddies Center - The kids read books to a stuffed animal (buddy)
Listening Center - students listen to a playaway along with it's matching picture book (they love the playaways since they aren't able to check them out until they are in 3rd grade)
Magazine Center - this is another center is excited to primary kids since they aren't able to check out magazines until they are in 3rd grade
Bookmark Center - students create a book mark using stickers, markers, stencils, etc... (biggest hit) and they can take it with them
Seasonal Center - this time it was Thanksgiving Books with a Thanksgiving coloring sheet
Big Book Center - students read big books to one another (lots of teacher role playing)
All of these supplies were easy and free. Plus, I had them all. The only thing I had to do was gather it all, organize it in tubs, and put it in a central location.
The 2nd week I decided to add two more after spending just a little bit of money.
Felt Board Center - yep..you know like the felt board from when we were kids.
Puzzle Center - Floor Puzzle
I hope to switch some of the tubs out with new and fresh centers as time goes by or as they tend to become less popular.
The next question you may be asking is...when on earth do you have time to do centers, check out books, AND do a lesson? Well, quite honestly I was concerned too. But, I always read and do a lesson first. Then, the students checkout books. They checkout books remarkably fast now, knowing that the last thing they will do is have centers. Occasionally we go about 5 minutes over. I close by playing a song that indicates clean up time.
I am still a little shocked at how smoothly it has gone. I hope to start some other grade levels after the Christmas break. I'll leave you with some pictures of the centers in action!