Saturday, January 18, 2014

Keeping Warm with our Hot Cocoa Math and Literacy Centers

The holiday excitement has come and gone. We are back to our normal routine in room 5. With a new year, comes new centers for station rotations. I worked on creating winter-themed centers over holiday break that I could use interchangeably with any topic that we were covering.

Prior to the break and since returning, we have been focusing on learning how to determine main idea while recounting key details and explaining how they support the main idea (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.2). The students have such a better handle on this skill now that we have practiced it together and in partners several times. We are now safely in the stage of "skill independence" and they are able to determine main idea and key details without the guidance of adult support. To reinforce the skills, I decided to use my newly created centers (which can be found in my TPT STORE).

Students get a hot cocoa mat, 5 marshmallows (or game pieces), and any task cards or flashcards based on the skill being reinforced. They take turns answering questions or completing tasks. If the task is completed correctly, they remove a game piece/devour a marshmallow. If their task is completed incorrectly, their turn is over. The first student to empty their hot cocoa mug is the winner.

I divided task cards relating to determining main idea and key details into plastic baggies. I put about 20-25 task cards  and a class list in each bag. Students place a check mark next to their names so that I am able to keep track of when and how many times they have practiced with certain skill card sets. Answer keys are also provided for students to self-check.

You can find these FREE mats and center directions in my STORE.

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