Today I’m showing you how we introduce hippopotamuses/centers in our classroom! We start with just our tubs so we can focus on procedures and expectations. Over the next few weeks we will add in our center wheel, unfinished work basket and all 5 of the centers.
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I love how you use the hippopotamuses. A few questions. How are your children broken into groups? What kinds of activities are they doing? How do you decide what activities go with each group?
Do you also pull guided reading groups at this time? Is there one activity per bin?
1 per tub and this is when I pull my groups!
Groups are skill based and I look at our data to see who needs to work on what. Everything is differentiated! I use ESGI to assess and gather data.
Does each child have only one color for the entire year or are their colors changed periodically?
Does each student keep the same color all year long?
They change periodically and are skill based so our data drives the changes!
do you check their box when they finish or do they just tell you they are done? how do you know they actually worked the game etc?!
They show me their work before they put it away. I also am monitoring them working. And the expectations are that you do the work or you lose your fun and choices and write words.
Have you already introduced each activity in the tubs or are they activities that they can figure out with your help as you walk around?
Hi! I love your system. I have a question: if the expectation is to clean up when it’s time to clean up, what does a student do with a half-finished recording sheet? Are they expected to finish it the next time there are centers or is it simply sent home? Thank you!
It goes in a basket and they finish it the next day!
Do you introduce all of the activities in small group before explaining how to use the tubs?
Do they always do their centers individually or can they work with a partner?
They can work with a partner
How do the students know what to do in each center? Are there visual directions? Have you already explained what to do in each tub?
They learn in whole group and small group but on day 1 they are simply exploring and basically playing to learn the procedures of just doing the tubs.
How long do you centers, “Hippopotamuses,” last?
An hr for literacy and 30 minutes or so for math
Do they put their finished work in a folder or where? Do they show you in whole group when they are done with centers? Do you give them a check on their paper for completing a task? I saw that the tubs were different skills, but Are the tubs differentiated based on student level?
Hi Misty! They put their finished work in their cubby after a quick check by me. They’re simply bring their recording sheet to me for a quick review as soon as they are done. The students are grouped in colors by skill level.
Hi Mr. Greg! Love your work! A few questions for you…How long do the centers go the first couple of weeks? When do you start your reading groups? Do you rotate the wheel each day? Thank you so much! Have a Happy Easter!
Hi! Centers go for 45-60 minutes in the beginning. I usually try to start pulling groups after 2 weeks of centers. These are informal groups to practice the routines and get used to the idea. We start formal groups about 4 weeks into centers. Guided Reading groups start at week 4 if needed and by week 6 for sure.
IDo all the activities in the tubs have a recording page of some type? I saw one little guy with an alphabet puzzle. Would he then write the alphabet down? Or if you had letter magnets to match upper and lower case….just as an example. Thank you!