Trucs et idées pour votre centre d'écriture

Hi guys!

In case you are late to the party, I have been sharing how I run literacy centres in my classroom over the past few weeks. You can find out how I start centres in this post, how I organize them over here, and see ALL of the centres I have posted about so far by clicking here

Today, I want to talk to you about our writing centre. I loove our writing centre! I love teaching writing in general because children are such natural (and hilarious) story tellers, and because writing is automatically differentiated without much extra work. Each child is able to work at their own ability, and progress naturally with time. In addition to running Writer's Workshop in my classroom (which you can read about here), I also have time for writing during centres. This gives my students extra time to practice and solidify what they are learning during Writer's Workshop, as well as exposure to other genres and ideas. Here are my best tips for starting a smooth Centre d'écriture in your classroom!

The writing centre gives students extra time to practice and solidify what they have learned in regular writing lessons. It is one of my favourite centres, and always a hit with students. Here are my best tips for starting a smooth Centre d'écriture in your French primary classroom!



1. START WITH WHAT THEY KNOW...again!
As I have stated LOTS of times already (starting here), it is so important to start with what your students can already do. In kindergarten, this might just be drawing, or colouring, or maaaybe writing their name. That's fine! You need to start with what they already know how to do so that you can teach them your behaviour expectations before pushing them out of their comfort zone and encouraging them to try something new. So, on the first day, I may just have a bin with blank paper, colouring sheets, and some crayons. I will talk to my students at the carpet for 5-7 minutes before sending them off to work, and on the first day of talking about the writing centre, we usually review voice level and/or clean up. With certain groups, I have also had to mention writing on your OWN paper - not your partner's ;) Once they have behaviours exactly how you like, you can move on to teaching them some new routines/procedures and exposing them to some new genres or things to try out.

Idées et trucs pour vos centres de motricité fine

Hi guys!

In case you are late to the party, I have been sharing how I run literacy centres in my classroom over the past few weeks. You can find out how I start centres in this post, how I organize them over here, and see ALL of the centres I have posted about so far by clicking here

This week, I will be talking about our Fine Motor centres! Fine motor centres are my favourites - and my students', too! They are lots of fun and allow my students time to play, while simultaneously working on those all-important fine motor skills. Don't feel guilty about including these - don't feel that they aren't "real" literacy centres. Children, especially at this age, NEED to participate in activities that help develop their little finger muscles if we want them to be able to cut, colour, and (most importantly!) write neatly and efficiently. Plus, they are four and five years old! They learn through playing - let them play! Read on for some tips and ideas for how to organize and incorporate fine motor centres into your centre rotation.

Fine motor centres are my favourites - and my students' favourites, too! Children NEED to participate in activities that help develop their little finger muscles if we want them to be able to cut, colour, and (most importantly!) write neatly and efficiently. Centres are a great time to fit in those kinds of activities. Check out this blog post full of great ideas!



I kind of touched on how I organize my fine motor centres in this post. Just to recap, I run two fine motor centres at a time - a blue (A) and a red (B). To help my students stay independent, the centre cards on my centre board are both the same colour as the bins they are housed in, and each have a picture with the corresponding letter (A or B). Twice the potential for them to find the right bins ;)

I always have three choices for each fine motor centre - three reds and three blues. Generally, all the red centres are different than the blues. Here are how they look on my shelf:

Des idées pour votre centre de pâte à modeler

One of my students' favourite centres is the play dough centre. I keep the play dough centre out *most* of the year (it is one of my 10 "core" centres), but it is one that I will occasionally rotate out. Students can work on lots of different literacy skills via play doh (especially letter formation!), and even if you just let them play, they are still building those all-important finger muscles that they need to improve their fine motor skills. Play doh is engaging and fun, and you can easily change it up throughout the year to keep your students excited! Here are my top play doh tips and ideas:

The play dough centre is always a hit! Students can work on all kinds of literacy skills using play dough - letter formation, spelling, sight words, etc., and even during free play, they are still building those all-important finger muscles. Here is how I run my play dough centre in my French primary classroom!


1. START WITH FREE PLAY
I talked about how you should be starting with centres that your students already know in this post. Play doh is great for this! In the beginning, I just put out a few containers of play doh and let them play how they want while I teach expectations. It is important to take the time to teach them exactly what you expect out of them - we talk about why we don't mix the colours, and how it should look after being cleaned up. I also take the time to teach them different techniques. I show them how to make balls, roll the doh into snakes, flatten it like a pancake, etc. This helps inspire them to practice the techniques they will use later to make letters and words during their free play.

You can also add toys if you like - rolling pins, plastic cutlery, play dough stampers, and so on work great. I purchased a fire house set inexpensively during Amazon Prime day this past summer and it was a big hit!

Comment introduire les nouveaux centres d'apprentissage

Happy Sunday! It is a rainy day here in NS today - fall has definitely arrived! A perfect day for curling up with a mug of coffee and writing my next post in my centres d'apprentissage en maternelle series. Today I would like to talk to you about my tips for introducing new centres and activities to your primary students.

Introducing new literacy centres in maternelle can be HARD!! Here are my tips and tricks for centre success in your French kindergarten classroom!

In my experience, introducing centres and activities GRADUALLY, one activity at a time, is the way to go, rather than trying to switch out all your centres at once every Monday. There are a few reasons for this, including:
- it is WAY less prep that you have to have done all at once
- if you didn't get everything prepped that you wanted, it's okay - your students can continue the activity that they worked on last time
- you only have to talk about one activity at a time, so your students only have to pay attention for about five minutes
- it leaves you lots of opportunity to also review with your students

I suggest teaching or reviewing one thing with your students before EACH centre rotation. I always bring my students back to the carpet before each rotation. We can regroup and discuss any necessary reminders, and then I move right into the one thing I want to teach them that day. I do two rotations, so I review/teach them something about centres twice per day. As I said in a previous post, I start the year with centres that my students already know how to do - things that require no explanation (blocks, lego, play doh, etc.). I teach only behaviour expectations (see this post for more details) and routines (see this post for more details) at this time. Once they are independent and doing what I expect, I add in our "real" centres gradually, once at a time, over the span of a couple weeks. Which brings me to my first tip!