Wouldn't it be great if we could make multiples of ourselves just so that we can get everything done? I try to make my own posters and centers. I do this when my students have extra-curricular activities going on. As long as I finish correcting their books and do my own day to day organisation of classroom work, I get so excited to create something from my to-do list. I use the store-bought charts too but I prefer to make them because I think that the students appreciate it more and it gives my classroom a more personal touch. These are a few of the charts that I was a able to make in a hurry...
I use this chart to reward them for spelling only. They get a few words every Monday and are tested every Friday. The Friday weekly test is the highlight of their week (it seems). I love that they are so eager! I used a space theme for this term. By now, they are overflowing with stars. My boys like anything related to science (and the girls like everything). So they are grouped up for co-operative learning in their space themed groups (see the lower part of the chart). Five to six students are in each group.
This is my area for storing our class money (it's all pretend of course!) but the coins are real. We use it for the buying and selling of... whatever! They bring their toys and the wrappers and boxes from used grocery items to set up a make believe class shop. That's fun. I also have some fractions and geometry stuff here too. As more stuff gets added for each topic area, I will separate them and have each topic area with its own centers. By the way, these 'pocket charts' were made from some folders that I cut up and stapled. Hey, ... I was in a hurry!
For the chart below, we had just started doing nouns and my students brought the pictures. I only provided the chart with the headings and they 'went to town' on this. After they massacred the newspapers and magazines! We did this during the lunch period. That is a way of getting things done when we have much to be done and as long as the students are having fun, they don't mind using part of their lunch time.
I will post more pictures soon!