Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cozy Corners (Centers) Part 1

If  you have a student at Donald then chances are you have heard of Cozy Corners, but what are they?    Basically they are Centers in the Library.  We started with just a few that seemed like the most natural thing.  Reading with Snuggles (stuffed animals,)  Reading books alone to each other and spelling words with letters.
We call our stuffed animals "Snuggles" and the kids love to read to them.

Here you can see she is just reading to herself using a whisper phone.  Behind her you can see the laundry basket where we keep Big Books and the easel that is used to read them on.

If you shop at craft stores chances are you will find wooden letters  of all sizes and color.  We started collecting them and put them in a basket with ABC books and the kids would spell words from the book.  Now the boys built towers with them, but I'm sure they learned something:-)

The students of course loved this and so did we.  We have the kids for 50 minutes and checking out books and read aloud doesn't take that long so we added Cozy Corners.  As the months went on and we added more and more.  Things like Re-telling a story, Word Work,  Felt Board Fun and Sensory Tubs.  I'll talk about Sensory Tubs in another blog because they have taken on a life of their own.

You will notice in this retelling a story center that the pieces are made out of felt and paper.  We didn't have all the right characters so we just made them.

Several of my teachers use Daily Five so we made some rice bottles and put season words in them for the kids to find and write.  Coloring rice is super easy.  Put rice in a zip lock bag, squirt in some water color pain and mash it around.  When the rice is covered lay it on newspaper to dry.  Super easy

You can start small then add to it as you get more funds, find bargains at garage sales or just rummage through closets and cabinets at school.

Library friends if you are looking to start centers then I would suggest start with what you have.  We discovered we had a ton of Big Books that teachers didn't use anymore and they were too big for kids to check out.  We set up an easel with a pointer and bam Center #1.  The kids love to act like the teacher and read to other students in the audience.  

Now how many of you have subscriptions to magazines that don't get used much?  Well make it into a center and maybe give the kids "Whisper Phones" and you have a center that was no work at all.   We even through in some special carpet squares to make it special.  

Do you still use the book drop?  I don't anymore so I had the book drop cart that was just taking up space so we turned it into a puzzle table.  It cost nothing and we had no trouble finding puzzles for the kids to put together.  The pieces don't even fall off because of the lip of the cart.  We did put some clear tape around the edge inside so the table wouldn't drop down.  

Start small and watch it grow.  I will talk more next week about more of our Cozy Corners.


  1. These are all fantastic! I love that you started with things you weren't using and skills your students need. I'm now craving a set of those wooden ABC letters you have! I love what you did to the book drop. We don't really use ours, but I haven't gotten rid of it yet. When I do--I know exactly what I'll do with it! If you were able to cut a side out of it and add a shelf it would be perfect for storage.

    1. It would be perfect storage I never thought to cut a side out. Wait until you see what we did with the space the book drop went:-)

  2. Thank you for your first-hand experience which are amazing and cannot be found in any book. They also make me have a deeper understand of kids' behaviors!