I have so many ideas on using centers this year in my 6th grade Math classroom (more on that later). I found a great idea on managing centers while surfing through Pinterest and the blog world. I cannot find the original post of this idea, so I am by no means taking credit. If this was your idea, by all means, take credit for it. I just think it's a great idea. You use stacking cups in the colors of red, yellow, and green - like the stop light. I found these at Hobby Lobby for about $3 for a pack of 24. Even middle school students need redirection during activities. I thought this was a great visual and it keeps the teacher from yelling at students to get their attention. The notice is calm and it's swift.
I like this also because it holds the group accountable to each other. Of course, any individual student that is off task and not working with the group would have to be dealt with individually. The group shouldn't be punished for one student's offenses. This system would strictly be for the entire group.
So many times as I've circled group stations and warned certain groups they were getting too loud, only a few students would hear me or pay attention. I would then have to speak to every student in the group to make sure they understood me. This way there is no question as to my expectations and the consequences should they not cooperate. I hope this makes group work/center time even better this year!