Teacher Tips
Before the Lesson
The H.O.P. Centers Lesson Framework is designed to be a bell-to-bell lesson completed in one 90 minute block lesson or in two 45 minute lessons. When splitting the framework into two 45-minute block lessons it is recommended to have students remember the center they stopped working in at the end of the first class and immediately return to this center at the beginning of the second class. Losing time during the beginning of class or during the transitions from center to center can cause the lesson not to be completed in time very easily. Here are some tips for setting up the classroom to facilitate quick transitions.

  1. Arrange seats into three groups for the three centers prior to class.
  2. Place a basket with all of the basic items need at each center. Many teachers lose time with sharpening or finding pencils and paper at the beginning of class. Be sure to include sharpened pencils, paper, calculators, rulers, and Student Packets in the baskets to cut down on the number of students needing assistance to get started working at the beginning of class.
  3. Set up a group behavior chart on the board prior to class based on being Quiet and On Task . Practice making the transitions from center to center and assign tally marks to the groups that do this quickly and quietly. A reward could be a math game time at the end of the week, coupons from local fast food restaurants (many give these to teachers freely), or a VIP lunch with the teacher. Quick transitions are crucial to this lesson. Begin by modeling and rewarding from day 1.
  4. Always keep a schedule of the lesson on the board. This is included in the notebook presentation. If you do not have a Smart Board, be sure to copy it somewhere at the front of your class for each lesson. Users without notebook software can view the pdf version of these files.

Implementing the Review 4 You, Today's Task, Lesson


  1. Have the Review 4 You & Today's Task written or projected onto the board before students enter the classroom. Providing tickets or another type of reward to students who walk in, sit down, and being these two activities immediately will ensure that you are able to complete the lesson, cut down on wasted time, and aid in classroom management.
  2. The Review 4 You & Today's Task are simply primers. They are designed to be easy, make students of all levels feel as if they will be able to jump right into the lesson and contribute. Try not to spend more than five minutes on reviewing these two items.
  3. The Review 4 You and Today's Task are also designed to create a certain pattern of thinking for easy access to the lesson. During the lesson, be sure to reference the relationship between the Review 4 You, Today's Task, and the Lesson. Draw the connection between the type of process required for the Today's Task and the process being described in the lesson.
  4. These three components should take no longer than the first 15 minutes of class time. Once you have exceeded this time limit you run the risk of losing student focus and the ability to retain the material. Be short and concise. The students will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge during the three centers.
  5. During the lesson, continue to give group behavior points to keep students on task and prepare them for the transition to the centers.
Implementing the H.O.P. Centers

General Instructions:

  1. Students should be seated in the first center from the start of class. There should be no movement during the transition from the lesson to the first center.
  2. If you find that students struggle to understand what to do in the center, it can be helpful to pull aside a responsible student from each center before class, show them what they will be doing, and have the student aid their group in getting started. This is a great leadership opportunity for students.
  3. At the end of each center be sure to walk around and let students know how they can complete the rubric in their student packet. Be sure to observe students working at all three groups while you are running the Hands-On Center.

Implementing the Hands-On Center

  1. Place the Hands-On Center as close to the front of the room as possible so that you can easily access the group behavior chart. If there is one teacher in the class it is important to periodically make sure that all students are on task in their groups. Periodically marking the group behavior chart for the class while guiding the Hands-On Center can help keep all students quiet and on task.Therefore the Group Behavior Chart should be visible to all but still within arms reach of the teacher at all times.
Implementing the Open-Ended Center

  1. If there is a second teacher or paraprofessional in the room, they should be stationed at this center and guide students through the writing process. If there is no second teacher students should receive a couple lessons on the writing process prior to the lesson so that they know what is expected as they are working unassisted in this center.
  2. Creating a file folder organizer for this center can be really helpful in facilitating students to work without assistance. To see an example of such an organizer see uploaded photo titled Open-Ended Organizer in this collection.
Implementing the Practice Center

  1. Keep an answer key in a file folder at this center.
  2. Students should be instructed to show all work in their student packet.
  3. Take a few minutes in the wrap-up to review a sample problem from each section during the wrap-up.
Implementing the Wrap-Up

  1. Be sure to review all of the most important points of the lesson during wrap-up to facilitate student retention.
  2. Cover the review of a couple of the practice problems during the wrap-up in addition to the wrap-up activity.


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