After attending some professional development this summer, I decided to make some changes to my literacy centers in order to allow students more autonomy and choice. For the most part, my centers are run the same as they have always been. The only difference is that I do not tell students to which center they must go. Instead, I allow them to select their center, as long as they do not repeat the same center in one week.
I created a new center chart which resembles my old one. The only difference is that the new one has six dots for each center. These dots represent the maximum number of students who can attend that center at once.
As part of their morning jobs, students will use a labeled clothespin to clip the dot showing which center they wish to attend that day. After clipping the dot, they will also color that symbol on their Literacy Center Tracking Chart (to ensure they don't repeat any centers during the week).
Instead of assigning a leader for each center each week, I instead added the job of "Center Leader" to our class helper jobs. Students choose their jobs each Friday afternoon for the following week. So, two or three students can choose to be center leaders. When students need help, the Center Leaders will fill in for the teacher and provide help.
You can read all about my class helper jobs here.