I keep trying to change the way I do centers. The past few years, I have placed a number of items in a basket that pertain to a certain area. For example, for Main Idea, I would put in a couple of Main Idea games, books, graphic organizers, etc. There would be enough activities to occupy students for a few days in the center. The activities would be multi-level so students with different abilities can find something easier or harder based on their interests. I found these centers to be effective until a certain point.
Pros - Students are in the center for multiple days. I can pair students with different abilities to work in the same center as their would be activities to occupy each of them. Most centers were engaging to students. I would have an artifact that must be created at the end of their time in the center.
Cons - Some students would act up when they were placed in a center they didn't like. It was difficult to change student partners since the centers rotated in a specific pattern. It was tough to create new students with many activities that the students could complete in centers. Storage of these activities is tough. Some centers were much more involved than others.