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Old 08-25-2006, 05:02 AM
loves2teach's Avatar
loves2teach loves2teach is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,390
5th Grade Teacher
5th grade reading center ideas...


This is probably a dead horse, but I am having to do centers during my 90 min reading block (actually I do 120 min block, but that includes language).
Anyway, I am going to try and meet with my students in 3 groups for 20 minutes each (3 groups of 6). Then 5 of my advanced students will have someone coming in to work with them as part of a new program my school is doing.

I am trying to come up with new ideas for my "centers". The way I do them, is that usually everything they need to complete the center is in a bucket, and they take the bucket someplace to work. They have to be reading skill based-

So far I have thought of
-putting words in abc order
-newspaper activity
-listening (although I am having a hard time finding things for them to listen to)
-some type of game w/ our reading skill for the week
-readers theater

Anything else I am forgetting? I am hoping to have 5-6 for the week, and then the kids rotate through them in groups.

Old 08-25-2006, 07:09 PM
new enrichment new enrichment is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 4
New Jersey
One great center we use is putting the words from LA, Reading or Spelling on cards and then you take a sentence strip and make a crown out of it and put paper clips on it. In groups, One student puts a word on the other students crown and attaches it with paper clip. Then the student wearing the crown has to guess the word. Asking such questions like what part of speech is it, give me an antonym etc. The other students in the group give clues when asked until the student guesses the word and then he has to spell it!
Try it -it's fun!
Old 08-25-2006, 09:12 PM
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goopp goopp is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,133
4th Grade Teacher
One game I'm planning to use in my 5th grade classroom is this:

using letter tiles (actually, I have a scrabble font and I printed the letters and lamintated them), they choose 15 letters out of a container. They have to make as many words as possible with those letters. They give themselves points (on the tiles) for each letter in each word. They write the letters they chose at the top of the page, then list the words they made along with the points. They play to a set number of points, (50 or 100 or whatever). To make all their points, once they've done all the words they can with their 15 tiles, they put them back and draw 15 more.

Does that make sense?
Old 08-26-2006, 09:16 AM
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loves2teach loves2teach is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,390
5th Grade Teacher
Those sound really good! I am only giving the kids one center to complete per day for now... My group this year has been overwhelmed if they are asked to do too much at one time. I am hoping to add a little bit more each week to help them not freak out.

Have my fingers crossed that it works out this week!
Thanks for the ideas... Keep them coming!
Old 08-26-2006, 09:52 AM
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6thgradeteacher 6thgradeteacher is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 92
Texas, USA
I was also told I had to do centers with my older kids, which I was not used to, but have found a lot of really good ideas that I hadn't thought of before....You may have some of these already...

1. Webbing Vocab words

2. Dictionary Dig - find a word and basically do everything with it from synonym, sentence, sentence from story, antonym, root words, any other words in that family, prefixes, suffixes, etc...

3. Letter tiles- (already said) I found these at Walmart for $3.00 a tub!!! Designate certain letters they have to pull out and see if they can figure out the "magic word" that you have pre-determined using all the tiles.

4. Weekly story on tape/cd in a listening station

5. Go back and re-read story with a partner

6. Editing station (Daily editing handout or a peer editing a current writing piece)

7. Spelling homework station (rainbow writing, pyramid writing, etc..)

8. Weekly Reader such as Time For Kids in a station

9. Leveled readers that correlate with the current story you're reading in a station

10. Illustrating vocabulary words

11. Main Idea Headlines- mount/laminate newspaper articles and leave off the headline. Have students come up with a title for the article (main idea)

12. Comprehension ?s

13. Alternate ending (Have students write an alternate ending to the story they just read)

14. Sentence Stretchers (Give students a sentence strip with a two word sentence such as "Dogs run." Then ask them to add a definite article, then maybe an adjective, then maybe and adverb, etc...) Each time their sentence should get more detailed. Then they could illustrate them.

15. Fluency Race - For this one, I have a shoe box with two random items in it, maybe a brush and a little box of cereal. They are to time each other and write as much as they can in two minutes connecting these two items somehow.

16. Discover! cards from Tin Man Press. (These are notecards on a ring.) They are awesome. I got one from a friend, and I am in the process of designing my own. But, basically, each set of cards is looking at an everyday item and asking them to think outside the box about it....For example, this one I borrowed is called "Discover! A Spoon. (I would have these cards and a spoon in a Ziplock at this station.) Some of the questions are....Write all the words you can think of that rhyme with spoon., How many spoons tall are you?, Which part of your body can be used something like you use a spoon?, Draw a picture of the way a spoon would look if you hit it with a hammer until it was flat., How is a spoon like a zipper?, etc...

These are just some of my ideas. Sorry I rambled on! I'm always looking for new LA stations. Hope these help.
Old 08-26-2006, 09:43 PM
ibmrsh ibmrsh is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 77
Juneau, AK
Those are great ideas 6thgradeteacher! I don't actually do centers in my 4th grade class, but I plan on using some of your ideas for kids to do when they are done with other activities! I love the main idea one with newspaper articles. Thanks!
Old 08-26-2006, 10:10 PM
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dkclift2 dkclift2 is offline
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Posts: 6
might i ask, where did you get the print out for the scrabble tiles. That sounds like a great idea for a center. I also was looking for a scrabble board (print out) itself, so the class could play scrabble as a whole class w/ teams.
Old 08-26-2006, 10:10 PM
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teachingmomof4 teachingmomof4 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,003
1st and 2nd grade teacher
Those were some awesome ideas. I teach first and second and use centers. Here are some that I use:

1. Journals: Use story starters and have students finish the story and illustrate.

2. Silent reading: Just having practice silent reading. Maybe have them write a summary of a chapter/book read.

3. Squiggle: Students make an illustration of a squiggle on a piece of paper and write a story to go with it.

4. Top Ten: Make a list of Top Ten whatever (animals, countries, things to do in the summer, etc. Could be anything) When the students have a list they can do lots of different things with the list like: putting them into sentences, adding endings, writing them in different types of letters, making stories, putting them in ABC order, adding to the list, categorizing them

5. Letters and Notes: Have students write letters to various people.

6. Listening comprehension: Students listen to a story on tape and answer questions about it, tell and illustrate their favorite part, retell the beginning, middle, and end; create a different ending, discussing favorite characters

7. Reading the Room: Students have a clipboard and walk around the room recording different words/phrases: rhyming words, words that end in -s or -es, -ing words, base words, etc. or whatever skill you want them to work on

8. Find it in a Book: finding vocab. or other types of words in a book or even types of sentences (For younger students, telling sentences and questions but for older ones they can find commands, contractions, adjectives, etc.)

9. Flip Books: fold a piece of construction paper in half (hamburger style) fold in half again two times (hot dog) and cut halfway up to make 3-4 slits that flip. You can have students write something on the front (types of sentences) and illustrate and give an example inside the flip. I use them for: types of sentences, B M E, vocabulary words, parts of a sentence, describing characters, parts of a story, etc.

10. Character Award: Students give a favorite character an award and reasons that the character should receive it.

11. Book Talk: Describing your favorite part of the story, only telling the gist; selling the story so that others would want to read it

12. Leveled reader activities: usually a packet of things that will coincide with the leveled reader during that week

13. Bingo: I have a couple of Bingo card games that the students can play. They love to be the person who reads the card. I think they have them for older students too.

14. Making Words: Students have letters to cut out (or use letter tiles or precut letters). Students make as many words as they can with the given letters and try and find the "secret" word that uses all of the letters.

I have a couple of books that have different ideas for literacy. Two that I can think of off the top of my head are: Alternatives to Worksheets and More Alternatives to Worksheets. They have a lot of really good ideas that even bigger kids can do.

Hope this helps.
Old 08-27-2006, 07:34 AM
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goopp goopp is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,133
4th Grade Teacher
Originally Posted by dkclift2
might i ask, where did you get the print out for the scrabble tiles. That sounds like a great idea for a center. I also was looking for a scrabble board (print out) itself, so the class could play scrabble as a whole class w/ teams.
I can't help with the scrabble board, but I downloaded the font from this site:


Good luck.

5th, center, grade, ideas, reading

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