Literacy Centers, Do you do them?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by AngelM, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. AngelM

    AngelM Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2007

    I am curious how many of you do lit centers as part of a reading block? I will be a new 2nd grade teacher this fall and will be required to do the 90 minute reading block. It is my understand that most teachers use about 30 minutes of this for whole group and do guided reading and centers during the remaining 60 minutes.

    If you do centers, how many do you rotate through in a week? I am thinking about starting out very simple - four stations. I don't want to overwhelm myself right off the bat. If I have three groups and meet with each group for 20 minutes (guided rdg), have them do a center for 20 minutes, and then independent seatwork for 20 minutes, will this work?? (Oh, also, I don't plan on doing the groups/centers on Fridays).

    Sorry for the long post and hope it's not confusing. Just curious as to your thoughts on whether this will work (or what you do that's different). Thanks!!!
     
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  3. Pattie

    Pattie Companion

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    Jul 29, 2007

    I found that my kids didn't take a whole 20 minutes to get any seatwork I gave them done. So I leave my centers open for whenever they finish and I have 5 out that I can leave for more than a week, otherwise it's too much work. Listening center, library, math centers (clear shoeboxes w/games), magnet center (2 file cabinets butted up to each other), and pocket chart/word work center which is right near the word wall. I do writing at a separate time. Don't be afraid to let them choose and be free for that hour. If your activities are engaging, they will be too and don't worry about checklists and correcting work. National trainers tell us it should be "process time, not product time" so I don't expect to see products. They just practice the learning areas and games we've gone over. At the library you can put those phones for listening to yourself read, puppets to read to, and pointers for read and write the room. I got lots of them at the dollar store.
     
  4. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Jul 29, 2007

    Last year I followed this for my 90 min reading block:

    20 min word work
    20 min minilesson
    20 min independent reading
    20 min centers
    10 min sharing

    I don't know what I'm going to do this year. I keep going back and forth about centers.
     
  5. Miss Bradley

    Miss Bradley Companion

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    Jul 29, 2007

    What exactly do you do during your "word work" time? Is it like an introduction to your minilesson or more of a warm up from previous lessons?

    Also, when (or if) do you do guided reading groups?

    Thanks!;)


     
  6. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Jul 29, 2007

    We do the word wall, letter sounds, sentence dictation on white boards, spelling, making words, shared reading, interactive writing, other phonics activities and "games".
     
  7. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Jul 29, 2007

    My minilessons are on comprehension strategies. I use Reading With Meaning by Debbie Miller as a guide for my whole year, with other ideas intertwined as well.

    I do two guided reading groups a day, during independent reading and centers. I want to get in conferencing too, somehow!
     
  8. Miss Bradley

    Miss Bradley Companion

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    Jul 29, 2007

    Thank you Miss Kirby! I have been hearing good things about that book--I think I will pick it up! :)
     
  9. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    It's my favorite. My reading instruction completely changed after reading it.
     
  10. mmis

    mmis Companion

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    Jul 29, 2007

    Love Reading with Meaning- it's the best!

    I also use Isabella Beck's book- Bringing Words to Life to help with my vocabulary instruction during my 90 minute reading block.

    My block:
    20 minutes- phonics whole group
    20 minutes- read aloud-(vocabulary 3 days a week)
    20 minutes- guided reading
    20 minutes - centers- I have 10 centers with 2 people in each one. It takes 2 weeks to rotate through all 10. They stay the same I just change the activity:
    computer, listening center, spelling, language, library,
    research, puzzles/games, writing, big book, magnetic letters and poetry
    10 minutes sharing
    I have a separate 30 minutes where they read independently
     
  11. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Jul 29, 2007

    Your reading block is similar to mine. During guided reading, do you have a small group? What are the other kids doing?
     
  12. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Jul 30, 2007

    I don't do centers, except for during word study. Otherwise, they are reading, writing, or responding to what they read. I do most of my literacy instruction doing either SSR (daily) journal writing and writer's workshop (daily) and guided reading with the whole group (in units, author study, etc.-- not daily) and a read aloud, which we respond to in reading response journals... a poem a week, also-- but that will be new this year. I don't have a 90 minute block, but things are spread throughout the day:

    Daily:
    35 minutes journal writing
    35 minutes silent reading
    20 minutes read aloud + 10 minutes of response

    I do word study 2-3 days a week on top of that, and it lasts an hour. If I do guided reading, we do it for about 40 minutes, including reading, discussion, etc. I do that for like 2-3 weeks while working on a unit, and it takes the place of something else, but we still do the other lit stuff. My schedule is quite flexible.

    During word study, I meet with small groups. When they are not meeting with me, they:

    --play a game with their group focusing on the pattern we are looking at (made using the Words their Way templates)
    --work on a word study packet, which is just a phonics type set of worksheets... I think pretty boring, but some kids need/like the work
    --practice their words with a partner
    --do some sort of activity after we have met pertaining to what we just did.
    --play another game, not having to do with a specific pattern, but more like a making words activity

    I tried doing this without centers, whole group, and it did not work. I give each group an activity to do before and after we meet. My highest group usually meets last, and they have very specific activities they work on, which require more time.
     
  13. mmis

    mmis Companion

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    Jul 30, 2007

    I generally have the kids split into 4-5 levelized groups. These groups change frequently based on reading levels, interests, behaviors etc.

    I try to read with at least 2 groups per day. While I'm reading with one group the other groups are reading their own books and discussing various things- the beginning, middle, end.... the characters..... making connections.....

    Each group has a different book and they read that book for the week. Sometimes they do story retellings and share with the classs.
    If it's a non-fiction book related to our science or social studies- the groups will read the book several times at the beginning of the week and then work on a report of some sort to present to the class at the end of the week.
     
  14. mhirsch

    mhirsch Companion

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    Jul 30, 2007

    We don't rotate but rather have must do's and may do's and teach the students to move themselves through the activities. This site explains the method if you click on Listen to Cd you'll hear the first two episodes of the podcast: http://www.independentworktime.com
     
  15. AngelM

    AngelM Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2007

    Thank you all for the input. This is the aspect of being a new teacher that is giving me the most anxiety. I think I will start simple and progress into new territory as the time goes by.

    TeachChicago, I think my set up will be much like yours. That's how my mentor teacher had her block set up when I student taught. I think I will have eight stations that they rotate through over two weeks. I am planning on writing, reading, computer, listening, read/write the room, spelling, word work (something that goes with skill for the week?), and . . . I guess I need one more. Any ideas??
     

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