Literacy Centers during Guided Reading- HELP PLEASE!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by neverhyper, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. neverhyper

    neverhyper Rookie

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    Hi All! I am a relatively new teacher (1st grade) and began using literacy centers last year. I grouped my students by reading levels and had each group rotate through all centers each day. I had 4 centers- ABC/word work, vocab/Spelling, writing, and guided reading with me. I store my centers in tubs and placed a center on each color coded table (red table=ABC center, blue table=spelling, etc). I met with each group (I had 4-5 reading groups) EACH DAY (M-TH-- i don't do reading groups on F). I wanted to try mixed ability grouping this year, however am struggling with the rotation schedule.

    My thoughts are if students are in mixed ability center groups I can call homogeneous guided reading groups to be with me. That is, they would leave whatever center they were in and come to me. When that rotation period (approx 17-20 mins) was over, they would move to the next center. I know I will have to have some sort of rotation schedule for centers. However, I am conflicted because when children are with me, they will be missing a literacy center. Does that make sense?

    Does anyone have any suggestions for rotations or schedules? Is there a way I can have mixed ability center groups while pulling kids in homogeneous reading groups and still meet with all reading groups 3-4X/week? HELP PLEASE! :dizzy:
     
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  3. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Welcome to A to Z!

    I pull homogenous groups to work with me, however, I do not group the other kids. They work in pairs based on the Debbie Diller model. So all the workstations are set up-about 2 for each objective (like you said spelling, vocab, fluency, listening, etc.) they move from center to center independently when they finish the task. I am very clear from the beginning with my expectations and even have a daily workstation log where they would color the box for the activity that did that day.

    So I call the "Tiger" group and those kids come over work with me, then go back to working in the workstations when I'm done with them. I also managed to meet with every group every day and loved that aspect of it as well. It worked really well for me and they felt like they had more choice in the activities they completed. I didn't care which one they did for fluency-but they had to complete one of them-one for each of the categories. Good luck!
     
  4. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Kinder - how do you handle it when more than 2 students want to utilize the same center? How do you keep kids from "hogging" or avoiding centers?
     
  5. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    We practice in the beginning-even role playing what to do if there are 2 students there and a 3rd come. Usually I'll put everything out and call the students to choose first who are being "superstars". If there are ones that aren't being used as much I go over between groups and sit down with 2 kids and work with it-it's amazing-more kids then want to work there! I also reflect a lot, doing more of the things they seem to like. I'm watching from my table as well-it keeps the noise down because they are only talking to one other child instead of a group of 4 discussing the concept.
     
  6. neverhyper

    neverhyper Rookie

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    Kinder- Thanks! That makes sense... How many centers do you have going at a time? Are they portable? What do you if/when students finish early- or only get to 1 center a day? Finally, how often to you change the centers?
     
  7. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I have the standards like Big Book, Listening, Computer, Overhead, Buddy Reading and just change out the materials on a weekly basis. The rest are based on objectives that are new or that I want to review-alphabetical order, comprehension, fluency (they time each other reading word lists-I just have to change out the word lists-they love that), sight words, phonics, writing, spelling, vocab. I usually have 10-12 options at one time. They are portable-even if just in Ziploc bags-I have them all on one shelf-they know they can take anything off that shelf as long as it's reading during reading workstations, math during math. Sometimes I'll put things out for them-to try to vary the activities a bit.

    If someone only gets one done and really does a good job with it, they also read with me in small group-I still see that as a success. If you turn it into who can get the most done-usually they don't spend much time really practicing. If they get everything done I do have a set of "challenge" activities that they can dive into.

    I have pics of the kids working if that would help you visualize-I'd be glad to pm you my website if you want.
     
  8. amyd

    amyd Rookie

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    KinderCowgirl, I would love to see your website! I'm really wanting to work on centers for this year!
     
  9. neverhyper

    neverhyper Rookie

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    Kinder- I don't know what PM is, but I'd love to see your website. That would be a great help. Thank you so much for your posts, they have been very helpful!
     
  10. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I do the Daily 5, so students don't move in groups. They just choose what they want to do and do it. I love it!
     
  11. neverhyper

    neverhyper Rookie

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    Pigeon- I just ordered that book... is it hard to set up/maintain? lots of prep? do you do reading during that time?
     
  12. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    It is VERY easy to set up and maintain. Hardly any prep! I did literacy centers for one year, and I prefer the Daily 5. And, yes, I do guided reading during that time.
     
  13. JTeach619

    JTeach619 Companion

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    My school uses a very scripted reading program (SRA Reading Mastery). I have no idea how I would be able to incorporate Daily 5 or Literacy Workstations with this program :(
     
  14. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    They don't get any hands-on activities to do during that time do they? I remember you saying it was quiet because they were working independently-they're not working with each other except to read to a partner-am I understanding that correctly? That's the only thing that's holding me back from trying it-I really like to give the kids an opportunity to discuss what they are learning and move around a little bit-they tend to be really kinetic learners at this level.
     
  15. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    me too kindercowgirl. I use D5 for reading stamina, but can't dive into it because I believe in the kids interacting and working together.
     
  16. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    Jul 10, 2010

    HOw about a make up day on Friday?

    I pulled students from what ever center they were at...at clean up time, they went back to their center and put their work in the unfinished center work basket...then on Friday I would give students some time to finish the unfinished work...if anything was still not done ten it was sent home to be finished on the weekend.
     
  17. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Yes, you are correct-they aren't interacting with one-another except for Read to Someone. I guess, though, for Read to Self, Work on Writing, and Listen to Reading, I don't really want them to be talking with friends because I feel those activities should be independent (except for making asking/helping someone spell a word).

    They are doing hands-on activities during word work, though. I'm thinking of making some Word-Work activities partner-based this year. I do Word Work a lot differently than recommended in the book...I have 3-4 activities they can choose from, and I rotate things every week (I'll have 3 familiar activities and 1 new). Not all activities are associated with sight words-they do a lot of sorting, playing file folder games, etc.

    I can definitely see why some kindergarten teachers would want to stick to centers, though. I think Daily 5 is debatable for kindergarten, but I feel the way I do it works for me. However, I think it would be PERFECT for first grade!
     
  18. amyd

    amyd Rookie

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    Thank you for the email! I loved looking at your pictures and seeing how the students are working! Can you explain to me how the kids play connect 4? That seems like it would be a good center and give some variety!
     
  19. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    The checkers have alphabet stickers on them. So they play with a partner to make words. The tricky part is to make them vertically as well as horizontally-it gets them thinking about spelling. You can usually find the game on sale at Wal-Mart of Target-so it doesn't cost a lot to make.
     
  20. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    I need to learn more about centers for youngers kids, too. I like the Daily five, but I also like the ideas here. The Connect Four idea is great!!!!!
     
  21. neverhyper

    neverhyper Rookie

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    I love the connect 4 idea- I'm going to go buy it today I think! How do you label the pieces? More vowels than consonants I imagine... same letter on both sides of the piece? Love the idea and am going to use it :)
     
  22. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I'm buying at least one Connect Four game on Thursday - payday!
     
  23. jlj

    jlj Devotee

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    Like the connect 4 idea! Can you tell us specifically how many of each letter?
     
  24. amyd

    amyd Rookie

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    Love that idea! So then to "win" they have to spell a word right? So if I'm wanting to do Daily 5 I could use that for word work right?

    That is going to be a project for summer for me!!
     
  25. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Definitely!
     
  26. teacherfan

    teacherfan Cohort

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    Please tell us how to make a connect four game for literacy! It sounds great.
     
  27. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I think I the alphabet stickers I bought had extra vowels in it-I'm not sure. I tried writing them on in like a paint pen-but it didn't work as well as the stickers. One set of letters on the black, the same set on the red. They take turns dropping in letters trying to make a word. I like that they really have to think about the sounds-especially when they attempt something vertically-ok, I need a word that ends in "t", etc. They kept score and the winner was whoever completed the most actual words-but you could structure it any way you wanted to. My kids really like it.
     
  28. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I love these ideas. Now I am debating on sticking with my centers or doing Daily 5. Hmmm
     

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