Literacy Centers...what to do?

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by Carebear05, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

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    Aug 24, 2008

    I'm sure there have been many posts about this, but I am in desperate need of some ideas. Last year I had all the first grade Title I students, so I had 2 other teachers in the room working with groups plus me so I didn't need to organize centers for my students. This year I will have my own class and will have three groups in my classroom. I would just like for anyone to give me ideas on literacy centers or just give me some ideas on what you have your students do while you work with a small group. I wouldnt be as concerned about this if it were like 3rd grade because they're independent, but 1st graders..um yeah..dif. story. Any suggestions would be wonderful. Thanks!
     
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  3. mjennings

    mjennings Companion

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    Aug 25, 2008

    Well I usually dont do guided reading until about the 5-6th week of school. Instead I spend the first few weeks introducing the centers. I have several centers in my classroom. The reason i take so long to do guided reading is because in order for my esl 1st graders to be able to understad what I expect from them while I am working with a group I need to model EVERYTHING!

    Here are some of my centers (most of them stay the same however just change the assingment a bit)

    Each center has about 2-4 kids (mixed by level)- they have about 30-45 minutes to complete center.

    Reading Center- read in the meeting area (then fill out a sheet about what they read, draw a picture, change the ending, etc)

    Writing Center- students write about somehitng, sometimes I will give them a prompt to finish, they usually have to turn something in

    Listening Center- Listen to a story on tape/cd and respond to it somehow

    Word Study- kids usually stamp out their spelling words, use them in sentences, practice sorting by skill, etc.

    Math- its usually a worksheet page from our Everyday Math workbook, and then they play a math game we introduce the week before

    Handwriting Center a page or two of their handwriting notebook (they must circle their best letter)

    The kids each have a centers folder. Each day they change the center job, by the end of the week or two week rotation then turn their folder in. However, I do check daily to see how much work was completed.

    For those students who finish early, they have a challenge folder, they can work on any unfinished work, read a book or work on a file folder game.

    My kids know that they cannot rush through their work because if they turn it in undone or messy just because they wanted to use a file folder game, then they have to re-do their work during recess or I send it home for homework. So they make sure to get it done right!

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Aug 26, 2008

    Mjennings-

    Those are great! I am doing all of those but the reading response is done by all kids at the start of the block due to readers workshop.

    Carebear-
    For some reason it is just hard for me to get going on this. I too am looking for some things that I can keep standard so I am not having to come up with new things each week. I have them in my head so seeing them in print helps me get the lassoed. I plan on starting next week but introducing a few this week.

    I may do something on the small white boards
    Also, I have a blends pocket chart that is pretty neat.
    You could do mixed up sentences and have them put them in the correct order and write that sentence down.
    You could also do something with magnetic letters.
    You could have standard spelling that you do and just change it each week. I was thinking of rainbow spelling, stamp, write three times each etc.
     
  5. aek471

    aek471 Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2008

    I do a lot of the same centers as mjennings, but a few other ones too. My ideas include:

    POEM OF THE WEEK CENTER: Each Monday I introduce a poem of the week. Then I write it out on sentence strips and cut it up. Students have to put it back together in a pocket chart. Some work, but it's so fun to hear them say, "no, can't you see that this goes here??" It's great! A great resource for poems is canteach.ca.

    SPELLING CENTER: Similar to a word study center, I use letter tiles to spell out their spelling words and put them in plastic eggs, the kind you find at Easter time. They have to open the egg, spell the word correctly and then write it out.

    COMPUTER CENTER: Students are on a computer doing a designated program or starfall.com. Obviously only good if you have working computers in your room!

    READ THE ROOM: Each student gets a small pointer (usually embellished with pom poms or something) and they walk around the room, reading whatever they can. This can get a little chaotic, but they love it.

    Hope these help and good luck!
     
  6. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

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    Aug 26, 2008

    Thanks so much! Yes these have helped a lot. I am getting ideas of what I want to do. I guess my worry is that they will eventually get bored with the same centers. I mean Im not planning on having the same ones all year, but I know how kids that age can get. Some of them they may enjoy, others they may not and then they start to cause problems. Right now I am just trying to find ones to start off with that dont require making a lot of things because I feel really slumped with trying to get everything done as it is. But I appreciate the suggestions so far!

    (BTW-the easter egg thing sounds really cute and fun!)
     
  7. Goldie

    Goldie Companion

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    Aug 28, 2008

    Centers from my years in first grade...

    Big Books (the week's big book would go in that
    center with previous ones. Maybe include
    a few from K.)
    Listening Center
    Word Work Center (phonics and spelling)
    High Freq. Word Center
    Library Center
    Poetry Center
    Author Center
    Writing Center

    We used Harcourt Reading...many center activities came from the teacher's guide. Most important to me was to keep kids engaged in literacy activities and not spend lots of time changing them. As the year progressed, I would make file folder games for another center. I love the Carson Dellosa and Evan Moor center books. All you have to do is cut, laminate, and put together. This became the games center and if appropriate, I added some sort of a writing to the game but not a worksheet. Example...word sort then write the words on paper the same way as sorted. Oh ... Words Their Way has tons of word sort on the cd in the book. I used this a lot! Hope this helps.
     
  8. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2008

    Thanks so much! We use Harcourt too, so I guess there are some things I have overlooked. There is so much material in the book that I never got to half of it last year. I will check into it. Thanks!
     
  9. prinjess82

    prinjess82 Rookie

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    Aug 29, 2008

    I love this idea. But a question...how do the kids know what word they are suppose to spell within each egg? I mean...they open the egg and try to figure out a word that can be spelled or Is it written on the egg or something?Thanks so much!
     
  10. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Aug 29, 2008

    It's like a puzzle. They open it and unscramble the letters and try to figure out what the word is. Kids love it.
     
  11. brandi0718

    brandi0718 Comrade

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    Aug 30, 2008

    We also use play-doh to spell out their spelling words.
     
  12. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

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    Sep 1, 2008

    that's another good one! lord knows i bought enough play doh last year and never actually used it for anything educational :lol: im putting it to use this yr tho
     

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