Literacy Workstation / Center Management

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by pwhatley, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jun 27, 2010

    I know this topic has come up (many times) in the past, but I'm still looking.... How do you manage rotations with your centers? I want to move to heterogeneous center groups (while still having homogeneous guided/leveled teacher center) this year, but have no clue how to work this. What does your rotation system look like? How do you ensure that all students are doing what they are supposed to be doing? I'm used to homogeneous groups all rotating to the same station simultaneously (Group A - computer, Group B - teacher table), with 4 groups, but think my students will benefit from more/different center activities and mixed ability groups. I'm confused about how students who are pulled to the teacher table for small group work are supposed to complete their center rotations. I've seen a circular rotation chart that I think I like, but have no idea how to put it into practice. Help!
     
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  3. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Jun 27, 2010

    I get confused about this as well. I sort of blend the daily five.

    I pull a group for guided reading. Everyone else is in their literacy station.

    After that group is done, everyone puts away their station and chooses an activity (daily 5). The group who was previously in guided reading will go do their literacy station. I pull another guided reading group.

    I will then ring a bell and they will choose something else form the daily 5.

    I will release the guided reading group. At this point everyone is doing a daily 5 activity.

    Depending on time, I pull another group or I may do some 1-1 intervention.

    I am still deciding how much time each daily 5 activity will last. 15-20 mins I think.
     
  4. goingtogigi

    goingtogigi Rookie

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    Jun 27, 2010

    Must have guided reading management resource...

    I used to struggle with guided reading and literacy center managment too. A few years back our school paid to have Pat Pavelka come to our back to school retreat. She was wonderful. I would recommend her book Guided Reading Management - Structure and Organization for the Classroom(for grades 1-3). This book includes several ways to organize your students for centers and guided reading. The thing I like best is that it has visual charts to help you keep it all together. She also has great ideas for center activities and something called the Background Group which has changed the way I teach during my literacy block.
     
  5. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 27, 2010

    I know this sounds ridiculous to some people-but I don't rotate my kids. They work with a partner (and they can change partners or work alone-but no more than 2 people at each station). I call the students I want to work with for guided reading and then they just jump back in where they were. I do a chart for them to carry around with their clipboard and they color the square when they finish an activity-fluency, alphabetizing, word study-whatever the objectives are. If I see there's a student who's not really accomplishing much, I just redirect them from my table.

    I want them to be working on something that interests them and as long as they get everything on the chart done-I'm happy.
     
  6. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jun 27, 2010

    goingtogigi - just ordered the first edition of Guided Reading Management - Structure and Organization for the Classroom, used from Amazon. The only problem I have is that I might not get it until July 20! There is a new edition for 1-4, but it is more expensive, lol.

    Kinder - how do you ensure that there are no more than 2 kids at a station - my babies are very urban hand have little or no social skills (sharing, etc.). I have to teach most of them how to work cooperatively. Also, do you have any "stubborn" ones who think the rules don't apply to them? If so, what do you do? (I'm always looking to improve, lol.)
     
  7. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 28, 2010

    I'm always watching from my point doing groups-between groups I walk around and take a lay of the land. We practice and practice in the very beginning-role playing what happens if another child comes into the group-how they can help each other follow the rules. Sometimes they do try to get away with more than one (especially if I put something new out) but I just redirect and then they're fine. If I have to remind them more than once they work by themselves for the day, if they still aren't following the rules, they sit and work by me the rest of the day. I would also reward/compliment the groups doing things correctly. If the whole class worked hard and followed the rules for the whole 45 minutes I added 5 minutes to their recess. We also reflect at the end-what worked? what didn't (no names or anything).

    I'm in an urban community as well and taught Kinder previously-some had never been in school before-they learned pretty quickly. The other option I gave them was no workstations-so they worked hard to be able to have that privilege.
     
  8. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Kinder - can I come observe you? (whining) Sometimes I feel like I missed out on SO much because I didn't follow the "traditional" education route. My degree is in history, and I got my "credential" or certification separately. This will be my third year, and I want it to be even better than last year!
     
  9. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    I didn't follow the traditional route either! Not saying I'm awesome, but I think it also depends on where you teach. I teach in a district that has a lot of PD and a lot of resources. I also know that what we do in our district is not anything like what they learned in college.

    P.S. - Somebody once told me to give yourself 3 years of teaching before you start grading yourself.

     
  10. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I hope I don't sound like my students are nuts. They aren't (at least not last year, lol). But I am working VERY hard to improve MY outlook and practices. I wasn't raised with positive discipline - you know, positive reinforcement, etc., so it doesn't come naturally to me. I also don't have one of those "little miss sugar & sweetness" voices - sometimes I sound like a drill sergeant, lol (I was drum major in high school). I love my kids, and they love me, but they don't have a "super-nice" teacher. In some ways, I'm the meanest teacher at my school (I tell my kiddos) and in others, I'm the nicest (I do spend an inordinate amount of time/money on my classroom, lol). I hope I'm making sense. I have worked hard to modulate my voice in the classroom and on the breezeway (the playground is a different matter, lol), and I know that I do many things right, I just want to do better. I think I'm done rambling for now.
     
  11. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    I totally get you. I don't have the "little miss sugar & sweetness" voice either. I used to worry a lot about that... until one night after a presentation to parents about our balanced literacy program a parent walked up to me and he said, "Thank you. Thank you for talking like a grown up."

    I think the sugar and spice thing is great... just not for me! I tried doing it once and I sounded like I was talking to a dog. It just didn't come natural with me. Lol.

    Ok. I'm done rambling as well. =)
     
  12. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Sure, come on over! :) I'm no expert believe me-workstations are just something that I very much believe in and have read everything I can get my hands on.

    I was ACP certified myself, so I completely understand.

    I tell my kids all the time I'm a "mean, old ogre" (then they say "you're not old" ;). I truly think it's a balance-teachers who are too nice don't have good management either-it's like the parents who have no rules at home. My kids know it's because I want to keep them safe. I think it's awesome you want to do better-I go home most days thinking about what went right and what didn't and what can be improved-I think that's really important.
     
  13. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Jun 28, 2010

    I think that if you're on this forum, you're a pretty awesome teacher.
     
  14. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

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    Jun 28, 2010

    I just wanted to pop in and say I have enjoyed reading all of your perspectives and you have given me many things to think about! Since I am coming down from fifth, a lot of things are new to me! What are some of the different things that you work on in your workstations? I know I read fluency and I would assume sight words, but what other concepts do you work on?

    Second question- I will be doing the Daily 5 like Lynnnn and I would also like to implement Cafe this year as well. Has anyone tried to manage D5, Cafe, and the work stations? I suppose there could be a work station for each element of Cafe and then a few that would work on the main focus skill of the day/week.
     
  15. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Is Cafe even appropriate for first grade? I really don't know, therefore the question. I need to dig up my D5 book....
     
  16. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Jun 28, 2010

    Yes Cafe is appropriate for first grade. I just went through the training.
    Also, my work stations are Daily 5 work stations: read to yourself, read to someone else, listen to reading, word work, and writing. This year I will have computers too. (My classroom computers were very old and all blew hard drives this year. They are being replaced this year.:) )There are choices with in each work station, for example, in the writing station the choices this past quarter were to write a story, write the room, or write a letter.
     

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