Managing Literacy Centers - Please Help!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by teaching1st, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. teaching1st

    teaching1st Companion

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    Jul 24, 2007

    Your help is much appreciated! I've been going insane :eek: the past few weeks trying to figure out how to manage my Literacy Work Stations while having small groups. I already have my centers that I will be doing, but I'm having a hard time arranging a rotation system of some kind. Here are my thoughts and maybe you can help me put together some kind of plan.

    My work stations are:
    1. Reading Fluency Station
    2. ABC/Word Study Station
    3. Poetry Station
    4. Writing Station
    5. Computer Station
    6. Big Book Station
    7. Overhead Station
    8. Listening Station

    I usually have 20-25 students.

    I have 45 min. block for small groups/work stations. I'm wanting to meet with 3 groups daily for 15 minutes, but I don't see how to manage rotation when I'll have more than 3 groups. :confused:

    I was thinking I would probably be having 4 or 5 groups:intensives/strategics/low benchmark/high benchmark or low/med-low/med/med-high/high.

    I DON'T want all my students at centers at the same time. I was thinking of having 2 groups at centers (not all at the same center - only having 2 at a center). 1 group at tables doing some kind of seat work that goes along with our Reading Core. But I would probably need to have some other activities in order to make a rotation, correct? :( I'm probably making this way confusing. :sorry:

    If anyone can shed some light on this confusing matter for me I would be forever thankful. If you have the slightest thought on how this might work please share. You might not think its a lot, but it might be the one thing that would be the "aha" for me to figuring this out. :thanks:
     
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  3. Starista

    Starista Cohort

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    Jul 24, 2007

    You're not confusing at all, dear!

    However, effectively managing literacy centers can be!! :lol:

    What I do:

    I have a class of 31 students. So I have about 6-7 groups and meet with about 3-4 during my literacy center block of one hour.

    While 7 groups is quite a lot, I find their center behavior and ability to stay on task is greater when there are fewer of them at a center.

    I think that having a group work on seat work during center time is a fantastic idea! My teammate does that with her literacy centers as well.

    It's quite important to meet with your lowest, most fragile groups daily. I regret that I do not get to meet with my high kids as often as I would like to, maybe 3x a week.

    Some teachers assign centers and others let the children choose for themselves. In my first grade class of 31, I choose the daily centers, and rotate them every day. Of course they get most excited to go to computer center or listening center, but they're just as content/learning at the other hands-on stations.

    I'm not sure if I helped -at- all, but please feel free to PM me and I can go into more detail about my centers. Literacy centers became mandated for grades K-2 at my school 2 years ago and I was very lost at first, but with a LOT of planning and organization, I've finally got them to where they're working pretty well. I hope I helped! :love:
     
  4. teaching1st

    teaching1st Companion

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    Jul 24, 2007

    Thank you Starista for your input. :) I'm realizing that this is taking a lot of planning and organization skills (which I must admit I'm still working on my organization skills). I just don't feel comfortable with having all my students at centers at the same time, which is why I'm thinking of having a table activity that they will do. Are your groups homogeneous or heterogeneous?
     
  5. patti2

    patti2 Cohort

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    Jul 24, 2007

    I also have about 45 minutes and I only meet with 2 groups a day for 20 minutes and then a 5 min. rotation period in between where I can answer questions and get everyone settled.

    I only have 5 centers per day (the # of reading groups I have)

    Each group rotates through each center twice during the week. Sometimes I switch out centers when they get bored....take out word work and put in some word computer time. I'm telling you-less groups is way easier to handle and keep up with:p


    I list each center like this
    Ist center 2nd center
    G. Reading Word Work
    Writing Library/Listening
    Partner Read Guided Reading
    Word Work Writing
    Library/Listening Partner Read

    I then clip the group name to the side (group: Pandas would have
    g. reading and word work on Monday. Then their group name clip would move down the next day. They would have writing and Library on T)
    (Group: Penguins would have Writing and Library on Monday and then their clip would move down to Partner REad/G. Reading on T)
     
  6. Elcsmith

    Elcsmith Companion

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    Jul 24, 2007

    I love the way my centers are set up. I have an hour for centers. I have four literacy groups. Around my room there are four stations. Each station has a variety of activities. There is at least one activity that focuses on the following areas in each center: Fluency, Comprehension, Vocabulary and Phonics. Each group stays at a center for two days so the total rotation lasts 8 days. During center time I pull each group for 15 minutes of small group instruction. This way each student gets practice in all centers and small group instruction.
     
  7. aya

    aya Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2007

    My classroom is small so I have the centers go to them. This is how I arrange it: On Friday I put together the centers for the following week. I put each center in a shoe box size tub (each a different color 5, one for each day of the week). I have my students desks in groups of 4 to 6 students. On Monday group 1 gets the first tub, Tues. group 1 would get the second tub and I would rotate the first tub to group 2. I basically just rotate all of the tubs around so that each group of students gets each one. While students are doing their center work, I call by my reading groups. It works great! The students working on centers are on task and quiet since they aren't up out of their seats (my room really isn't big enough for that anyway) and they have all the supplies they need right there. The only center that isn't at their desk is the computer and I have that set away from my reading group area. Hope this helps! ilearntechnology.com
     
  8. mhcooley

    mhcooley Companion

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    Jul 24, 2007

    This sounds very easy to manage. What kinds of activites are in each station?
     
  9. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Jul 24, 2007

    This might not be what you are looking for, but if your centers are pretty much individual work, you can have the students rotate through them when they finish with one, rather than having the whole class rotate at once. That way, students that finish fast can move on, and those that need more time will have it....this doesn't always work for group activities, but it is worth a try!
     
  10. Pattie

    Pattie Companion

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    Jul 24, 2007

    I have done centers many different ways but mostly I do an hour and pull my reading groups out by calling "red group" etc. Kids go to centers after finishing a writing task so half are in seats after 20 minutes finishing so my centers are never really noisy. I let them choose from about 6 centers. I have math games in clear shoeboxes about 15 and I just put 2 out on a table each week and rotate them. Next is Word Work and I have same thing, about 15 clear shoe boxes with stuff like wicki sticks, magnetic letters & cookie sheets, milk jug caps w/onsets and rimes, bead alphabet letters and shoe laces, etc.
    Next is listening post where I have 4-5 books w/tapes to choose from and I change them only monthly, 4th is puzzles/games like sight word bingo, giant floor puzzles, 5th is the rug area for buddy reading, read the room, big books, any kind of reading on rug & I have cute pointers, those phones to hear yourself read and cute camp chairs & couch.
    6th center is Magnetic. I use 2 file cabinets butted up back to back for a giant work area. Clear shoe boxes from Rubbermaid hold about 8 magnet activities I just let kids pick one each time they come. Favorites are magnet beginnings and endings of sentences. I bought at Lakeshore but you could make your own. They are wacky when read. (My dog....loves to play baseball). I have a rule that no more than 4 at a center. I have some extra centers in each area like pocket chart poems, magna doodles for spelling word practice, overhead poems etc. so the kids are NEVER BORED! I love center time and if kids are noisy I just call out their name and wave bye bye and they have to go to their desks with heads down for that 15 minute rotation. Very painful!!! It doesn't happen repeatedly cuz they don't want to miss out.
     
  11. mclaugcr

    mclaugcr Companion

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    Jul 24, 2007

    I love this idea! I'm going to be at a new school this year, and the room is MUCH smaller than my old room. I like that the centers go to the students rather than the students to the center. A question though, what topics do the centers focus on?
     
  12. Elcsmith

    Elcsmith Companion

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    Jul 24, 2007

    I usually make activities based on the core reading program. They could be crossword puzzles pulled from voc. Bingo, whisper phones, mimio board activities, file folder games anything as long as it relates to one of the four areas.
     
  13. teaching1st

    teaching1st Companion

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    Jul 25, 2007

    :) Great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing. My literacy stations have to be strick because I'm at a Reading First school and it always has to be on topic with what we're teaching that week or from previous weeks. It's not like I wouldn't do this anyways, but they question everything that you do, which gets annoying. So I'm kinda paranoid with that. But keep sharing what you do in your classrooms for rotations/management. Thanks again!
     
  14. Elcsmith

    Elcsmith Companion

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I'm a reading 1st school as well. I love the program but it is super strict!
     
  15. teaching1st

    teaching1st Companion

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    Jul 25, 2007

    Elcsmith, what reading core program do you use?
     
  16. Elcsmith

    Elcsmith Companion

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    Jul 25, 2007

    we use houghton mifflin...I love reading 1st. It's super strict but to me it makes sense!
     

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