Tell me how your reading centers work

Discussion in 'Third Grade' started by waterfall, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Aug 31, 2012

    I need help! It has to be stuff that the kids can do 100% on their own, because I'll be teaching guided reading while they're doing it. We had some centers that my team had made last year, but the P doesn't want us to use them- NO worksheets/packets allowed. I also have some extremely low students that I need to differentiate for, but I'm having trouble envisioning how they'll be doing these separate activities, again 100% on their own, while I'm teaching and the other kids are doing a different activity.

    I know I need one for vocabulary- we were doing the box thing where they write the definition, the synonym, use it in a sentence, and draw a picture, but that qualifies as a worksheet.

    I would also need comprehension. We were working on short constructed responses, but again, worksheet.

    I think the fluency one we have might be okay...

    What do yours look like?
     
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  3. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Sep 1, 2012

    Could they do word sorts for vocabulary?

    Not sure what to do for comprehension that wouldn't involve writing something. Unless jotting something down on post-its would be okay?
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 1, 2012

    Do you have to do centers?
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Sep 1, 2012

    Yes
     
  6. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I use reading workshop and eventually we will bould up to around 30 minutes of reading time (that is part reading at independant level and part partner time followed by looking at trade books followed by more partner time), then I have 30 minutes of "centers" time. When we changed to reading workshop last year we decided to have the kids just stay at one station for the entire 30 minutes and they go to a different one each day, so there are 5 stations
    Mine are:
    - Computers
    - Writing (there are 2 tables, one has a variety of paper and suggestions of things they can write - cards, letters, stories, etc..., and the other usually has something specific to complete like thematic words, sight words, tracing letters etc... - obviously this is for kindergarten so you would need to adjust it)
    -Listening (one regualr station with 3 books where they listen to at least one and do a written response, one is a leap pad set, and I also let them go to the classroom library after they have finished listening/responded to at least one story)
    -Phonics - these are usally the lakeshore types of games and activities and they are changed out regularly
    - Art - some kind of art project that goes with our science/social studies for the week

    Additionally a few ideas that are not worksheets:
    For spelling use stamps, magnet letters, word sorts, use the pocket chart where they match the words/definitions/pictures - you can color code the back of them to make them self checking, maybe look at file folder games for your grade level, journal prompts (maybe in a spiral?), flash cards with a partner, or reading and having oral discussions.
     
  7. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Sep 1, 2012

    One more thing - it takes a while before they are really great at it. We talk about what they should be doing and what that would look like and what it would sound like vs. friendly talk and off task behavior. If they can't handle the responsibility I always have some boring work they can do at their chairs instead ;)
     
  8. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Sep 1, 2012

    Comprehension ideas
    - make big cubes out of construction paper, write questions on each side.
    - Have them write things on post its, put up on big anchor charts

    Vocabulary
    make a Memory type game where they have to turn over words and match up with definitions

    My centers are:
    reading with a buddy - sometimes any book they want, sometimes big books, weekly readers, poetry, reader's theater

    independent reading

    word work - a few purchased games, sight word games I've made myself, writing spelling words in various ways (they love using crayon on white paper over those bumpy plastic sewing mats from craft stores), "hunting" for words that follow a certain spelling pattern, making words activities, word sorts

    Computer - Raz Kids, various phonics games I've found online

    Can you do math and reading centers at the same time? I don't, but lots of teachers in my school do...
    My math centers are usually
    math facts (online games, handheld electronic things I've bought, card games, etc),

    counting and bundling popsicle sticks (they try to get to 1000)

    a few board games like Memory, Yahtzee, Chutes and Ladders (that I've adapted to meet certain skills - like writing doubles facts on the Memory cards)
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    What do you think of this idea?

    Someone suggested daily 5 to me and I read the book. I really, really like that it would be the same thing for them to do every day and it does not involve me making a million things/things/keeping track of all of their work. I am thinking about possibly modifying this to look more like "centers" but am not sure it would be effective since it would look so different than what it's "supposed to" look like.

    Here's what I'm thinking- 25 minutes whole group (to do a lesson on our basal reader), and then 60 minutes left for centers/small group. However, I would have an area of the room that is "read to self" an area that is "read to someone" an area that is "listening to reading" etc. and have them rotate like centers. Obviously, they wouldn't get to each one every day but I would work out the weekly schedule so that they had time in each one.

    I am also concerned about the "read to self." When I taught sped I often had to do observations in gen ed classrooms for IEP reports and I can honestly say I have NEVER seen silent reading done well in the multitude of different classrooms/teachers I've seen. The kids that are good at/like reading are the only ones happily reading their books. The low kids are more like "silent looking." I do have my kids pick two independent books to keep on their desks for the week to pick up if they finish with something early. However, I'd venture to say that 70% of kids pick books that are too hard for them, even after lessons and clear expectations about what a "just right" book is. I'm not envisioning this working unless I literally meet with each child and make them read the first page of the book to me to make sure they can do this. Obviously, there isn't time for that. Even if I make sure they have the right book(s) somehow, is there a way to hold them accountable for actually reading? I know it's not part of the Daily 5, but I was thinking of asking them to write a reader's response journal or something.
     
  10. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Sep 2, 2012

    It sounds like you have a good plan. The daily 5 definitely helps with centers that are non paper.

    I would look into the CAFE book next. It's a great tool to use with the daily 5 and would help to make your students more accountable for actually reading during independent reading.
     
  11. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Do you think it would totally be ridiculous to get rid of the "read to self" as a center? I know people feel like that one is really important, but like I said, I've just never seen it done well. I have kids read any time they finish something, so they already get this a lot during the day. I have some very slow finishers, so by the time we're finished with an activity most of the class is reading. My slow finishers are my non-readers anyway- I know the d5 talks about "reading the pictures" but I honestly don't feel this is the best use of their time. I've heard of the cafe book, but I'm honestly so overwhelmed right now...I don't want to try to implement two new programs as well as my five new (for me) curriculums.
     
  12. HugsInOK

    HugsInOK Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2012

    I have my kids read aloud during "Read to Self". They love it!
     
  13. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I use D5 and it's great because you don't have to create and set up centers and it's wonderful for them.
     
  14. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Sep 27, 2012

    I do read to self in Daily Five and have done it before using Daily Five also. I think it is very important.

    With it the children just looking at the book are actually doing what is expected since there are three choices of how to read. I noticed last year, I was very determined to solo read daily, that children who if in a moment were not reading the words all the time or started the year not actively reading by the end of the year they were reading more often and were more interested in reading and books overall.

    A group of students who at the beginning were not very into Read to Self towards the end of the year started creating their own reading groups. They found specific books they could read in a group circle that they set up and ran themselves.

    My students also are not required to read silently.

    I think part of the picture read is accepting that there is a range of ability and if we start with the expectation of children who are not comfortable reading will force themselves to sound out and blend and guess it takes away the enjoyment of reading for those children. The taking away the joy of reading turns children who are learning to read into children who see reading as a painful straining experience. This makes our ability to facilitate the learning to read a more challenging experience for ourselves and for the children. While giving them the freedom to read in ways that fit for them enables them to move at their own pace when reading books that are of interest to them. It thus draws their interest and curiosity into reading rather than making them not want to have to read.
     
  15. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Sep 27, 2012

    Ditto. My kids even have those phones they can talk into and hear themselves read. They love it. I personally would not take read to self out. I know not all my kids are actually reading, but reading the pictures at least allows them to be involved and begin to enjoy books, not to mention becoming familiar with books. I also have them put their small books in their book boxes after we study them so they do for sure have books that are in there that they can read (although we go over how to pick a good fit book).
     
  16. ms.pekkle

    ms.pekkle Rookie

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    Jan 28, 2014

    Do any of you (or another reader) require kids to document their stations work in a folder? I am thinking of doing that, don't know how though.
     

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