Saturday, October 13, 2012

Literacy Centers 2012-2013

I friends! I am posting today about how I manage my literacy centers.  This summer, I was planning on doing Daily 5 in my room.  With all the cuts that were made in my building, I knew I'd be operating with more kids and less help.  I read the book, made my cards, and got ready to go!  However, once I started the year, I found that this program was not the best fit for my students or me.  I was trying to manage 900 reading groups while kids were "at centers" but it was off the chain! Constant interrupting despite all my modeling and practicing.  The noise level was ridic.  I had to take a step back and realize two things: 1. I have 10 more kids this year than I did last year.  2. I have less help this year than I did last year.  It was time to prioritize.  I am just meeting with my two lowest reading groups M-Th while the rest of the students are engaged in silent reading. Everyone still gets to take home a leveled reader on their reading level each night for practice at home.

I knew I needed time for some intervention with my struggling kids.  My building used to have a 30 minute block for each grade level to do RTI.  We also used to have several teachers that were hired specifically to do these interventions for our kids.  This year, not so much...

I wanted to have about 15-20 minutes to work with kids that need extra support M-Th.  So, I set up my centers as follows:

I have my class sitting in 6 groups of 4 (that's how I have my desks arranged).  Therefore I have 6 centers.  4 of those centers are "tubs" that have something inside.  The other 2 centers are Big Books and Computers.  I just made and laminated signs that say "Big Books" and "Computers" and I rotate the signs around their desks since they don't have a tub.  It makes management simple!

Each day, I rotate the tubs or cards that say "Computer" or "Big Books" around their tables.  Each day for 6 days, the kids get to visit their center.  I like this method for several reasons: all kids visit every center, all materials are ready at their seats, all kids are engaged during this time, and this method allows me to pull students for some intense RTI.  The pulling means the kids might miss some of the activities but my instruction is much beneficial than the centers that they would most likely be struggling with.

My tubs are as follows: phonics (some sort of phonics game), listening center (I had spend hundreds of dollars on these over the past 9 years, so I didn't want them to go to waste! Listening centers are SO beneficial for early readers!), and sight word practice (2 different tubs with 2 different activities).  The beauty of having these tubs is that I am not committed to any of the things inside, meaning I can throw whatever I want in them as I see the need.   It allows me to integrate holiday games/activities as well.

Listening Center=This is a tub with multiple copies of the book at the center, crayons, pencils, and my free recording sheet set.  I do have headphones but with lice in full swing, I am not using them.  This is set up in a small section of my room.  The kids grab the tub and go to the tape recorder which is on the floor in my room.

Listening center
Big Books=I have tons of big books and tons of pointers.  The kids love grabbing different pointers and using my easel or the rug to read the big books, Dr. Jean lap books from Creative Teaching Press, and old morning messages on my spiral chart tablet.


2 Sight Word Tubs=Currently, I have my Fry's Words: First 100 Words-Magnetic Letter Mats pack there
(with just the first 25 out) along with cookie sheets and my wonderfully organized magnetic letters. As the year progresses, I will put more mats out, including my Fry's Words: Second 100 Words-Magnetic Letter Mats pack.  In my second sight word tub, I currently have my Fry's Words: First 100 Play-Doh Mats pack there (with just the first 25 words out).  Again, as the year progresses, I will put more/different mats out.  

Cookie sheet sight words-whoops! Someone can't spell 'any!' 
Magnetic letters for cookie sheet sight words
Play-doh sight words 

Computers=Currently, students are going to RAZ kids or Starfall.com.


Phonics=Currently, my kids are working on an apple rhyming game from Teacher Bits and Bobs.



I hope this post is helpful! Thanks for reading!

11 comments:

Sarah said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love planning centers! I'm actually getting ready to do mine for next week...I "booed" you in my blog! Come check it out and when your done, head over to my TN store to pick out a treat of your choice!

Sarah
teachingiscolorful.blogspot.com

Cynthia said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I hopped over to your blog because Sarah boo'd you. I feel your pain with centers. In the past when I had lots of kiddos, I did 10 centers so it took 2 weeks to rotate through. This way, I could meet with every group each day for 15 minutes. This kept the rest of the groups with only 2 students (and sometimes 1) at a time in the group to help manage with noise level. Of course, I tried to make 4 of those groups "silent" groups by having listening or silent reading.

Come on over and join the party by booing 3 of your favorite blogs. :-)

Cynthia
2nd Grade Pad

Tiffany M said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

At this level Daily 5 is really based on your students, I think. This is my 4th year teaching and each year I strive to do Daily 5, but it has only been successful with 2 of my classes. It really depends on how independent your students can be. So I feel your pain! The good thing is that your found a system that works for you and your students are engaged in learning process! Thanks for some good word work ideas!

Kathy said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm glad that you found and did what was best for your students in your classroom. That doesn't come in one book or one way of doing things.

Kathy
First Grade a la Carte

Jen R. @ The Teachers' Cauldron said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm SOOO glad you didn't try to force Daily 5 when it wasn't working!! that's why i don't really do it - because what I do works for me - and i LOVED seeing how you are doing it :)

Mary said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks for sharing your centers! I too struggle with doing Daily5, so I do Daily 3 with a little tweeking. Love your work!
Mary M.

Mrs.Garcia said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Your stuff is so cute! What is the name of the font you used on the cover of your conference pack where it says "30 reproducible...."?

Karen said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

You are a genius! Love your system for centers. It's simple, easy to plan for, and doesn't require a lot of time to set up. Thanks for sharing!!!!

Karen
anappleadayinfirstgrade.blogspot.com

mymezzaluna.com said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Fantastic ideas, thank you.

Dee Dee Harris said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I am going to use some of your great ideas when setting up my first grade centers this year! Thanks for sharing!

Dee Dee Harris said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I am going to use some of your great ideas when setting up my first grade centers this year! Thanks for sharing!

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