Monday, October 7, 2013

Reading Centers!

For many years I struggled to find the perfect reading centers.  Everything I put together was either too hard for the kids to do by themselves or it required so much prep time on my part I was going nuts.  I've tried so many different things and I think I have finally find the right combination for me.

It required a little bit of prep work to get them organized, but now all I have to do is switch a few things every six days.  It is mostly add some new books and notebook paper.  It never takes me more than a few minutes to change it up, so it is TEACHER FRIENDLY!

I run reading groups three days a week.  I have six different reading centers and the kiddos go to only one center while I do reading groups.   I've split the kids so that they aren't in the same reading center with someone in their reading group.  This way when I am meeting with a group it decreases the number of students in each center.

Here are My Six Centers:
Spelling Center - 6 different activities that focus the kids attention on the order of the letters - they complete one activity each time they are in the center

Non-Fiction Reading - it helps tie into the common core standards by reading and writing about a non-fiction book of their choice - I try and use books that go with our science and Social Studies topics - the kids follow a list of ten things that they have to locate and tell about in the book - the kids really love this one!

Squiggle Center - they get a blank box with a squiggle line on it and they turn it into a picture and write a story about it - great review of those paragraph skills

AR Center - it is ten to fifteen preselected books for the students to read and take AR tests on - I made a data sheet for them to record the title and their score on it

Writing Center - I pick a poem, letter, or paragraph for them to copy and analyze by answering preselected questions

Sticker Story Center - finally a use for all those tiny little stickers we have - they pick 5 of the stickers and make them into a picture and then write a story

You can see that these centers have lots of reading and writing in them.  The kids LOVE it and want to go to centers each day.  I also have an Early Finisher Folder in most of the centers to keep everyone on task.  I put a review worksheet or a book in it for those kids that finish quickly.  It has allowed me to concentrate on my reading groups and we have very few talkers because they are so involved the centers.

I made a Safari themed set for my classroom and my friend wanted a rainbow set.  Here are the pictures of some of the pages.  You can click on the link to go directly to TPT to see them.  They are on sale this week for only $4!

I hope that helps you get a few ideas for your own reading centers!

Happy Teaching!