Re: Theme Related Centers -Here are the ones I use
Lori V., Clemsonbc@aol.com
These are only my literacy centers. I do purely literacy centers during my L.A. block and save Science, and Math centers for different times. Unfortunately with the day we have, I do not often get to do "fun" centers like blocks etc. But my kids love doing these, and the ask me when we are going to do them if we miss them for whatever reason. This is the time I pull out my guided reading groups. I would be more than happy to talk about how I introduce them, if you are interested.
To introduce I usually do one at a time. For example if I am introducing Stamp a Story, I would do a model and have each kid do one. Then I would say that was great, let's try that as a center. The results have been great, I have never been more happy with my reading and writing...for all learners.
1.Literature circle A group of students read together from our reading series stories from the anthologies we have finished. After a while they begin to have discussions about the story and I do writing after....beginning middle end, circular story, steps in a process etc.(as a group on big chart paper...these come out really neat!)This is sorta my way of getting around using an anthology!
2. Browsing Box Each guided reading group takes the books read during group and puts them into a browsing box they can look at the books as a group. It is really good because they are dealing with familiar text. Each day three students choose book to read from their browsing box to share with the entire class. The velcro books are also in these boxes. THIS IS WHERE THEY DO READERS WORKSHOP...
3. Independent Reading Children can choose from our class library, they complete a book review which is kept in a three ring binder in our library for others to look at.
4. Buddy or paired reading....I have a box of two copies of books at all levels they read with a partner, this can be familiar or unfamiliar texts.Then they work with their buddy to draw or write about their favorite part.
5. Writing Folder This is where the children make books and write
stories that they will share during group. Someone told me that kids are more likely to write stories if given a book format to write in...it really does work, so in the box with their folders I have about 15 different blank books. They can publish them on the computer(in the beginning of the year I type them)
6. Journal Writing (can be a teacher directed topic if you choose)
7. Pocket Chart. I have an activity they work on. For example this week I have the big book The Big Red Barn (we are studying farms) I have the directions on sentence strips they have to choose a farm picture, write at least 2 sentences about it. and draw a picture. This is good for your themes.
8.Phonics Center Phonics based literature, games, phonics desk etc.I also found a great book that has activities for the 5 levels of phonemic awareness, I copied these and have them in an index card box.
9. Handwriting Center I usually have a frame with blanks. I also
have laminated alphabet cards for my lower kids to practice.They can also use wikki sticks, pipe cleaners etc. to make letters.
10. Overhead I put cloze paragraphs on there a lot(kids love working on the overhead) I also let the kids map out their stories on the overhead, stories they have read or will be writng.This is also where my kids start to develop their use of graphic organizers, I make overheads of plot graphs, venns etc. and have the children do them for a story they have read.
11. Sight Word Center (which may change to vocabulary center depending on your students) They can make the sight words with rubber stamps, magnetic letters and I have letters written on all sorts of shapes(shells for Junel) I use this to reinforce letter and word manipulation. Plus it works great to help them learn the sight words! YOU COULD USE YOUR SPELLING WORDS...
12. Poetry Box I have poems that are laminated, and another set that are the words cut apart. The kids put the words together and glue them and illustrate it. I also have their poetry laminated and poetry books, rhyme games etc. My kids keep a three ring binder of poems in there are poems we have done in class, and original works. I also put all the poems we did in group there the kids use pointers and can stick wikki sticks or highlighting removable tape over words.
13. Listening This is always followed up by a writing activity.
14. Drama Center I just have some scarves. The kids write their own plays and perform them. I usually will allow a group present one play per month to the entire class.
15. Big Books The kids use pointers etc to read the books. I sometimes put a post it outside a book a want them to read. I might put a post it that says circle all the Days of the week in this story. So they use pipe cleaners or wikki sticks to do that, and might write them etc.
16. Computers (I only have 1....) I usually have a living book or ed Cd rom. They have a log to record what cd they did and three things new they learned
17 Stamp a Story..Kids use rubber stamps(I have tons) to make a picture, and write a logical story to go with it.
18. Buid a sentence Kids choose sentence parts out of a bag they put them together to make a silly sentence which is copied onto a sentence strip and illustrated)
19. Deal a story I have cards I purchased that allow kids to choose one of each color to write a story about...my kids love this!
That is a lot! Hope it was of some value! The centers are also easy to set up and only a few need to be changed weekly(the pocket chart and hand writing) I just add more poems, clozes etc through out the