all of my centers contain tasks for high,medium, and low
We read the Three Bears and talk about finding a task that is "just right" for them. Not too easy, not too hard, but just right.
1. puzzles - alphabet puzzles and word puzzles.
2. Alpha -bears - I found these at a teacher store - upper and lower case alphabets on flat little bears. It contains task cards and students at all levels can find an appropriate task.
3. Alphabet stamps - upper and lower case - 1 inch grid paper for sequencing. Word families to copy. Student names to copy. Strips of paper to stamp words and sentences.
4. Magnetic letters and magnetic boards. I make a name card for each student with name and picture and add a magnetic strip to the back. Word cards and name cards are always available - also alphabet strips are placed
in all centers.
5.Magnetic Linking letters - with task cards and cookie sheet boards.
6.Writing Center - all kinds of old stationary and writing tools - a stapler is a must.
7. Read the Wall - "Reading Glasses" and dowels made to look like pencils.
These students can read the room (everything is labeled), read our reading wall ( familiar stories are pocket charted and sentence strips can be manipulated), big books are available for single or partner reading.
8.Write the wall- writing instruments and clipboards for walking around room and using environmental print.
9.Puppet Theater- stick puppets and copies of known books -
10.Shopping - laminated on sentence strips and bound into books - pictures of food, toys, clothing, and anything else I can find. All pictures are clearly labeled. Writing utensils and "list paper" - small memo books, list type of paper(long strips of lined paper). This is one of my most popular centers.
11. The matching game- a sentence strip has a word and a picture of what that word represents, rubber alphabet letters, real objects to match words. Students can
match letters, words, pictures, or all three.
12.Library - library center is open for reading. Books are put into tubs.
The tubs are labeled and a sticker is placed on the label. All of the books have a corresponding sticker. They place the book back in the correct tub.
Ex. Science tub has a red sticker and each book a red sticker. I also have a theme tub that changes as the theme changes.
13. Alphabuilders - this is a great toy that has become an alphabet staple in my classroom - especially for my little guys who are tactile learners.
They are shaped just like letter parts- straight lines, curves, half circles etc. Students use them to make letters or words. (my second graders last year made word searches).These pieces are rather large - smallest is
about 6 inches- so easy for them to handle.
Listening Center - books and tapes - If I don't have a tape for a big book or familiar book I make one. I'm a ham at heart :)
Centers I am working on: literature response to a big book, more rhyming activities, file folder games ( coloring as we speak!), stamp a story (collecting stamps for this). Magnetic matching - collecting all kinds of magnets to represent each letter of alphabet - student will match using magnetic letters for onset sound - also making word to match and using magnetic tape on back.
My husband made me pocket chart holders out of pvc so that I could also add pocket chart activities - sequencing sentence strips, matching words etc.
These centers are the staple of my Literacy Center Time. The students work with partners or independently. At the beginning of the year we went over the rules.
1. The just right rule
2. Stay at your assigned center
3. Ask your partner first (if you have a question)
4. Clean up your center.
I assigned every center at first so they could learn the tasks for each. Now they can choose their center, but only two max. at each (lucky me -only 20 kids this year)
I may remove a center for a time or add a new one - but these run by themselves and I have very little
problem with redirecting behavior. A real must is sharing time. We all sit down and share our center ( I talk about the types of writing progression we all go through so all types are valid!). Everyone is invited to share and those that were reading or don't have a product, share words
with us. They love this part and it reinforces the tasks - they are not allowed to share if they don't stay on task. I do my guided reading groups at this time and don't have an aide so it is a must that they stay on task!