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theyellowbird theyellowbird is offline
 
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Literacy Centers
Old 07-21-2019, 12:41 PM
 
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Hello,
I would like some tips on how to keep my students really engaged at their literacy center while I am meeting with reading groups. I feel like most students are working productively, but some are still off task. First graders attention spans are so short, especially for the Daily 5 activities like read to self, read with a partner, & writing. I also need tips for cleaning up correctly & rotating.

Thank you for any suggestions.


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Old 07-21-2019, 05:18 PM
 
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When I first started the Daily 5 in first grade, I splurged and bought the online subscription to the Daily 5 website. There are tons of articles and videos that were so helpful! If you can afford it, it might be worth even a 3 mo. subscription.
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:44 PM
 
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Thank you! I will check it out.
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:38 PM
 
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I always added my own materials to centers like phonics decoding pages, writing responses to guided or shared reading and writing prompts with crafts and making words from seasonal words like scarecrow etc. After the activity then read to self with my first graders...

Last edited by 123rabbit; 07-21-2019 at 06:57 PM..
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Literacy centers
Old 07-22-2019, 06:19 AM
 
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No centers. None.

We did phonics/spelling/high frequency word work to start our ELA block. Kids had a variety of differentiated practice to do independently. Then brief reading workshop mini lesson on reading strategy or skill. Some had to complete their assigned work and then get their book boxes of self selected books (about 8-10 books). Once everyone settled in, I pulled guided reading groups (2-3 groups of my 5). I had 16 kids last year and 5 small groups.

Guided reading time focused on comprehension or the mini lesson strategy. Most of the 40 min kids were reading, either alone, with partner, with me or intervention teacher. She focused on 3 students usually.

I loved not having to manage centers for all the reasons teachers struggle with them.

We did lots of training sessions in New York with Lucy calkins teachers. Centers were not part of reading workshop.


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You likely already know
Old 07-25-2019, 05:15 PM
 
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this, but delay starting groups and give yourself time to train and reinforce center behaviors. You can teach procedures for each center--even one center at a time, whole class if necessary. When they can show you appropriate behaviors in one center, teach procedures at another and so on. Then begin rotations through the various centers with you walking the classroom to reinforce and correct behaviors and interactions with the materials.

This sounds like it will take forever, it doesn't; but the invested time saves spending the rest of the year interrupting reading groups to redirect those at the centers across the room.
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Old 07-26-2019, 04:32 PM
 
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Hello. I am by no means an expert on centers, but I since revamped my centers and it seems to work. I do centers 4 days a week (M-Th) with no more than 3 students per center. I use a center wheel that I display on the smartboard, but other teachers made their wheel out of posterboard. The centers go like this: Round 1-must-do work; Round 2 - station 1; Round 3 - station 2; Round 4 - journal work. Each last approx. 15 min. (except must-do which is however long it takes them). It is divided into 4 quadrants, each center group goes to only 2 centers a day and rotates to each center by Thurs. All students have must-do work which is usually a spelling word activity or HF words for the story of the week. The first group to meet me at my table does not do their must-do work until after they meet with me. By the time I meet with the 4th group (or 5th depending on how many grps I have), everyone else should be back to their seat doing their journal work and this could be whatever you decide they do. I train them with a timer that plays a song and when they hear it, they know they need to start cleaning up their center and go back to their seat to begin their journal. Here's the one I use. I play pink panther
https://www.classtools.net/timer/

The best thing to do is make sure students are self-sufficient in each center. Practice each one whole group. I like to put 4 centers out, one on each table and we rotate through each table so I knock out at least 4 centers in one week practicing. The two centers they do are next to each other, so minimal movement wandering around the room. Any time students are done with everything, before time is up, they are welcome to choose a word work.
Let me know if you need more information on the wheel, centers is always overwhelming!!
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Old 07-27-2019, 08:52 AM
 
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To change centers, I direct the group so everyone moves at once. I stop the reading group (I must have a timer to cue me, as I get very involved) and tell everyone to clean up their current center. They have two minutes on the timer.

Then I say "point where you are going (to go)" Then "go where you are pointing." That way the groups move at once and don't wander around. It's important to practice the transition before beginning groups as a regular activity.

We also discuss not elbowing people to sit next to a favorite person, but to move around within the group so everyone gets to work next to different people. Sometimes this helps. I've also assigned partners to those who need help with directions for the activities.

My groupings for centers are mixed ability and for reading are similar ability, specific need. I pull children out of centers to come to reading and try to change the times/sequence of reading groups so everyone gets to every center in a week. The triangles, circles, etc. (later in the year hexagons, parallelograms, etc) rotate through centers, while the red, yellow, blue, etc. groups come to reading centers. The color groups change population as students' needs change.
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Daily 5
Old 08-17-2019, 05:33 AM
 
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I agree with broomrider. Take the time to teach independence and build stamina at each center. It feels SO painful and Iím always tempted/pressured to start groups sooner, but it is so worth it to explicitly model and practice centers! I feel my groups go so much more smoothly and move faster when I take that time at the beginning of the year.
I use a chart to tell groups which centers to go to. Daily 5 emphasizes choice, but I found that it took FOREVER for my first graders to choose and just seems to run more smoothly when I assign rotations. I have 5 groups and 4 rotations a day. I meet with my very lows and lows every day. The others see me two-three times a week. All kids end up going to each center at least twice.
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