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Literacy Centers and Guided Reading
Old 06-23-2018, 01:14 PM
 
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I have been out of the teaching game a couple of years due to a move, etc. I will be back at it this next year teaching third grade. We will be using Scholastic Guided Reading (which I am not familiar with and have not even had an opportunity to look over yet either)...in my previous district we had very prescribed approach to guided reading without much freedom. I know that I am not fond of too much student-choice when it comes to stations/centers, but I need to make sure students are getting what they need every day.

Can you please share what you do in your classroom? What works for you? And do you have tips on how to not tie yourself down with the CONSTANT changing of stations?

Thanks in advance for any and all input.


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Old 07-25-2018, 07:07 AM
 
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Sorry that this is a late reply. I hope you've gotten some answers already. I teach 3rd and this is what I do:

I use the "work smarter, not harder" mantra to guide my Centers. I always have the same 4 centers. The weekly work will change but not the actual activity. I'm also a HUGE fan of Choice Boards. You can find a ton on TPT (even free ones).

Centers:

1. Guided Reading - The students meet with me. I follow the curriculum resource (We use Reading Wonders). I scaffold my lessons according to the levels.

2. Skills - Using the weekly reader, I focus on specific skills for the week. Main Idea/Key Details, Summarize, etc. I use a graphic organizer that matches the story. We would have already gone over the skill whole group before center time.

3. Word Work - I use a choice board. The weekly Vocab or Spelling words change weekly, but the activities don't. Students have freedom to choose whichever activity they'd like to complete. There must choose a new one each day (no repeats in the same week).

4. Read to Self - I have many different choice boards for comprehension questions. I use the the chrome books. The students log-in to their Reading Wonders accounts and read the assigned story. I let them use headphones to listen as well. (This is good for the lower levels and ELL students). They are held accountable to answer x amount of comprehension Qs for each section/paragraph/chapter etc. *This also works with personal leveled books. Instead of using the chrome book, the students bring their book with them. Read and then use a choice board to answer comprehension questions.

It takes time for the class to learn the procedure. I spend at least the first 2 weeks practicing only the procedure/expectations of rotating in centers (Each center would have something small and silly and we work our way up to actual work):
- What does the room sound like?

- How do you clean up? How do you rotate? (I'm very specific and have them rotate in a large loop). We practice a lot. We do it over again A LOT. I make a game out of it.

- There is A LOT of modeling. ** It is worth the time and energy in the beginning!! Don't give up and don't settle. If they're too loud during a rotation - stop, model, and have them do it again.

Overall, I love centers. My class runs well and I get complemented on how well they work/rotate, etc. This is only because we practice. We also have to practice after a break, a long weekend, a particularly hyper day, etc.

Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions. Best wishes!!
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:02 PM
 
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This is a great thread. I hope more post a response. I teach first grade, but what I do could be scaled up to work for third grade.

I call my centers, "READ" centers:

R = Reading Group:
Each student is a part of a reading group. The lower level groups meet everyday and the higher groups meet every other day.

E = EEKK Partners:
The first 5 minutes students pick books from the class library and/or the book talk shelf. Students sit "elbow to elbow, knee to knee" reading their books. When done, they can tell their partner about their book.

A = All about words:
Students choose one of the options to do first. If they have extra time, they can do the other option. Students keep their differentiated set of word cards in an envelope in their desk. Most are done in their word study journal unless otherwise indicated.

Monday
Rainbow words - Write all of your words in your journal. Switch to a different color for each letter or word.
Pattern block words - trace a block onto paper in your journal. Write one of your words inside the block (once, twice, or three times depending on the size)

Tuesday
Pipe cleaner words - Write a list of ten words in your journal. Bend and shape the pipe cleaners to form the word. Check off the word on your list. Repeat with another word.
Hidden picture - Write all of your words really small across the entire page in your journal. Afterwords, hide the words by coloring a picture on top of it with crayons.

Wednesday
Connect the dots - write your words in dots using pencil and then trace over the dots with crayon.
Sign it - Write a list of ten words in your journal. Use the sign language guide to sign each word. Put a checkmark next to each word after signing it.

Thursday
Pyramid words - write your words pyramid style in your journal like this example:
A
AB
ABO
ABOU
ABOUT
Whiteboard memory - get a whiteboard and marker. Look over the words in your envelope. Put them away. Write as many words as you can remember on your board. Count them and match them with the word cards to check spelling. Did you get them all? Try again if you didn’t.

Friday
Word Search - create a wordsearch using your spelling words. When done, put the paper next to the Completed work basket. If there is another word search there completed, you can try to solve it. Then, turn it into the Completed Work basket.

Scramble - write all of your words with the letters mixed up. Then, go back and try to unscramble them without looking at the words in your envelope and write them correctly next to the scrambled word.

D = Digital books:
Students log in to their account on RAZ kids to listen to and read digital books. Most books also have comprehension questions to answer.
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Old 07-29-2018, 02:19 PM
 
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Thank you all SO much! With all of your advice I have been able to plan what I want to do. I REALLY appreciate all of your input!
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