Thursday, February 19, 2015

This Just In: Reading Centers Have Begun!

I have always admired those who do centers in their classroom. The past 2 years I have taught 6th grade and struggled finding time to fit in centers in my classroom. This year I have made the move to 3rd grade (my choice!) and still did not do any type of centers in my classroom. I just wasn't sure how to start or how to go about centers. I have read The Daily 5 and absolutely loved it and wanted to start it way back when I thought I would be teaching 1st/2nd grade dual class. Well my plans changed and I did not take that job, therefore I did not have the chance to start the Daily 5.
Well, this January I started my Masters with 2 of my co-workers, my fellow 3rd grade teacher and one of the 5th grade teachers. We carpool so we talk a lot about school and our classrooms. Our 5th grade teacher told us about how they use reading centers in their classroom. Us 3rd grade teachers thought, "Well we can do that too!". So last week was our first week using our new reading centers. We are still working out the kinks but I really, really, REALLY enjoy centers and I think my students do to! It really breaks up the monotony of our old reading routine.
Here's how it works in my room.
I have 4 centers, so I have divided my students in to groups I have 2 low groups, 1 average group, and one high level group. Here is the order of their centers for the week.
Reading Centers
Word Work (Spelling)
Teacher Time
On level
Above level
Low level
Low level
R- spelling
F- writing
T- Listening
R- Writing
We go through one reading story a week. So on Monday we do a whole group less for the entire hour. We will listen to the story and do worksheets for the skill and strategy they are learning for that week. Tuesday through Friday is when they work on their centers. Listening center is just that, they will listen to the story again. Word Work center is typically their spelling center and will work on different spelling activities. Writing center is usually some writing activity out of my reading basal. Teacher time is when I can really individualize what they each need work on. We will work on fluency, comprehension, or phonics. I noticed a great improvement on their reading tests last week because we got to go deeper into the story than we ever have before! I am a huge fan of centers!
When my students finish with one of their centers early they are to grab a Done Early? Worksheet. While I am in Teacher Time they are not allowed to come up and talk to me. So this helps for those that finish early. You can find it on my Teachers Pay Teachers store! Find it here.
Do you do centers in your classroom, whether its for reading or math or another subject? I would love to hear how you have your centers set up and what you love about it!
Thank you and enjoy the rest of your week!
(I have been having a great week, this is day 3 snow day!)