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My Literacy Centers – And A Freebie!

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Get tips and ideas about how to run and organize your literacy centers.  Grab a close reading FREEBIE too!Last night I was talking with a blogging buddy about literacy centers.  We were brainstorming ways she could make them work with her students in her classroom and I was so excited to share with her what I am doing this year.  I finally feel like centers run so smoothly in my class and I haven’t had that feeling in previous years.  I’d like to 100% thank TpT for this.  I have been using so many wonderful resources that engage the students so they are able to work independently.

Get tips and ideas about how to run and organize your literacy centers.  Grab a close reading FREEBIE too!
I know I shared this picture once before in another post, but this is how I run my centers.  I have 5 groups with 4 or 5 students in each group.  Occasionally, I may move a few students from one group to another throughout the year, but they pretty much stay the same.  Each center is about 15 minutes long, so I am able to see each group for 15 minutes, 4 times a week.  Now, let me take you through a tour of the centers.

TEACHER CENTER

When students come to meet with me, there are a few things that I do with them.  Some week, I might help them with their writing piece, other times, we read in our leveled readers that come with our reading series.  Recently, I have been using my Weekly Readings that I have listed in my TpT store.  What I like about this is that it uses the Close Reading strategy.  The passages are rather short and allow the students to dig deeper into the text.  On the first day, we will read the passage using active reading symbols and then complete the first graphic organizer.  We complete one or two pages in the packet each day as the students continue to go back into the text to support and justify their answers.  It has worked really well so far.  I included some pictures of my students using the packet for the story, Snow Day.  I actually have this passage, along with its activities, as a freebie in my TpT store HERE.  I will be adding a set for each month, so if you like it, keep checking back for more!

Get tips and ideas about how to run and organize your literacy centers.  Grab a close reading FREEBIE too!Get tips and ideas about how to run and organize your literacy centers.  Grab a close reading FREEBIE too!
Get tips and ideas about how to run and organize your literacy centers.  Grab a close reading FREEBIE too!Get tips and ideas about how to run and organize your literacy centers.  Grab a close reading FREEBIE too!
Get tips and ideas about how to run and organize your literacy centers.  Grab a close reading FREEBIE too!Get tips and ideas about how to run and organize your literacy centers.  Grab a close reading FREEBIE too!
Get tips and ideas about how to run and organize your literacy centers.  Grab a close reading FREEBIE too!

WORD WORK CENTER

I call this center Word Work because that is what the students do the majority of the time, but they will do writing and reading as well.  I use a product by Sarah Paul that is actually for 2nd grade, but the concepts are skills we reinforce in 3rd.  It also makes it perfect because it’s not too difficult where the students need a lot of assistance.  The majority of the time, they are able to work with their group members independently without disrupting me while I’m working with another group.  They absolutely LOVE this center.  There is such a wide range of activities that are provided for the month.  I printed out the whole product and put the originals in folders.  Week 1 has red, Week 2 has yellow, Week 3 is green, and Week 4 is purple.  There are 4 different types of centers (comprehension, word work, writing, and sentence building) that the students do each week.  All of the red folders sit in the front of my bins and we do one a day.  Then the next week, I’ll switch to the yellow folders.  It keeps everything so organized and all I have to do is pull the folder with all the materials each morning to copy.  Today, we did sentence building.  The students had color coordinated cards that they needed to use to create sentences using adjectives, nouns, verbs, and adverbs.  Then, they had to circle the adjective in each sentence they made.    To check out Sarah’s centers click HERE.

Get tips and ideas about how to run and organize your literacy centers.  Grab a close reading FREEBIE too!Get tips and ideas about how to run and organize your literacy centers.  Grab a close reading FREEBIE too!
Get tips and ideas about how to run and organize your literacy centers.  Grab a close reading FREEBIE too!

COMPUTER CENTER

This center speaks for itself.  The students are able to go on my website, where I have a schedule of activities for the students to work on.  The students work to complete the tasks on the websites each day.  They get to wear headphones, so it’s nice that I have a few students silent during centers.  It really helps bring the noise level in the room down.

WRITING CENTER

A few years ago, I made some writing journal prompts for my students to use independently while they work in centers.  At the time, I created a calendar with a different prompt on each day.  The students answered the prompt in their writing journals.  This year, I actually made pages for the students to write on and had  my district printing department bind it into a writing journal for me.  This works a million times better!  Students aren’t losing those calendars and I like how organized it is.  This is another center where the students are silent.  They really seem to like all of the prompts and I included expository, narrative, creative writing, persuasive, and some free days.  If you would like to purchase all 150 writing prompts to bind or print out, you can visit my TpT store and download it HERE.  These have been one of my best sellers for the past year and a half.

READING CENTER

Before school started, I discovered Little Red’s Daily Informational Readings.  I have my students do one of these each day.  They are high-interest short passage with comprehension questions.  I have the students go back in the text and highlight where they found their answers to prove to me that they went back in the text to look.  It has been wonderful practice!  She also has been making more sets around holidays and even has a fiction pack that I also purchased and use frequently.  If you would like to check them out, you can find them in Little Red’s store HERE.

Now you may be wondering how I check all of this work everyday.  It’s really not that bad!  We go over their word work center activity for a few minutes right when we are finished with centers.  They correct it themselves and take it home.  I do check the reading passage daily.  One day a week I will take one for a grade, but the students don’t know which one it will be.  I can easily go through all 24 passages within 10 minutes.  I do skim through their writing journals a few times a month to make sure that their writing is on track, but I don’t comment on all of the pages.

Well, there it is!  I hope you enjoyed going through my centers and learning how I run them in my classroom.  If you have any questions or need anything clarified, please feel free to ask!

Melissa Mazur

Melissa Mazur

My name is Melissa and I am an educator, blogger, and curriculum designer.
I’m here to help offer you teaching tips and low-prep resources to help take some of the burdens off you so you can do what you do best – teach!

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learning lab resources- about

Oh hey there!

My name is Melissa and I am an educator, blogger, and curriculum designer.
I’m here to help offer you teaching tips and low-prep resources to help take some of the burdens off you so you can do what you do best – teach!  

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