Sunday, November 10, 2013

The 411 on Centers: Part 3!!! (Linky Party)

And now I'm back for my final post about Centers!  Here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them!!

background image- Ashley Hughes, alphabet graphics- Teaching Super Power, font- Jennifer Jones
Today I'll wrap up with explanations about Word Work, Listening and Read to Self.  Part 2 has info about Writing, Buddy Reading and Computer.

Word Work
My students do activities from the Word Work center at their desks.  Word Work is really the only part of my Centers that takes work/prep on my end each week.  I have a Word Work choice board and a shelf with the different activities next to it.  

I switch out the choices on Friday afternoons and we go over the new ones first thing Monday morning.  After trying a variety of systems, I now put out 4 choices a week and I number them for my students.  I used to put out 4-6 choices and let them choose which ones they went to first, but I found that they were just going to the same ones over and over and some of the ones I really wanted them to visit were not being used.  So now they are numbered 1-4 and they just pull them in order.  That way, I am able to put certain choices first, if I feel they are important for that week, and I usually put a more fun, game-type activity for number 4.  I use a lot of different activities for Word Work- spelling activities, word sorts, fluency passages, word family games and more.  There are a lot of great freebies online and on TPT and I'd love to share some of those links with you!

One Breath Boxes from Teacher Tipster
ABC Order from Maria Manore
Short A Word Work from Sarah Kirby
CVC Puzzles from KBPRO

I have a lot more Word Work ideas in my Word Work Start Up Pack in my store.

My students do activities from the Listening center at their desks.  I used to have the old school, giant tape player for my listening center and then eventually a CD player.  Well this year, thanks to Donors Choose and Caring Classrooms, I was able to update to the 21st century!  I have 4 iPods for my listening center now!  I took all of my books on tape and books on CD and converted them into mp3s using Garageband on my Mac and now they are all ready on the iPods!  I created a listening sheet to go with all of my books and my students locate and write things like the author and illustrator's name or draw a picture of their favorite part or write about the beginning, middle and end.  I really LOVE having the iPods because everyone in the group is able to pick their own book and listen to it independently.  I also got a Belkin splitter if I need to have 5 students in a group eventually.

Read to Self
My students do activities in the Read to Self center on the carpet. Each student has a spot to keep their books on this mailbox shelf.  I put a few decodable readers from an old reading adoption in each student's box and they get to pick 2-3 books from our classroom library as well.

I also have them go over our teaching chart from our current ELA adoption, Treasures.  The chart goes with the sound patterns we are learning that week and I also aligned our spelling words to match those patterns.  They like to take turns being "the teacher" and pointing to the words for each other.

Well, now that I've spilled the beans about my routines (Look, I made a rhyme without even meaning to!), I want to hear about yours!!  Please leave me some comments about your centers!  Or if you have a blog of your own, I would love for you to link up!!  You can link up a post you already wrote about Centers, or give us an update about how things are going now that we are 3 months into the swing of things in school.

Please use the graphic below to link back to me and feel free to link up any post you write about Centers!  Can't wait to read what you have to share!

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