Friday, July 17, 2020

Keeping Literacy Centers Simple, Easy, and Fun!

Literacy Centers in the classroom should be simple, easy, and fun!  Using No Prep or Little Prep ideas help with time management, lesson planning, and easy weekly set-up.

No Prep literacy centers for 2nd grade

Throughout the years, I have tried a plethora of ideas for my literacy centers.  Some worked okay and some did not work at all.  Finally, I realized that I was overthinking and making center time way more complicated than it should be for both myself and the students.  Once I realized that the simplicity of the centers is what made them work, everything else clicked into place.

simple, easy, and fun literacy no prep literacy centers for 3rd grade

Using five weekly centers in my classroom each week makes thing easy.  Having a group of 4-5 students in each group rotate through only one center each day keeps it simple for the students.  The no prep or low prep activities keep it fun and SUPER easy for me!

no prep 4th grade literacy centers

Five Literacy Centers for All Year

Set up these five literacy centers at the beginning of your school year and use them all year long!

Center #1:  Technology – I usually assign a digital activity via Google Classroom to my students for this center.  It might be one of my digitaltask cards, or one of these interactive digital  games for practice.

Center #2:  Writing – The activities change in this center weekly, but the supplies remain the same.  I use one of the writing activities from my No Prep Literacy Centers units.  I print the center directions on color copy paper to grab the students’ attention and place it in the same place in the center from week to week because children need that routine and dependability of knowing where to find the directions.  I copy the other pages for the activity on regular copy paper to add to the center.  Sometimes these activities are longer in length and students might need two weeks to complete.  On those weeks, I do not change out the materials.

Center #3 Reading – I feel that it is especially important to give students multiple opportunities throughout the school day to read independently from books of their choice.  For some, school might be the only time they are exposed to books.  During this center students have comfortable seating choices throughout the room so that they are not in a group disturbing other students or being disturbed.  Students have an individual book bin that contains books they have chosen to read.  By having the book bin already stocked, students are not constantly moving around the room to visit the classroom library during this time.  I like to also use my Digital Reading Responses for students at some time during the week to add a writing component.

Center #4:  Word Work – This center can look vastly different from week to week.  I always use an activity from from my No Prep Literacy Centers.  One week, students might be manipulating letters to create words, and the next week they might be the playing a word game from the same unit.  Another week they might complete the monthly “Put it in Order” alphabetical order activity included in each monthly unit, and the last week might be a part of speech word sort from the unit.  Adding some of these activities normally used for Morning Tubs can add a lot of fun to your literacy centers as well.  

Center #5: Miscellaneous – This center uses the rest of the activities from my monthly No Prep Units.  One week might instruct the students to move around the room with the Scavenger Hunt while the next week has students reading an informational passage and answering questions.  I like the flexibility of using things in this center that we are currently studying as well, so I might also include taskcards,  sightwords, or even an activity from my early finishers unitAdding any kind of game that you already have in your classroom is a simple and fun activity for this center also.

Using these five simple, easy, and fun literacy centers all year help me keep my sanity.  The prep time is 15-30 minutes on a Friday afternoon helping me to get out the door and home to my family.

Keeping literacy centers simple, easy, and fun is just...

My Kind of Teaching

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