Beginning Literacy Stations - Mrs. Richardson's Class

Literacy

Professional Development

September 26, 2016

Beginning Literacy Stations

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on email

Beginning literacy stations can seem like an overwhelming task.  I’ll never forget when someone gave me my first professional development book about them. I was a new teacher, eager to try new things and do whatever I needed to make it work. After all, how in the world would I pull guided reading groups if I didn’t have my other little learners engaged in activities?

Over the years I tried many things. I changed the stations out every week or so with new games. I tried keeping the same stations for a month at a time. I tried Daily 5. They all had their ups and downs.  In the end, I created a system that worked best for me and best in our classroom.  Let’s talk about getting started with literacy stations and what they looked liked for me.

Beginning literacy stations can seem like a huge task, but it really is simple! No more changing stations out each week! Keep your learners engaged and make your job easier!

I began by thinking about what I wanted and didn’t want.

  • I didn’t want to change them every week.
  • I didn’t want to spend time teaching a game each week JUST for stations.
  • I didn’t want to create gobs of more work for myself.
  • I wanted activities that would keep them busy for about 20 minutes.
  • I wanted there to be a variety of activities so that they wouldn’t always feel like they were at the same places.
  • I wanted them to have some choice, but not all. (I’m just a teacher and like to have a bit of control. You get it, right?)
  • I wanted there to be a rotation.

I settled on these 8 stations.

  • Independent Reading Time
  • Pocket Chart
  • Big Book
  • Word Work
  • iPad/iTouch
  • Computer
  • Writing
  • Listening

When do I begin?

I began the first week of school. Yes, the first week. With kindergarten, it was around day 3. With my first graders it was day 1 or 2.

How do I introduce them?

We would always start with independent reading.  We practice together. I model what they should look like and sound like while they observe.  Then we all practice together.  We work to build up our time at each station, but I am never crazy about it being absolutely quiet in my classroom.  Each week I open a new station and beginning week 5 I open two stations a week.

How do I organize them?

My little learners would read a rotation chart to find out where they would go each time.  I have done this two ways. I have used a pocket chart and written their names on cards to show them where they should go and I have used my interactive whiteboard and created a rotation chart. With the pocket chart I just rotated the name cards down every day.  With the interactive white board file, I just moved their names every day. With both of these, I loved how simple it was to change the partners if or when I needed to.

For the stations that needed tubs to house items, I found that dish tubs or these tubs I found on Amazon (affiliate links are used) are the perfect size! The tub gets a label that matches the rotation chart.

Link to my favorite tubs!

Some of the stations just needed an area labeled so I would label the area with a picture that coordinated with the rotation chart.

Writing station set up that is simple and easy! I love how this teacher organizes and introduces her literacy stations. No more changing stations out each week!

iPad station set up that is simple and easy! I love how this teacher organizes and introduces her literacy stations. No more changing stations out each week!

I like to put all of our pillows or reading rugs in one area or laundry basket.

Reading buddies and reading rugs are perfect for independent reading in the classroom! I love how this teacher organizes and introduces her literacy stations. No more changing stations out each week!

What do they look like?

Each station looked different and I would introduce a little differently based on the expectations that worked best for our classroom.  I wrote a guide to tell exactly how I set up each station, the supplies I used, the expectations I set, and much more! I think back to my first year of teaching and implementing this element of balanced literacy and this would’ve been SO helpful!

Are you ready to get started with literacy stations but aren't sure where to begin? Do you want LESS prep work each week and MORE engaging activities for students to practice reading skills? This guide is perfect for just that!

Want to hear me chat a little bit about launching an independent reading station? Check out this Facebook LIVE video!

slide17

How do you begin literacy stations? Do you have a favorite system that you have used for years and is flawless by now? Please share! We can all learn from each other!

Beginning literacy stations can seem like a huge task, but it really is simple! No more changing stations out each week! Keep your learners engaged and make your job easier! #literacystations #literacycenters #firstgrade #kindergarten #organization

pin it

Happy Teaching,

Amanda

Free Guided Reading Resource Cards

Want to know exactly what to teach at each guided reading level? Grab your FREE Guided Reading Resource Cards.

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!

Topics

Literacy
Math
Science
Writing
Digital
Soc St

JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP

Join the Balanced Literacy Facebook group!  Let’s discuss, learn together, grow, and be better at our craft of teaching!

You may also enjoy...

21 Responses

  1. How many kids do you put in a station? What do you put in Pocket chart? I love all your ideas. Thank you for sharing.

    Michelle

    1. Hi Michelle! I typically put 2-3 kids at a station! For pocket chart, I put either old songs/poems from shared reading, or sorting activities that we have done together that are phonics based from our shared reading time.

  2. Every year I seem to have difficulty getting Literacy Centers up and running. I usually do independent reading partner reading, tub day and stuffed animal day. Thanks for your tips and ideas. Now that I finally have working laptops and iPads, I am going to get this started!

    1. Hi Heather! Whatever we did the previous week in shared reading (with a big book), goes in the big book station the next week. One student plays teacher, while the others read the text and do what the “teacher” asks–identifies sight words, retells the story, tracks the text, etc. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Which type of professional development interests you?