Differentiating Literacy Centers – Week 2

Differentiating Literacy Centers - Week 2

Have you tried to get your students into small groups by the second week of school?

Sounds a little crazy, doesn’t it?

Especially if you’re a kindergarten or first-grade teacher but let me tell you a secret…grouping your kids by the second week of the new school year IS possible. And I’m going to show you exactly how you can achieve this huge milestone for yourself…

But first, have you caught up with the previous two posts of this mini Differentiating Literacy Centers series?

The first post, “Big Rocks for Reading Achievement”  takes a look at how (and why) you MUST prioritize the two most important tasks at the beginning of the school year – Teacher Read Aloud and Student Reading Practice.

The second post, “Differentiating Literacy Centers – Week 1” reveals how it’s feasible to focus on these two key tasks during the first week of school.

So, make sure you’ve caught up with those two posts before moving onto the following plan for week two!

{To watch a video where I explain Week 2 hit play below or read on for a detailed overview}

Week Two Goals

One of our main priorities for week two is to start the initial grouping process. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be strict grouping by any means. It’s just to get you started and to give the kids the opportunity to learn the routine and processes associated with small group reading instruction.

Here are a few more goals for week two:

  • Start Groups
  • Increase Stamina
  • Over-Learn Procedures
  • Teach Book Box
  • Teach Apps for Word Work

Week one set the stage for getting your kids into groups but week two really gets the ball rolling!

Week Two Plan

Monday

As the week progresses, make sure you always review each activity’s procedure to help reinforce it in the student’s minds and get them well adjusted to the processes.

You’ll carry a lot of last week’s centers into week two including Whole Class Build It/Switch It, Whole Class Read It and Read Aloud.

On Monday, I advise dedicating at least 15 minutes to Read Aloud and around 10 minutes to Independent Reading. Next, move onto Word Work Center for approximately 7-10 minutes and Listening Along Center for another 10 minutes.

The primary goal of the first day of week one is to teach Small Group Instruction Procedures and then work on Group 1 for 10 minutes. While you’re working with Group 1, the other groups can focus on the other activities such as Independent Reading or Word Work, etc.

Tuesday

On Tuesday, you’ll carry a lot of the same activities from Monday into the second day including:

  • Review each activity’s procedure before starting
  • Whole Class Build It/Switch It
  • Whole Class Read It
  • Read Aloud (15 minutes)
  • Independent Reading (12 minutes)
  • Word Work Center (10 minutes)
  • Listening Along Center (10+ minutes)

You’ll also review and practice Small Group Instruction procedures and continue with Group 2 for around 10 minutes. Remember, groups, are for testing independence. So, the more practice, the better!

TOP TIP!

To avoid students bothering you while you’re working with another group, assign a “class expert” for each station.

If someone in the group comes across a problem or they have trouble with the assignment, they can ask the “expert” for guidance instead of bothering you as you work with the other group – genius!

Differentiating Literacy Centers - Week 2

Wednesday

Again, a lot of the activities will be repeated on Wednesday, but you may want to increase the amount of time you spend on each activity to give the kids more practice.

  • Review each activity’s procedure before starting
  • Whole Class Build It/Switch It
  • Whole Class Read It
  • Read Aloud (15 minutes)
  • Independent Reading (12+ minutes)
  • Word Work Center (10+ minutes)
  • Listening Along Center (10+ minutes)
  • Review and practice Small Group Instruction procedures
  • Group 3 & 4 (15 minutes)

The new activity you’ll introduce today is to Teach Book Binder/Box procedures. This is a special collection of books and things the child can read (and re-read), so they can increase their eyes on print time and get the reading repetition practice they need.

Thursday

Before we get into the new procedures for today, let’s review what you’ll be working on beforehand:

  • Review each activity’s procedure before starting
  • Whole Class Build It/Switch It
  • Whole Class Read It
  • Read Aloud (15+ minutes)
  • Independent Reading (12+ minutes)
  • Word Work Center (10+ minutes)
  • Listening Along Center (10+ minutes)
  • Review and practice Small Group Instruction procedures
  • Group 5 & 1 (15 minutes)

On Thursday, you’ll begin to Teach Apps for Word Work procedures, followed by the app for Word Work Center for around 10 minutes.

You should prioritize sound-based decoding apps at first to help kids improve their reading fluency while working on activities that align with the group’s word work.

TOP APP!

If you’re searching for an excellent app for Word Work procedures, I suggest using the Ready Set Read app by Pam Holland.

The app looks great and is super easy to use. It’s also organized by levels of sound and sound difficulty, which is great because it means that kids get the focus they need.

As kids improve, they’ll move up the levels and develop their initial sound-based decoding and reading skills.

Friday

Here’s an overview of the activities you’ll focus on the last day of week two:

  • Review each activity’s procedure before starting
  • Whole Class Build It/Switch It
  • Whole Class Read It
  • Read Aloud (15+ minutes)
  • Independent Reading (12+ minutes)
  • Word Work Center (10+ minutes)
  • Listening Along Center (10+ minutes)
  • App for Word Work Center (10 minutes)
  • Review and practice Small Group Instruction procedures
  • Group 2 & 3 (20 minutes)

You’ve made it to the end of the week – well done!

By now, the kids will have a fair idea of small group reading instruction and practice, but you’ve got to keep reinforcing it!

If you want to keep up with this series and find out what the Week Three entails, make sure to check back in with readingsimplified.com and follow us over on our Facebook page to participate in our weekly Facebook Lives and to stay on top of future updates!

Join the Reading Simplified Academy.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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