Differentiating Literacy Centers – Week 3

Differentiating Literacy Centers - Week 3

Did you know that you can launch differentiated literacy centers within the first three weeks of school?

If you’ve been keeping up with Reading Simplified, you’ll know that we’ve reached the final installment of our four-week Differentiating Literacy Centers series. And if you’re just joining us, you can catch up with the series by reading the posts below:

{To watch a video where I explain Week 3 hit play below, or read on for a detailed overview}

Week Three Goals

Week three presents a streamlined plan to really get the ball rolling and help you to move your classroom towards having ALL of the core differentiated centers established by the end of the week!

How amazing is that?

Let’s take a closer look at our main goals for the final week of the series:

  • Increase to 3-4 Groups per day (it’s easier than you think!)
  • Launch Computer Centers
  • Establish the Summarization Retelling Center

Week Three Plan

Monday

One of the most important things to do before starting any activity is to review each procedure. Yes, it’s the third week, and you might think the kids are well-adjusted by now, but a brief review of each activity’s procedure is still necessary!

You’ll continue to carry a lot of the previous week’s activities into this week, but the amount of time attributed to each activity will gradually increase as the week progresses. Whole class Build It or Switch It, for example, is an excellent entrée into small group time – even if it’s just for five minutes!

Whole class Read It and Sort It is also recommended, especially for beginners and struggling readers. If you’re working with slightly more experienced readers, such as second graders and up, you can probably drop Read It and add Sort It instead.

Sort It teaches kids how to handle advanced phonics. If you’d like to learn more about this activity, you can read the “Power Up Your Phonics Activities” post to learn more.

On Monday, I suggest increasing Read Aloud time to around 15 minutes and continue to encourage kids to practice Independent Reading for at least 12 minutes. Of course, the more practice they get, the better they’ll become.

In week one, we introduced Word Work centers. By the start of the third week, students will be ready to tackle slightly more challenging activities and increase Word Work center time to around 10 minutes. You should also spend 10 minutes on the Listening Along center and App for Word Work to help improve your student’s stamina.

I also advise that you review the Book Box and small group instruction procedure to help reinforce what the kid’s learned towards the end of week 2. For Small Group Instruction, focus around 20 minutes of your time with Groups 4 & 5.

Tuesday

On Tuesday, you’ll work on a lot of the same activities and procedures as Monday. However, you’ll work with three groups instead of two, which may seem daunting at first but it’s actually quite simple!

  • Review each activity’s procedure
  • Whole class Build It/Switch It
  • Whole class Read It/Sort 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)
  • Especially review Book Box and small group instruction procedure
  • Groups 1, 2 & 3 (25 mins)

A new activity to establish on Tuesday is to teach procedures for a Computer Station center and then have the kids work on it for around 10 minutes.

TOP TIP!

If your classroom doesn’t have any tablets or enough computers, I suggest searching for used or borrowed ones for the school. Another great tip is to use headphone splitters so that two or more kids can listen to the same device at the same time!

Digital apps are a powerful way to motivate kids and increase engagement. You can also choose specific lessons or activities on the app that match their current decoding needs, so I recommend computer stations in the classroom!

Differentiating Literacy Centers - Week 3

Wednesday

There are a few new activities to launch on Wednesday, but first, let’s review the activities that you’re already familiar with…

  • Review each activity’s procedure
  • Whole class Build It/Switch It
  • Whole class Read It/Sort 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)
  • Computer Station (10+ minutes)
  • Especially review Book Box and small group instruction procedure
  • Groups 4, 5 & 1 (30 mins)

On Wednesday, you’ll teach procedures for Retelling/Storytelling stations. This involves teaching kids how to summarize what they’ve read. Don’t worry, they don’t have to recap every single detail of the story, but I do recommend they summarize the following points:

  • Who are the main characters in the story?
  • What was the main problem?
  • How did the problem get solved?

Remember, summarization is the fundamental skill needed for good comprehension, so make sure you don’t skip this step!

Thursday

As you get closer to the end of the week, it’s a good idea to focus your time on building your student’s confidence and getting them accustomed to the procedures of each center. Today, you’ll focus on the following:

  • Review each activity’s procedure
  • Whole class Build It/Switch It
  • Whole class Read It/Sort 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)
  • Computer Station (10+ minutes)
  • Retelling/storytelling station (10+ minutes)
  • Especially review Book Box and small group instruction procedure
  • Groups 2, 3 & 4 (30+ mins)

Thursday is the day where you’ll spend time teaching apps for word work procedures. My number one suggestion is the Starfall app​. Each section is divided, and it includes both short vowel and long vowel reading practice activities, which means you can focus on the ones your kids need practice with the most.

Friday

We’ve reached the end of the week! But before we celebrate, let’s go over what you’ll be working on today:

  • Review each activity’s procedure
  • Whole class Build It/Switch It
  • Whole class Read It/Sort 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)
  • Computer Station (10+ minutes)
  • Retelling/storytelling station (10+ minutes)
  • Especially review Book Box and small group instruction procedure
  • Groups 5, 1 & 2 (30+ mins)

Congratulations – you’ve successfully launched your differentiated literacy centers!

But the fun doesn’t end here. We’ve got a brand-new series coming up with more free lesson plans and tips to help streamline and accelerate readers achievement. So, make sure to check back in with readingsimplified.com​ and follow us over on our Facebook page to participate in our weekly Facebook Lives – we go live EVERY Tuesday at 8 pm (eastern).

Join the Reading Simplified Academy.

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

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