Sunday, November 10, 2013

Great Choices for Literacy Centers

My kindergarteners can't wait!!  Pilgrim Literacy centers!!

My students love literacy centers!  I've been experimenting to see what works best for them.  They love to have choices.  I've always given choices in certain centers like Word Work, but decided to expand this to other centers as well.  In the Listening Center, I put out about 7 books.  Of course I spent some time with my students to make sure they could be independent by following the stickers on the player, gently opening and closing the bag containers, and using one book at a time.  I'm happy to say they have really taken ownership of their centers and treat them with respect.  I did the same with my Retelling Center.  I put heavy duty velcro on the bags and hung them under a shelf in this area.  They have done a great job and love, love, love to retell to each other.
I use this hanger for the bags.  The also complete a response sheet with one story when they visit the center.

I put the puppets, sequencing cards, and all other activities in each bag.  Check out my TPT store for some of these puppets and cards I made myself.

My Word Work Center is my most popular among the students. I think this is because I have a theme for each month. I found this center to be a bit dry if it doesn't have lots of hands on activities, especially for kindergarteners. This month we are reading a lot of books about the pilgrims and how they lived long ago. Our center is our own Pilgrim Settlement. The kids help add things as we go... but for now we have Lincoln Logs for building the settlement, teepees and a fire for an Indian Village, plenty of logs to build fences, gardens, and even an outdoor oven. Next week, the kids have asked to add corn for the garden, which I'm working on now. I have the students label their settlement with cards once built. They then can use the pilgrim finger puppets to use the words on the cards in their play. Great vocabulary activity! Of course there are plenty of other activities to choose from when they are done playing. There are "growing corn" sequencing cards, and sight word turkey activities. Check out my TPT store for the labels and finger puppet patterns. 

My student's favorite book about the pilgrims.
Entrance to the center with pilgrim dress long ago and various pictures. 

I thought the kids were brilliant as they made a half done cabin on their own!

Cute finger puppets - the kids love them.  Check them out on my TPT.  

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