Monday, July 25, 2011

Literacy Work Stations / Centers FREEBIE

If you are looking to implement literacy work stations / centers in your classroom this year, look no further!  Below, you will find everything you need to start.   

This will be my second year using these work stations. Originally, I got the idea from Amanda Madden's Second Grade Website.  I tweaked them quite a bit and even added some of my own.  They are a wonderful learning tool for my students, and they really enjoy this time of the day.  At my school, we use the Harcourt Storytown reading series.  I created these work stations as a way to teach the skills in the series in a fun, engaging way.

I try to use the work stations everyday.  The students work on a station for 15 minutes.  Then usually, we switch and do another station for another 15 minutes.  Below is the work station chart and schedule that I use {Click to download for free in Google Docs}.  I assign students to a station based on where they sit...for example, since my students sit in groups, they share a station with the person sitting next to or across from them {students 1 & 2 on the schedule, etc.}.  I assign them ahead of time.


 When I tell them it's time for stations, they get their first assigned basket and bring it back to their seat.  Inside the basket are the directions and all the materials needed to complete that activity.  Here are the basket labels and instruction cards.

Click to download in Google docs.

Now, obviously {as you can see from the instruction cards}, you're going to need some basic materials baskets.  I bought these Sterilite ones from Target.  Any baskets will do though.  The following are the items you will need for each station:

Adventures in Vocabulary  
  • Task Cards {I found these on Karen McDavid's Website...these are great!  I start out with a few easy ones and add more as we learn the skills.}
  • Copy of vocabulary words {Mine are located in a pocket chart on my focus wall each week}
  • Handwriting Paper
  • Slates & dry erase markers

Handwriting Heroes
  • Handwriting paper {1st Semester, they print the letters & 2nd semester, they get to write the letters in cursive after they are each introduced}
  • Vocab Words & Spelling Words {Mine are located on my focus wall}
  • Slates & dry erase markers

Jump Into Writing 
  • Monthly Task Cards {I found these on Ms. Winston's Website...wonderful! I change them out every month.}
  • Sentence cards {Paper with scrambled sentences, laminated.  Students use a dry erase marker to unscramble and write the sentences correctly.  You will have to create these.}
  • Handwriting Paper
Listening Center
  • At least 2 portable CD players
  • Cd's with the weekly stories on them.  Enough CD's for the number of players you have.  {I put each theme's stories on a new CD. It makes it easier for the kids to find the correct track.}
  • Reading Response Cards {From Ms. Winston's site again.  :) I use sets 1, 2, 3, & 4.}
Nonfiction News

Poetry Pals
  • Monthly Poems {From Ms. Winston's Website, yet again}
  • Poetry books
Post-Office Center
  • Individual index cards with student addresses printed on each
  • Handwriting paper
  • Slates & dry erase markers
Reading Comprehension
  • Picture Books {I let the kids choose a just right book from my leveled class library.
  • Book Report Task Cards {I feel horrible that I don't remember where I got these.  I know it was at a very dedicated teacher's website.  If anyone knows where I got these, please let me know! Also, I chose a handful of cards that my students can understand.  You can add/change cards as the year goes on.}
  • Computer to take AR Test
Reference Round-Up

Word Detective  
  • Word Detective Task Cards {From Karen McDavid's site again}
  •  Magnifying Glasses {Cheap plastic ones from the dollar store will do}
  • Handwriting paper
  • Slates & dry erase markers
  • Word work cards {I have write on/wipe off cards in my classroom that work on word families, etc.  You will have to make these or find on your own.} 
    Voila!!  It's a lot of printing, cutting, & laminating, but that's it!  It is totally worth it to have organized literacy work stations in your classroom.  Enjoy!!! 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pinterest Linky Party

Are you a member of Pinterest??   If you are, then you already know how awesome it is because it helps you organize all those wonderful ideas and inspirations that you find around the internet.  If not, then you MUST check it out!  You will not be disappointed!

Michelle's Math in the Middle is hosting a Pinterest linky party.  It's a great way to share ideas and pins.  So if you're already pinning, just add your link!  If not, then you will need an invite.  All I need is your email address, and I'll get you set up!  

Make sure you follow me on Pinterest too!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Classroom {Mini} Makeover

Well, I splurged and bought some new things to spruce up my classroom and make it feel more "homey."  I made the hour drive to IKEA just to get rugs and curtains for my room.  I love them! I also check the local Goodwill store quite often for classroom stuff.  I just found these candy pillows last week.  My students will be so excited to use them for STAR {Stop Talking And Read} Time.  And one of my walls is drywalled, so I covered it with butcher paper.  Ooh, and I am super stoked about my new multimedia cart.  It has a document camera, projector, laptop, dvd player, & wireless air slate.  I know, it's not a Promethean or Smart board, but it'll do for now.  Anything's better than the old overhead projector I have been stuck with for years.  Anywhooo, check out the pics...

It's getting there, but I still have a long way to go.  August 17 is going to come very quickly, so I'd better get moving! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Where to Begin??

So, I visited my classroom for the first time the other day.  The first time since June 1 that is!  It was pretty much how I'd left it, but it is sparkling clean now! :)  Now the question is...where do I begin?  I've been searching so many teacher blogs this summer and have so many ideas, but now comes the time to put them into place.  I really love the setup of my room, but I don't have many options because my room is so small.  Here's what my room looks like right now (blah!):

Just looking at these pics makes me wish I was there right now sorting and organizing stuff.  Look at all that {stuff} on the countertop...cringe!  And I've got to figure out how I'm going to arrange the student desks this year.  But, it's 100 degrees outside, and my kids are all about swimming in the pool today...not helping mom in her classroom.  So, it can wait. A little while, anyways.  But, I did have a great helper with me the other day, lol:

I'll keep ya posted of my progress throughout the rest of the summer.  And hopefully I'll get some of my ideas on here to share!