Sunday, September 9, 2012

Literacy Work Station #1 and a FREEBIE!

After listening to Debbie and all of her advice, I realized I needed to take a step back. Despite feeling like I was ready to begin groups and centers, the students are not ready. Debbie suggests introducing one station* at a time before opening it up, and waiting 4-6 weeks into school to begin groups. This doesn't mean I won't be pulling children for assistance -- it just means GUIDED READING groups won't start for a couple of weeks. The more time I take to set up rules and expectations, the more the students will accomplish throughout the year.
*Did you notice that I am using both the words centers and stations? They are NOT used interchangeably. Centers are not necessarily literacy based, typically have a product, and all children go to each center equally. Stations, on the other hand, are focused on reading and writing development, likely do not have a product and students may not go to each station every week or even every two weeks!
Friday afternoon, children practiced their first center: Independent Reading. We discussed what to do at Independent Reading and how to do it. Children came up with their first "I Can" list, a list of all the things they are able to do at that station. At Independent Reading, here is what they gave me:

I can...-read from the front cover to the back cover
-read/search for each letter
-read the pictures
-point to each word
-pick a new book

Children got 4 new self-selected books to put in their bag of books (which stays in their desk for Independent Reading). These books will rotate out in two weeks. Then children practiced Independent Reading for 7 minutes. ("SEVEN minutes? But Miss Francis, that's so long!") Eventually, each station will last 15-20 minutes and students will rotate between two each day. (Some days one rotation will be meeting with me.) I will meet with 2 reading groups each day, as suggested.
Tomorrow, I will introduce the Big Book station. We will come up with the I Can list and two students will get to go at a time while other students are at Independent Reading.
During the time it takes to learn each station, we will continue to use traditional centers as well. This means I will put activities on student tables and rotate the activity for them.

We also made our first I Can list for Writing Workshop. Students said the following:I can...
-write my name
-write a picture
-label my picture
-color my picture

To go along with this, I made a rubric for children to follow while they complete their writing. Please discuss the rubric with your child, especially if you see work coming home that's only worth 1-2 stars.

4 Star Rubric To get your copy of the rubric, click the picture above!

As we move into the new week, we will be studying SHAPES in Math as well as number formation and the FIVE SENSES in Science. Yay! Two really fun things to learn about.
P.S. We learned the Pledge of Allegiance last week. Did any students come home and recite it? We have also previewed the Penny and Dime, in case you've been hearing your child sing some money songs.
Enjoy your Sunday! Owl be teaching you more tomorrow!


  1. Thank you for posting he rubric, it really helps me narrow down what I need to work on with Dougie. I have been trying to work with him a bit more on his hand writing :)

  2. Of course! Thanks for using it! As a class, we are ALL working on our handwriting :D

  3. This is my favorite rubric! Thank you so much for sharing it! It is so "user friendly" for the kids! I love your blog. :) Carolyn
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together