Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Literacy Stations 1-5

Our mornings this week have gone something like this: come in, unpack and begin work on morning journals.  At this point in the year, morning journals consist of writing the date, the letter of the day (just a preview!) in upper- and lower- case, and drawing pictures of things that begin with that letter sound.  Last week, everyone got highlighted journals and the students just had to trace.  This week, most students had to copy from the board.  Any students having difficulty copying still got some highlighter help.

As we get into a letter a week, students will transition into copying sentences from the board and drawing a corresponding picture.  This is a great way to incorporate beginning sounds and SIGHT WORDS!

When everyone has arrived, we move to the carpet for morning meeting. (I'll do another post all about Morning Meeting soon).  We'd go over the alphabet and then read our daily alphabet foldable book. After we read and color our books, we come back to the carpet for some reading readiness skills.

Our phonological awareness focus this week was rhyme.  I wanted to know which children could hear rhymes and which children, if any, were having difficulty.  Turns out, we're pretty good at rhyming! We read all sorts of rhyming stories:

  • Tumble Bumble by Felicia Bond
  • Snail Brings the Mail by Russell Punter
  • Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas
  • The Big, Mean Dust Bunny by Jan Thomas
  • Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw
  • Cool Dog, School Dog by Deborah Heiligman

Then we completed a rhyming practice page together to listen for words that share the same ending sound. After we finished the rhyming page, we'd make an "I Can" list for the newly opened station.  An "I Can" list simply explains (in pictures and simple words) what students can do when they are at a station.  This helps forgetful friends stay on-task and let them know what they can do if they believe they're "done."

We've introduced 5 literacy stations so far! Take a peek:

Literacy Station #1: Big Books
Here, children can work together to read the story, find letters or words, or retell the story.  Children can also improve story comprehension by asking each other questions about what happened in the story or relating personal experience to what is happening in the story.

Literacy Station #2: Word Work
Students work to spell words by matching loose, foam letters to given letters on a card. To make it more challenging, students can flip the card over and try to spell the word without given letters.

Literacy Station #3: Buddy Reading
At buddy reading, students can choose to read to each other, read to themselves using whisper phones, or look quietly at books on their level. Right now, the only books available to students are the large board books.  (These include I Spy books, counting and ABC books).  As we complete author studies throughout the year, more and more tubs of books will become available until the entire library is open! Remind your child of the importance of taking care of our books!

Literacy Station #4: Let's Talk About It!
This station is all about fostering oral communication and storytelling.  It's the same activity we did for the first three days of writing workshop, but now students go two at a time and have the entire basket of cards to choose from.  Students work on creating an elaborate tale with a setting, characters and a beginning, middle & end.

Literacy Station #5: SMARTboard
Right now, the SMARTboard activity is the website.  Throughout the year, we will add additional sites and activities such as spelling and sorting using specially made SMART Notebook files.

Stations still to come: ABC magnets, iPads, Computers, Write/Read the Room, Writing

Possibly Play-Doh and Puzzles & Games... 
I'm not sure if I'll use those this year as a station or not.  
We may use them as remedial, small-group strategies instead.

The kids are waiting patiently for COMPUTERS to open up, but I can't open those until I pick up some decent headphones. So those will be Monday's station! (Also, I'm pretty certain that they're only excited about computers because they don't know that iPads are even a possibility as a station! Shhh!) ;)

Anyway, as usual, I am incredibly impressed with how quickly the students are learning the routines and expectations.  We're still working on voice levels at stations (0-1, depending on the station), but I think that will get better the more we practice and when I start pulling groups.

As always, owl be teaching you tomorrow!

Hey, let's all thank Blogger for being smart and instantly saving work. Of course I accidentally X'd out of this as I was seconds away from publishing it, freaked out, and came back to realize it was all here! 

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