This month I am writing about management that has to do with materials the kids use. Week one was all about student papers and how to manage turning them in/returning them to students. Week two was all about math stations. And this week I am sharing about literacy stations.
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For some reason, literacy stations (aka Daily 5 in my classroom) are easier for me to manage and less intimidating for me to teach my kids than math stations. Maybe it is because they are more consistent stations with less materials to change out. Or maybe it’s because I have been doing them since day one so I am just comfortable with them.
I have seven literacy stations. They don’t ever change, the only things that change are the activities the kids do at each one. The stations I have in my classroom are:
Read to Self
Students sit at their desk and read independently. Once a week I have students check out new books from the classroom library. I also give them books from our guided reading time to leave in their book bags for a few weeks.
Read to Someone
Each week I put books that relate to what we are learning about in the Read to Someone bin. This way the kids have more exposure to text in which we are learning about.
Work on Writing
On the bulletin board, I have seven activities that they choose from. I used to have a ton and change them out every few weeks but this became overwhelming and exhausting. Now I have seven general writing station activities that they can do. They are all things that we have done in a whole group lesson at some point. This way I was able to teach them my expectations of what the writing activity looks like and it also gives me student examples to display on the board! Win-Win!
Students work on activities related to the phonics pattern we are studying that week. I will also throw in some activities in there that review word wall words and other things we have learned like contractions, synonyms/antonyms, etc.
Listen to Reading
Students listen to books read aloud on CD.
Poetry station is housed on the side of my desk. There is a pocket chart and a poem that the kids work on assembling together. Then they are able to read the poem to each other. I use these poems for my poetry station.
I use this time for students to get on any Tier 2 interventions for reading (lexia, iStation, etc.) Other students are able to get on Epic! and read books as well as have books read to them. (If I have a kid ask me one more time if they can play math games during Daily 5, I think I will lose it on them!!!!!!!!!!)
Literacy Station Management
I house all of my station materials in bins in my library. They are all located together on top of the library bookshelves so the kids can easily get the materials they need. I can also easily look and see if the stations are put away correctly. (Read to Self, Poetry, and Technology don’t have bins.)
Inside the bins are all of the materials they need for each of the stations.
I use a student management board so that my students know which station they are going to and when. One of my classroom jobs is to change the Daily 5 stations after each day that we do Daily 5.
(I have two classes so there are two groups represented on my management board.)
One thing I have struggled with is holding my students accountable for their work. I am usually meeting with guided reading groups during this time, so it is not really possible for me to make sure my kids are doing what they are supposed to. I will occasionally get up and walk around while my GR students are reading, but really my focus needs to be on the ones at my U-table.
This year I started pulling my students to the carpet after Daily 5 and pulling random sticks out of a jar to call on students. The students I call on tell me what two stations they went to that day and what they did at each station. The writing station is usually the station with the least amount of effective work happening, so I will also ask kids at the writing station to share a part of what they wrote that day. This seems to keep them a bit more accountable.
I will share just a quick tidbit about guided reading. I plan on doing a whole post on it in the future, but for now I will just share my lesson plan binder. <<<Update: It’s done! Read about guided reading lesson plans here!
The students and their levels are listed. I then determine what level I will work with them on, the concept I want to focus on, and then I find a book that teaches that concept. I’ll jot down a couple of questions I want to make sure to ask and then as the students are reading. I also have a notes column so that I am able to jot down any notes on the students and/or the group.
You can get a copy of my Guided Reading Lesson Plan template here!
What literacy stations do you use? I’d love to hear about your stations, what works, and what doesn’t.
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Until next time,