Classroom teachers have a ton of daily tasks to guarantee that students are engaged and learning. It’s a tough job, and a stressful one, too. Teachers wear out easily if their classrooms aren’t well managed. Creating a classroom that runs itself while you teach in smaller groups is the best way to keep students engaged. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a classroom that ran itself? One step is to set expectations during center time. Here are some tips on how to have consistent literacy centers in your classroom for the entire year!
I have five steps that will help you get into a routine with your literacy centers! These steps will help you plan, implement and prep for a successful year.
What Main Objectives Do You Want to Cover?
Although some teachers in my state will say our standards are hard to understand, they are well laid out. These are the main objectives that my literacy centers will focus on:
- Book Response
- Sight Words
- Reading Skills (Comprehension)
These objectives are very broad, which leaves me a lot of room to be very creative on what activities I put in each center!
What is the Goal of Your Literacy Centers?
Most teachers will tell you that centers are for practicing new skills. However, some teachers say they are a great way to assess where students are. I think we can all agree that new skills should be for small group teaching and not centers!
Model, Model, MODEL!
Spend the first few weeks of school focusing on the behavior you want to see. Modeling is the most important way to show students your expectations. First, use whole group time to discuss how to behave in centers. Next, show and model how to complete activities in centers. I like to use “I Can” statements to keep expectations clear and easy to understand.
Create an Easy to Read Schedule for Each Student
Yes..you heard me! Create a schedule for each student. It takes some time at the beginning of the year. However, once you make it you will never again have to make it! Having an easy to read schedule will reduce the number of questions and will keep your students engaged the entire time.
This schedule is easy to edit! Use Adobe Reader to edit the teacher master page.
My Literacy Center Rotation resource includes the master teacher page, individual schedules for each student, a class list, and literacy center posters for each center. You can grab this resource below to get your students up and running asap!
Change Activities Weekly
Because your students know what to do for each center, all you need to do is switch out the activities weekly, or when you feel it’s necessary!
I know what you’re thinking. Elissa, that takes up SO much time. Is it really worth it? Friend. Yes, it IS worth it. You will be amazed at what your students can do! All they need is a little guidance.
Interested in my Literacy Center Rotation Schedule? You can find it below!