Word Work Stations Made Easy with Oriental Trading

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Planning Word Work stations in the classroom can be a little overwhelming, time consuming and expensive.  You want to make sure that your learners are getting the most out of the time they spend in your literacy block, but you need a variety of materials to make their Word Work time effective.  I am excited to share a few of my favorite Word Work stations and how I manage them throughout the year.

Thank you Oriental Trading for sponsoring this blog post.  I receive some amazing products from Oriental Trading in exchange for promoting.  However, all opinions stated are my own and I only promote brands and products I truly love.  This post also contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. 

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My Word Work Stations

I thrive on routine, structure and organization in my classroom and I strongly believe my learners benefit from my Type A tendencies!  When it comes to Word Work I like to have basic stations that will stay the same throughout the year so that my learners know what to expect.

I change out the activities as often as I like, whether I want to add a new thematic game, a new skill for them to review or if my learners just need a new activity to enjoy I can easily switch out the activity but the learning concept stays the same.

The six Word Work stations my learners can visit are Sight Word, Word Work/Play, Shared Reading, Work on Writing, Pocket Chart and Phonics Fun.

I love using these clear tubs from Oriental Trading (Amazon similar) to hold all of the resources and materials my learners need to complete each activity.  Let’s go into more detail of how I organize and manage these stations…

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Sight Word Station

A Sight Word station is a must-have in your literacy block.  Learners are able to identify and use sight words throughout the week while at this station.

I always try to create a hands-on activity for my learners to help them practice their sight words.  One of their favorite activities, that stays in this station A LOT, is our sight word dice game.

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I print and laminate our sight word cards, group them into sets if needed, and a attach a pipe cleaner to each card.  Then, my learners string our wooden dice (Amazon similar) to form each sight word.

I love these dice because they have capital on one side and lowercase on the other giving my students the ability to practice their letter identification (and make the sight word I correctly).

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There are so many different activities you can use in this station from sight word posters to a sight word hunt to sight word sentences, you are sure to find a great way to get your learners engaged at this station.

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Word Work/Play Station

Our Word Work/Play station is a great way for my learners to explore words in our class.  Whether they are rhyming, creating alliterations or making word patterns my learners are able to make the much needed connections between sounds, letters and words.

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I try to provide my learners with a game or hands-on activity to keep them engaged and enjoying their time at this station.

Some of our favorite materials to use is dough and Oriental Trading’s alphabet stamps (similar) (Amazon similar)to make new words.  This activity can be used to create new rhyming words or differentiated when working with writing and reading short vowel words.

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As my learners are working on rhyming I provide them with one rhyming pattern to explore.  They simple use the flipbook (from my Short Vowel Pack) to create and read new rhyming words.

One way I differentiate is by having my learners write the words they make on their plate.  I grabbed these plates from our dollar store and love that they keep the dough off our tables and carpet and serve as a dry-erase board, too!

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Shared Reading Station

Our Shared Reading station usually has a few activities for my learners to choice from.  First, they will add our shared reading poem from the week before to their poetry notebook.  They grab their poem, “popcorn” any popcorn words, chunk any word patterns we are learning and illustrate their poem.

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Once they are finished they move on to another shared reading activity.  This is where I provide options…they can read from books that I have chosen with a partner, like these Alphabet Readers (Amazon similar) or a collection of the poems we have read throughout the year.

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The poems are available to them on a chart stand or they can read from their own poetry notebook.  The large poems are a favorite for my learners because they get to be the teacher…so much fun!  I love them, too because they are reviewing all of the skills we have practiced using our poems.

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Work on Writing Station

Our Work on Writing station is very different than our writing block.  During our Writer’s  Workshop we introduce new skills and my learners are able to explore the writing process.  Our Work on Writing Station is a time for them to practice or reinforcement skills needed to make Writer’s Workshop successful.

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At the beginning of the year we focus a lot on letter formation.  Creating dough letters, alphabet dry erase sheets and tactile letters are a few of our favorites. As the year progresses the skills change.

Some of the skills include forming sentences, punctuation, sequencing events or stories and much more.  These activities help my learners grow as writers and produce amazing stories during our writing block.

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Pocket Chart Station

Our Pocket Chart station is one of my favorites to plan.  It is so easy to plan and create activities for the station mainly because it is my “flex” station.  The constant in our Pocket Chart station is the pocket chart, but the concepts and skills practiced are always changing.

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One week they can be matching capital and lowercase letters, sorting by initial sounds or even making sentences or CVC words…the possibilities are endless.  I usually choose these activities on a whim depending on what my learners need extra practice with.

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One of our favorite activities for the beginning of the year is our alphabet sort.  I use the cards that will go on our Word Wall and my alphabet dictionary pages.

The learners work together to sort the alphabet cards, read them together and then they record the pictures and words on the dictionary pages.  Once they have finish all the pages they add them to their Alphabet Dictionary to refer to throughout the year.

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Phonics Fun Station

Our Phonics Fun Station is, you guessed it, where my learners practice the phonics skills we have been learning. Whether it’s an alphabet center, initial sound, word patterns, ending sounds, blends or digraphs my learners will have a hands-on activity waiting for them.

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In this station I will provide my learners with a game pretty much every time.  The one shown below is a great (and already made) Beginning Sounds Card (similar) (Amazon similar) game that is simple and fun for my learners to use in our Phonics Fun Station.

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Oriental Trading Wish List

I was so excited to team up with Oriental Trading for the post for 2 reasons…

  1. They have a variety of materials to help organize and use in your Word Work Stations

  2. They have a Wish List option to help take some of the load of your wallet

Whether you need storage to organize your materials, classroom supplies to have on hand throughout the year, or learning games for your math and literacy blocks, Oriental Trading has a variety of education supplies to choose from.

Oriental Trading also gives you the opportunity to create your own wishlist!

Why is that so awesome you ask?  You can give your parents a simple and easy way to contribute to your classroom.  Sure those apple coffee mugs are adorable and that sign with your name on it will light up your classroom, but if parents are able to purchase a gift for you that their own child can use…WIN – WIN!!!

You can head over to Oriental Trading now, create your own Wish List and share with your class using the share option on your Wish List page. 

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progress monitoring in the early elementary classroom for math, literacy and reading