Literacy Centersin Kindergarten Classroom Kimesha White Best Practice June 23, 2010 ELED 545 Dr. J. Thompson
Why should Centers be implemented in a classroom? Children learn best when they are actively engaged. Implementing centers in the classroom: • Promotes independence • Helps students become more responsible • Allows students to learn through self-discovery • Provides teachers with time to pull students one-on-one or in small groups to target specific academic skills, modify and enrich curriculum, and better meet the needs of individual students
Why I choose to implement centers?I have taught kindergarten for the past three years. Every year I tweak and adjust my system to meet the needs of my students . This year I will incorporate from the more “cutesy” centers that must be changed out weekly and focus on creating more permanent centers with open ended tasks. I plan to select activities that involve students in practicing reading, writing, and spelling daily. In doing this I realize it will take longer to create the center than it takes for my students to complete it, so I must make sure the activity is really worthwhile.
Some of the ways I will Promote Language and Literacy centers in my classroom… • Provide opportunities for children to expand their oral language • Read several stories daily. • Teach songs and rhymes. • Support reading and writing through exploratory play. • Point out words when reading to children. • Encourage children to experiment with writing everyday. • Provide a literacy rich environment. Go beyond labeling! • Create inviting and special areas for reading and writing. • Be a literacy advocate. Model reading and writing everyday.
How will I incorporate print through my centers daily? • Sign Sheet or book: Invite students to sign in everyday. • Student Directory: Create a class directory using students’ name and photos. • Yellow Pages: Create a class book of experts for tying shoes, helping with computer, etc. • Word Wall and Environmental Print Wall
Centers for my kindergarten classroom • Block Center: Include books on building. Provide blueprints for building. Encourage children to record their constructions in a class blueprint book. • Dramatic Play: Set up prop boxes to coordinate with your themes. Include songs, environmental print, and books to encourage play with purpose. Example: Pizza Parlor: pizza boxes, aprons, notepads for waiters, menus from local pizza restaurant, pizza coupons • Sensory Table: Bury tactile letters in sand, cold spaghetti, Easter grass etc. Alphabet soup: Have students scoop out a bowl full of letters and practice identifying or matching. Name soup: Have students scoop out letters to spell classmates’ names. • Easel: Place art books nearby or laminated copies of famous artwork. Feature an illustrator of the month and post pictures near the easel for students to use as a model. • Puppet Center: Allow students to make puppets that coordinate with literature read aloud. Provide socks or paper bags yarn, googly eyes, sequins, etc. • Science Center: Add nonfiction books. Consider adding lab books or sheets for students to use when “recording” observations. • Social Studies: Provide travel brochures, atlases, maps, and globes. Set up prop boxes for different countries with souvenirs, postcards, and clothing. Encourage students to create their own travel brochures or create a list of things to bring on their trip. • Math Center: Add books! Counting books and shape books. Encourage students to take surveys!
Teacher Resources Books • Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work by Debbie Diller • Developing Literacy Using Reading Manipulatives K-2 Creative Teaching Press • Instant Math Centers Creative Teaching Press • Simple Centers for First Grade by Lisa Molengraft Instructional Fair • Literacy Centers: Take It To Your Seat by Jo Ellen Moore and Jo Larsen (Evan Moor) • Working With Words: 14 Instant Literacy Centers by Sue Lewis and Amy Stern (Creative Teaching Press) • Hands-On Math Creative Teaching Press