Monday, September 5, 2016

Literacy Stations Part 1




Part 1:  How to up Literacy Stations in you classroom


Hey, guys!  I am so excited to share with all of you this post.  It is part 1 of my blog post series, "How I Implement Literacy Stations in my Daily Routine".  Our literacy block has become my favorite part of our day.  

Can I tell you a secret?  This time of day has not always been a favorite.  In fact, there was a time it was stressful.  I was overwhelmed with how I thought it should look and what all of the students would be doing while I was working with a small group.   

The past few years I used strategies that I learned from Daily 5. It was my saving grace at the time.  I love how it gives you a guide on how it should look and what to do so that it runs smoothly.  I still use some of these strategies when setting up expectations for this block of time.  If you have not read this book, I highly recommend it.  

One year ago, I decided that I wanted to change up my literacy block.  I spent part of my summer putting my thoughts down on paper so I could begin the new transition at the beginning of the school year.  I knew I wanted more stations to give my students more options.  I also wanted to make it as easy as possible.  

I knew I needed enough stations so my students would be spread out.  I wanted to have no more than three students in a station at a time.  My hope was that it would increase engagement and limit the amount of time my students were off task. 

Below is a list of stations that I have implemented. 

Teacher Table- Please know that I do not number this station. Students are pulled back to my table from many different groups. 

1.   Read to Self
2.   Work with Words
3.   Writing Station
4.   Computer
5.   Read and Write the Room
6.   Listening Center
7.   Ipad
8.   Read and Write the Room
9.   Smartboard  
10. Buddy Reading

Now, I know you might be thinking there is NO WAY I have time for this!  How in the world can I implement that many stations without it sending me over the edge?  I don't want to change up that many stations. I would be working myself to death if I implemented this crazy idea.  This woman has fallen off her rocker!  That is ok.  Stick with me over the next two posts and I will show you what I have learned to make it easier. I am all for making my life easier and sharing with others what I have learned along the way.   

Below is how I display/set up my stations.  It does not explain how I introduce each station.  I will dive into that topic in Part 2 of this series. 

How do you display your Literacy Stations?

I purchased a vinyl pocket chart and hung it up at the front of our classroom.  I know it isn't very high tech, but it has worked very well.  In the past, I used my smartboard to showcase the rounds but I wanted to be able to use it for a station. 

In the pocket chart, I stored picture cards for each station.  Next to each picture is a number (1-10).  I also have the numbers taped around the classroom.  I have discovered displaying the numbers around the classroom allows students to see where they can find each station. 


How do you decide on the different groups?

I divide students into small mixed ability groups (2-4) depending on how many students I have in class.  I know the possibility of 4 sounds like a large number for a station but keep in mind one of those students might be working with you at your teacher table.  I try and pair a middle/high student with a student that might need guidance.  Students then have a buddy to ask questions as they arise.  


How do you move stations?

The order of the stations stays the same.  I move the groups down the chart in number order.  I have found using this strategy is the easiest way for me to keep track where they will move next. 

How many rounds do you accomplish in a day?

 In a perfect world, I would love to meet with all of my students daily.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  I have come to realize this is not possible unless something else gives.  I try to meet with 2-3 groups daily.   There are days where I can only meet with one of my reading groups.  When this happens, I meet with my lowest group.  

How often do you change what keep in your stations?

My next post will dive into this question in greater detail.  I did want to give you a few tidbits before then.  The write the room station changes weekly to match our new phonics skill.  The topics for work on writing is changed out every month to six weeks.  

Stay tuned for my next post to see how I introduce each station. 

BONUS: 

Would you like to save a little time?  Snatch your own copy of my literacy station cards by clicking HERE

Blessings, 

2 comments:

Alyse said...

This sounds really great! A few questions: When you pull a group and the student leaves a station, I'm assuming that they miss out on that station? Do they get a chance to go back to it? Can you post a picture of your rotation chart? Thanks a bunch!

Kara said...

Hi Alyse, I will post a picture of my rotation chart tomorrow. :) There are times that a student will miss a station. Each station only lasts the amount of time that I spend with a group. The will get a chance to visit that station later in the week.