Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What we're up to this week: Literacy Centers edition with a FREEBIE!

Woah, two updates in one week! This is unheard of! I am on a roll, let me tell you. :) I'm really trying to be more dedicated at updating when I have the time and I really want to start sharing more freebies with you all! I posted a farm-themed rhyming picture sort in my last post if you want to go download.

Today, I thought I'd share a little bit about the literacy centers my students are participating in this week.  My kids always love sentence stem activities, so I try and put some of those in my centers whenever I can. It's a great way for the kids to practice their fluency skills, sight words, and reading and tracking print. And since we always make a response sheet for these activities, they get a little writing in, too! Since we are working on our farm theme at the moment, the sentence stem for this week is "A ____________ lives on the farm." I put the sentence stem at the top of the pocket chart and then I included words and pictures of various farm animals. One student chooses a word, another student holds the pointer, and they all choral read together. After each sentence is made and read, they go back to their response sheet to fill out the sentence they created; then once everyone has completed that, they switch jobs and create a new sentence. Don't mind my awful illustrations... ha!

Example of the response sheet:

Our latest word family had words ending in -x, so I put together a little activity sheet called "X Marks the Spot". Using a bingo dobber, the students have to find all the words ending in X. The second half of the sheet, called "Read and Illustrate", has the students do just that! They have to read the second and draw a picture to show meaning. Of course each sentence has words ending in X as well!

Click the picture below to download this activity for FREE! {Note: This is made on 11x17 paper!}

 photo XMarksTheSpotGoogle_zpsa3e0ed70.png

Our third station of the week is an ending sound picture sort. My kids can identify beginning sounds like the back of their hand, but sometimes get tripped up on identifying the ending sounds! I made this little picture sort to help them practice and they have done wonderfully so far! On my picture sorts, I always like to have them write the word to match the picture to work on their phonemic awareness and decoding skills. This friend is really strong in his "sound-it-out" skills. :)

The rest of my centers include a farm book craftivity (pictures to come when it is all complete) and two centers that remain the same EVERY week - computers and listening center.

This year, more than ever, my students seem to complete their work in record time and are constantly asking me, "What can I do now that I'm done?" To try and alleviate hearing it 1230275 times a day, I try to include some fast finisher activities that they can choose once they are done. The four fast finishers I'm using this week are:

1. Blast Off! Sight word dice game (Made by the wonderful Cara Carroll!)
2. Sight Word Sentence white board activities (From Lakeshore)
3. Scholastic "Let's Find Out!" Magazine (This week, a belated Dr. Seuss edition!)
4. "Sounds in the Clouds" CVC beginning and ending word building (Which can be found in my weather unit on TPT... click here to check it out: Oh the Weather Outside... {Weather Activities for Math, Literacy, and More!})

My students look forward to centers so much and literally cheer when I tell them it's time for them to begin! It's one of my favorite times of the day!