Monday, August 17, 2015

Differentiated Literacy Centers

I got this book from another teacher years and years ago.  Since then, I've had to REALLY streamline things.  In just a year I went from a big, overstuffed classroom to a bookshelf to half a bookshelf to just having a desk area.  This change has been dramatic! 

So, instead of keeping this book at school, I made some digital files of the ideas I liked.  I'm not as great as some at digital creations but I enjoy it and keep learning new things! 

I'm planning on using this as a digital file only.  I will present it to my students and as they work through a text, they will have to write what the character does, says, and thinks.  I'll probably have them use this evidence to go a little deeper in the text and think about character traits.

This is such a simple response sheet.  I am thinking about using it in a couple of ways.  Maybe they could use post-its or annotate directly on text with these symbols.  Or maybe they can write about text they read using one or more of these prompts.  Or maybe I will actually print this out, cut these out as cards and then use a Kagan structure to get them to discuss it.

This chart is pretty self-explanatory.  I've mentioned before that my district just adopted Reading Street.  It has an online option to have the story read aloud.  I thought I could put this to use with some fluency practice.  It will take double the time so I will maybe just have them do it with selected pages.  (I need to figure out the logistics of this option).  I think I will teach them to do this in small group and then work with the classroom teachers on whether it makes sense to do this during independent time. 

English Language Learners sometimes have trouble with these question words (see other ESL posts here).  Plus, reciprocal teaching is HUGE in raising achievement.  I may cut these out and use them for students to ask each other questions.  Or maybe I'll just project and they write their questions as they read.

This is designed as a tic-tac-toe board for retelling stories.  You can ask 2 students to play together, taking turns going back and forth.  Or you can ask each student to connect 3 in a row on the board.

Very simple chart.  I'll project this.  They will recreate it in their notebook.  It's a version of FQR (google Fact Question Response for more information).  We will do the response part orally.

I like the "I see" wording as it can be used to view pictures, not just text.  This is great for building background with my kiddos.

I hope these creations gave you some ideas for what you can do with your kids!

I will say these charts all came from a probably 30 page section of the (200+ page) book.  There are lots of independent literacy center ideas in this book.  It's all about students being on task and accountable even when you are with your small group.  If you are looking for ideas, I would recommend it.  Even in 4th grade, many ideas can be used with modifications.  If you are a primary grades teacher, there are lots of making words/ sight words/ easy book ideas.   The reason I'm not keeping it at school is because it's really more for the classroom teacher.  It stayed though several elimination rounds though. 

Of course I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics!


  1. I haven't read this book! I will need to pick up a copy!!!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. Yes, streamlining our stuff is the way to go. I'm trying, too. It takes time and effort, but it looks like you did it for this book. Good idea. Kathleen Kidpeople Classroom