Monday, November 16, 2015

Reading and Writing Centers

Math is yellow, science is green, social studies is red ... can you guess what reading and writing's signature color is in our classroom? That's right ... BLUE! In an attempt to make sure the reading and writing centers and materials are "relaxing and calm", reading and writing is always blue. (Except for the vocab wall, which is purple, but that's close to blue, right?)

This is our lovely blue reading and writing center shelf. Or literacy center as most people call it. Just like with our science shelf, that big empty spot on the third shelf is for that unit's materials, so it changes pretty frequently. This tall shelf backs up to our library center and gives the kids some sound buffer while they enjoy their books.

The top shelf in our reading and writing center is for writing journals and letter tiles. The letters tiles are just blue (shocker, blue) bathroom tiles that have lowercase letters written on them in silver metallic sharpie. There's 2 full alphabets with extra vowels and common consonants in each of the 4 Rubbermaid containers.The kids use them during writing if they need help spelling words or during free centers if they want to play with them. OCD me started off with writing binders in alphabetical order, but this year's kiddos just don't want them that way! I gave in ... for now.

The middle shelf holds magnetic materials. There are cookie sheets to use as boards, cookie sheet games (rhyming and beginning sounds), magnetic letters in containers (each container has a full alphabet and extra vowels and common consonants), and a magnetic rhyming board game from Lakeshore.

Shelf number 3: unit materials, beginning sound matching games, alphabet matching puzzles.

The bottom shelf is home to dry erase materials. There are a couple of dry erase books with different skills in them, alphabet arcs and capital and lowercase D'Nealian tracing pages.

Across the room is an even smaller shelf that we call games shelf (but it's really literacy overflow). On the top of the games shelf is where the kids keep their not finished folders. Each table group has a bucket for their table (in case they need to grab the whole bucket instead of individual folders). Each person who sits at that table has a folder inside of that bucket to place work when it is not finished. I also put work in their folders when they are absent, or when they try to sneak incomplete papers into their pockets.

The top shelf on our games center shelf is for boxed literacy games, pocket chart games and puzzles (with the exception of the foam alphabet puzzle that wouldn't fit on the top shelf). Our puzzle pieces are numbered and in baggies so pieces don't end up all over the floor.

The bottom shelf is for our pool noodle alphabet, foam alphabet puzzle, regular legos and CVC word legos.

On the floor next to our games shelf are our mini pocket charts that I made over the summer. Click here to see how I did it.

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