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Reading Centers 101: Planning

.facebook_1419094566276It’s second semester and I have taken over a 1st grade classroom mid-year. If you have ever switched schools in the middle of the school year, you would probably agree that it can be very challenging. When I interviewed for the position in November the class size was 23, however when I actually took over the class size had blossomed to 28 students.

Before I could create a plan for implementing my reading centers I had to organize the students’ desks. Since I have so many students I rearranged the classroom 3 times before I was satisfied with the way the seating arrangement and the way that the students moved about the class. I eventually settled on 4 groups of 6 with 4 students as islands due to behavior concerns. Having the students in groups seemed to work well this group of students.

                 Independent Work Folders colored folder

Teachers have different ways of setting up their reading centers. I have been asked if my students rotate centers and my response has always been no they go to a different center the next day. All of the students begin with independent work at their level and then go to 1 center a day. I bought colored folders because each color represents a different level. I found that using hanging folders were easier because I put the students’ work in the folder and then each student gets his/her work from the folder to complete before going to their assigned center.

completed independent workCompleted Independent Work

After the students complete their independent work each students is responsible for putting his/her completed work into the appropriate folder. I mounted colored folders on the side of my file cabinet because I did not have enough space inside my classroom to put them.
These folders are also used to for center work as well. I noticed that this system of organization automatically separates the students’ work by groups.
For more ideas and activities for your reading centers follow my 1st Grade Reading Center Activities on Pinterest.

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