Be all that you can be. Find your future--as a teacher.

Musings of a second-year teacher.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The future of reading: Literacy Centers?

Once again, I've failed on my promise to maintain regular updates. Once again, it's almost the end of the year and I've barely updated about my class. But yet again, I'll leave you with a quick blurb and hope to update before another three (or four, or five) months go by.

While I have quite a few topics I'd love to elaborate on, I must narrow it down to one. So tonight, I'd like to mention my school's recent "discovery" of literacy centers. With a new principal and a new county superintendent, there have been lots of changes within our school this year. One of our principal's goals was to re-vamp the way we teach reading. We are currently using a Harourt series which has some good information, but we could definitely add something to our reading program.

At a county-wide meeting, we discovered another school had implemented "literacy centers" in their Kindergarten classroom. I suppose the idea of literacy centers is not a new one, however, the idea of trying something this independent with Kindergartners scared me. Literacy centers seemed like the answer to my dilemma of "how do I keep all my students engaged in activities that are individually challenging?" As a Kindergarten teacher, I have found it incredibly difficult to break lessons down and give students assignments that are appropriate for their skill level when they are unable to read directions, unable to remember more than two directions at once, and generally unable to work independently. However, the teachers that implemented literacy centers said that after a few rough weeks of learning the routine, their classrooms had adjusted nicely and were doing well with literacy centers. Fortunately, our principal let us go observe these teachers to truly see how literacy centers looked. I was amazed at how quiet, calm, and focused these students were!

I am excited to possibly try literacy centers in my classroom next year, yet I am still skeptical. I am rarely able to get all my students completely quiet. I have tried, and tried, and TRIED to teach them the importance of listening at the appropriate times and being quiet at the appropriate times, but it seems impossible. I'm still not sure how much of this is due to the "chattiness" of my students and how much of it is due to my need for more classroom mangagement experience...hopefully, either way, I'll luck out with a well-behaved class next year (a girl can hope, right! :) )

I'm interested to hear from others who have tried literacy centers in K. How have they worked for you? What lessons have you used? How did you teach the routines? What are your rules and routines? Also, on a whole different tangent, how did you fund your supplies? We have no extra money at our school to buy supplies for literacy I'm curious what alternative methods are out there. seems like an interesting site and I'd like to learn more about.

That's all for tonight! I'd love to hear your thoughts on literacy centers...share them all!:)


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