Literacy Center Ideas

I love Shari Sloane's website ! I use a lot of her ideas and "bump" up the rigor for my first graders. If you check on her literacy center page she has two new centers: "Building a Word Tower" and "Gumball Words" These are going to be my two new favorite centers to start off the year.

Gumball Word~ I went to Target and found a plastic topped gumball machine that you add pennies and turn the machine to get the gumballs just like you do in the store. (Walmart has a 5 dollar version but not quite the same). I found the glass beads/rocks/jewels at the Dollar Tree that you put into vases for weights in the bottom of the flower arrangements. I created the word lists from the Reading Street Stories for the first unit and printed them out. Then using "Quick Dry Tacky Glue", I adhered the words to the glass beads. It works like a charm. It sometimes takes more than one penny to get a bead to come out and sometimes I was able to get two beads for one penny. So I think I'm going to tell the kids they can use 10 pennies and record the words they can on the recording sheet. If they have extra time, then they can get more pennies. I created a recording sheet to go with the first grade version of Shari's idea.

Word Tower~ I had old Jenga blocks that were found when cleaning and saw Shari's idea for building a word tower. I plan to have the kids roll a specially made die (Target has foam cubes in the dollar section that are perfect for making your own dice from) with the numbers 1, 2, and 3 only. Kids will roll the die and take that many building blocks. Then use the blocks to read, spell, create sentences with, put into ABC order with... I created a recording sheet to go with this first grade version of Shari's idea.

Word PowerCenters
Developed using Scrabble Tiles and vocabulary from your Reading Series. The idea is kids use the tiles to create as many different kinds of words they can and see if they can also come up with a word that uses all of the letters. The idea was shared on a yahoo group as well as on Pro Teacher boards. I'm still playing with the concept.

Alphabet Arch Downloads available from Click Here for the PDF