Monday, September 26, 2016

Beginning of the Year Centers

We spend much of the beginning of the year working on routines and assessments, along with building foundational skills that will help our students become successful throughout the year.

When we think of what we want our students to do academically by the end of the year, our answers may vary, but over all we want them to read and solve simple math facts.  But how do we get them there?  In short, we need to pick apart skills that will help lead them to the end result.  What are these skills, you may ask?

In the area of literacy, we take the reading skill and break it down into smaller skills.  These skills include reading strategies, word knowledge, alphabet knowledge and phonological awareness. So now on to the question of, what to do now with your students that will help with the goal of reading.  Here are some of my favorite centers that I use during this time to build these skills.



This is created by Bonnie Kathryn Teaching.  Click here to view this product in her TPT store. This is a great center for children during this time of the year.  Children can work on these independently while you pull kids up for assessing.

Other alphabet center that I like to use include Alphabet UNO, Candy Land, Clip games and sorts.  I like to use games as a way to engage students.  They are not only learning and practicing fluency, they are having fun and ask to play it often.

Here are the images to the products.

UNO MAS Alphabet      Candy Land Beginning Sounds          Beginning Sound Clips       Crayons Beginning Sounds

Phonological Awareness

Other centers that I like to introduce at this time include syllables and segmenting words.  I will often do these activities as a whole group or small group and then add them to our center collection.

My students love these centers.  The more that they can manipulate words and sounds, the more they are able to remember, engage, and use these skills.  Some of our favorite centers include Snap and Count Syllables by the Reading Mama and syllable clips, syllable cards and segmenting cards.

Segmenting Sounds     Syllable Cards   Syllable Clips

Reading Strategies:

I begin to talk about reading strategies during our small group shared reading time (This is a requirement from my district).  When it came time to teach these skills, I wanted it to be fun, engaging, and interactive.  I was searching for something that would help.  I came across this by Deanna Jump.  It had everything that I was looking for, and once I started using it, the kids loved it and therefore were able to recall may strategies when reading books at their level.

Guided Reading

Please click this link to check this resource out in her TPT store!

The beginning of the year can be filled with stress, preparation, meetings, assessments, and getting to know your students (not necessarily in the that order).  It is important that we all remember to build on each student's knowledge, and help to build a strong foundation for each.

I hope you are all having a great start to the school year!

What skills do you focus on during this time of the year?  What are your "Must Do" centers or activities?