What are literacy centers?
Literacy Centers are a great way for students to extend their learning by doing hands on activities within the classroom. Literacy Centers usually take place after a teacher has taught and modeled specific skills in class. This provides students with the opportunity to practice these skills indepdently. Some of the topics that are usually covered in a literacy center are spelling, word work / sight word practice, writing, reading comprehension, and more.
My Experience with Literacy Centers
One of my favorite parts about teaching first grade was creating engaging literacy centers for my students. Way before I started TpT, I would create my very own litercy canter games and recording sheets. I would look at my curriculum and see which skills I needed literacy centers for. As I prepped my literacy centers each week, I would ask myself:
“Is it age appropriate?”
“Does it hit the standards we are focusing on this week?”
“Did I include a differentiated option?”
“Will it my students even like it?”
Even though I loved creating literacy centers for my first graders, it was no secret that prepping for them each week became exhausting and time consuming. As a former classroom teacher, I know that time is precious. I want to share with you some of my literacy center ideas that you can try out in your classroom!
This engaging literacy center focuses on CVC words. Students will have to reveal the mystery CVC word by looking at each picture and determing the beginning sound. I have used these colorful foam letters with this literacy center. If you are looking for these foam letters, you can find some here. (This is an Amazon Affiliate Link).
As you know, fidget poppers are all the rage these days with kids! There are so many fun ways to use this in your classroom. This literacy center resource is a great hands-on way for your students to practice blending each phoneme. I have included a differentiated option with this resource as well. There is a set of CVC cards that has the word written below the image. This can help students decode. If you are looking for some fun fidget poppers, check these out! (This is an Amazon Affiliate Link).
This literacy center is excellent for beginning readers. Your students will simply select a CVC card, say the CVC word out loud and then write it down on the recording sheet. If your students are having a hard time decoding, they can look at the image for support. This can also be used 1-1 as the student focuses on each phoneme ( ex. /c/ /u/ /b/ = cub ). You know your students best – use this as you see fit!
Sentence scrambles — taking a sentence and mixing up the word order — are GREAT activities for (ELL) English Language Learners. They’re also good for elementary students as they unscramble the sentence. This allows students to practice sentence fluency and structure. Be sure to check out my Monthly Sentence Scramble Bundle here.
Close reading is when students read a text ‘closely’ by looking at the details and facts. This literacy center is an excellent way to help your students improve their reading comprehension. This Close Reading Bundle includes 8 different resources that contain over 75 close reading worksheets. The best part? No prep – just print!
These Monthly Writing Prompt Flip Books are FUN and EASY to make. This is especially helpful as a literacy center since there are various prompts included. Students will LOVE writing about these topics. Some writing topics include: All About Me, My Favorite Food, My Favorite Sport, My Birthday, When I Grow Up…, All About School, My Friends, I With I Had a Pet, My Family…and more!
Students create words they have previously learned by using magnetic letters. Students can also attempt to spell knew words by sounding out the word. There are several differentiated versions of this literacy center. It is differentiated for students who are able to spell 2 letter and 3 letter words…all the way up to 4 and 5 letter words. I also included the option to create a sentence by using the words that were created!