In my classroom, literacy centers happen everyday for 45 minutes.  During this time, students are actively engaged in literacy activities that are on their level.  Students are placed in homogeneous groups.  I have to say that I have always been a proponent of heterogeneous groups.  That is until we received the reading grant several years ago.  With the grant, we implement things in a certain manner.  Being researched based was a must.  Research says that small center groups need to be homogeneous to meet the needs of students that are on the same level.  I always felt that a peer model was more important.  However, with the grant, I had to do what "they" said.  I was pleasantly surprised and pleased that it really worked!  We met all requirements and the grant is long gone, but many of the practices that I had in place during the grant, are still in place in my classroom.  Homogeneous literacy groups are one.  I do want to mention that the rest of the day my students are in heterogeneous groups, as students desks are grouped in pods.  

Here's how it works in my room...

I have four groups of four this year...yeah, just 16!  Trust me, this is not the norm!  But I'm sure loving it! 

 At the beginning of the year, students decide what to call their group.  Since we have an owl theme this year, the students voted and decided that all of the groups would be owl names.  So, we have the barn owls, snowy owls, screech owls, and eagle owls. 

I meet with all of my students every week.  
We have two 20 minutes centers a day.  I have a center board that shows the owl groups and the two centers that they will each visit that day.  I meet with two group and my helper meets with two groups a day.  

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I meet with my two lowest groups.  We work on fluency and comprehension.  I pull a variety of books and activities to me these skills.  The two highest group work with my helper on power reading, higher order thinking and comprehension.

On Thursday and Friday, I meet with the two highest groups and work on vocabulary.  We have a really robust vocabulary program that the kids love and beg to do!  Promise!  :)  My helper meets with the two lowest groups and does some kind of 'word work" activity.

Like I said, each group meets with either my helper or me each day.  But like I said, they go to two centers a day.  So other centers that they might be engaged at computers, literacy games, whisper phones, big books, make-a-word, vocabulary, listening, word wall, or read & write the room.


I am sooooo excited and honored to be an author at Simply Learning Centers.  {Thanks, Jennifer!!!}
Head on over to check out all the great info that has been shared so far on centers!  You'll be glad you did!

And check out my very first post on "Centers for the Beginner!"


When we are doing an "Author Study", I add an Author Study Center.  Here students get a chance to revisit some of their favorite books by the author, as well as, engage in fun activities focusing about the author.  Some of my favorite authors are:

Jan Brett
Patricia Polacco
Lester Laminack
Tomie dePaola
Kevin Henkes

There are a couple of Author Study Center FREEBIES on my Freebies page!

Chatterbox Blessings,
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