Friday, September 20, 2013

Literacy Centres & A Rainbow of Fun!

Hey'all...It's Fridayyyy!
I had a great week with my new bunch of crazy kidlets and hope your week went well, too!

Today was one of my favourite themes that I typically do at the beginning of the school year: colours!

We began each day by reading this poem:
Each morning we focused on something different (identifying capital/lowercase letters, finding specific words, etc.). This poem will also be the first page of our very first big book, which we are in the process of "publishing" to hang in the reading centre (the kiddies will be able to read and review what we have learned throughout previous weeks by reading our chart paper big books). On another piece of chart paper, we also took turns filling out the phrase "_name_ likes _colour_" (e.g. Sally likes green) to be featured in our big book...and I forgot to take a picture of those pages, sorry! 

Here were our centre activities for the week:

Word Work 1
At Word Work 1, students had to take all of the coloured letters (written on sentence strips, laminated, and cut) out of the paper bag, sort them by colour, and then unscramble the letters to spell a mystery colour word. They could look at our word wall or Colour Poem to help them spell the word correctly.
Click the pic below to download your FREE copy of the worksheet!

Word Work 2
At Word Work 2, the kiddies had to use the word wall or refer to our Colour Poem to stamp the colour word, write the word, and colour the crayon the corresponding colour. I helped my little kidlets out by writing the first letter of each colour word. 
If they happened to finish this activity before Friday, they could complete the colour word puzzles (featured in the first picture)
Both activities are from Cara's Ready, Set, Learn pack.

Writing Centre
This week at the Writing Centre this week, the kiddies focused on writing lists. Once they are independent enough, my writing centre will function similar to a "free choice" centre; the kids will be able to pick any writing activity they want to complete that week (make a list, write a card/postcard, write a letter, write a story, write in our Shared Writing Journals, or free write in their writing notebooks). Until then, we will gradually be practicing ONE of the 6 Writing Centre options each week to help the kiddies become familiar with each option. 
So this week, they picked any colour they wanted and listed all of the things they could think of that are that colour (e.g. if they chose green, they could list things such as leaves, grapes, grass, apples, clothes, guacamole, etc.). And, of course, getting to write lists on the coloured notepads is just the bees knees to a first grader.

Pocket Chart
At the Pocket Chart, my little lovelies sorted pictures by colour. There are 3 pictures for each colour. After sorting the pictures, they challenged themselves by labelling each picture with its corresponding word. Each colour group featured rhyming words to help the kiddies decode each word (e.g. for the red colour group, there are pictures of a red coat, a red boat, and a red goat).

Click the pic below to download your FREE copy of the pictures!
(I made this activity a couple years ago and can't find the file that features the corresponding words. Sorry!)

Listening Centre
Of course for a week filled with colour words, there's no better book than Eric Carle's Brown Bear, Brown Bear to read along with at the Listening Centre!

Write the Room
At Write the Room, kids searched around the room for 11 different images of crayons and completed the corresponding worksheet from Cara's Write On! pack (apparently I'm crazy for Cara this week!) 

So that about sums up our week's literacy centre activities!

Next up, I've had a couple questions about how I run my literacy centres. Here's how!

I made this *life-saving* SmartBoard file to help us rotate through our centres:
Click the pic below to download an *editable* file (directions included)!
To rotate through centres, my Teacher's Assistant (which is one of my classroom jobs...more on that in a future post!) moves the black bar down to the next activity each time I ring the bell. I typically ring the bell every 10 minutes or so. This works out really well for me because, during this time, I am pulling groups for guided reading. This way, one of my kiddies changes rotates the centre board for me, the kiddies automatically clean up and quietly move on to their next centre *without me having to draw my attention away from my reading group once.* Love it.

So anyways, each picture corresponds with one of our 7 centres. To help my little darlings remember where each centre is located around our room, I have picture and word labels at each centre:
(Sorry about the horrible image quality, I need to stop taking pictures with my phone!!!)
So above you can see the little label stuck above my Word Work 2 centre (the number beside the label is for my Math Tubs)

Here's another example of the label at my Listening Centre (notice the black arrow):

Because the kiddies are walking around the room for my Write the Room centre, this label is just on a basket on the back counter where kiddies can grab their clipboard, worksheet, and pencil:

If you would like to download the labels for FREE, click the image below!

Well that's all for now... It's time to wind down and have dinner...

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