Six Small Group Literacy Center Organization Models

by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady

Teachers realize the great benefit of working with smaller intimate groups in reading. By doing this, the teacher is able to tailor reading instruction and text levels to the needs of the students. This is a valuable time for students as well as the teacher. However, organizing a schedule and the activities for students who are not meeting with the teacher is very difficult. Then, if there is a large class (which seems to be the norm now), how can 20 students realistically be properly engaged for 45 minutes while the teacher meets with 5 . . . and move from one station to the next orderly, clean up after themselves, and do this all rather quietly?

So I have developed 6 different options which will enable the teacher to conduct small group instruction, while the other students are occupied productively. Click here to get a full description of them all, with charts and illustrations to help visualize how they are organized.PDF Center Organization Ideas For more help, search for my previous posts on Guided Reading Literacy Stations. And if you have questions or suggestions, by all means — click the comment box!!

Option #1:  Traditional rotation method — students rotate every 15-20 minutes and visit each station every day (including the teacher table).

Option #2: This is a semi-flexible schedule. Students start off with a must-do desk assignment(s), followed by reading practice. Then they choose a work station. Each day is a different station. Continue reading

Organization Idea

by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady

I have an organization idea I have been meaning to share. This is a way to collect students’ papers in one place without using a basket for each subject. Pros: You no longer battle the “no name paper” problem. All of the papers are already in alphabetical order. You can glance quickly in a student’s file to see what papers a student has turned in (or not turned in). It provides  a good place to put papers needed for absent students. This process also makes it easier to return papers to the students because all of their papers are together. And – it takes up a lot less room than all of those wire baskets. So, you ask, “What is it??”

Hanging File Tote Basket

1.  Provide a hanging file for each student, with their name on a tab. Here’s a link to Staples for one like the picture: open top file box.  If you are an Amazon shopper, here is the link: open top file boxes

2. Put folders in ABC order (or whatever order you record them in your gradebook).

3. Students turn in their finished (ungraded) paper in their file.

4. Throughout the day, you can spot check to see if a student has turned in their assignment (as opposed to looking through a stack of papers in a basket, some of which may not have names on them).

5. The tote is easy to carry home, if needed. Since papers are already in order, you don’t have to rearrange them first to record your grades.

6. If you like placing all of the math together, and all of the reading together, etc. for more efficient grading, just take them out of each folder and grade – they will still be in abc order.

The only issue I remember having with this method is when all of the students finished at the same time (like a test). I had 2 options:  1) Have students line up and add their paper to their file, or 2) Just collect them all and clip them together to grade like you might normally have done.

Enjoy!  Does anyone have a favorite paper collection tips you would like to share?