Let me show you 10 simple literacy stations that will last you ALL YEAR!
Last night I conducted a webinar on Gearing Up for Guided Reading (watch the replay HERE). The webinar could also be called the-time-Deedee-struggled-with-technology. In any event, I spoke about having anchor activities for literacy stations. One question I get asked often is, “How do you get your students to work independently so you can run guided reading groups?”
The answer is: The first 4-6 weeks of school we work hard on building routines. Like REALLY hard! Setting expectations is critical because YOU, as the teacher, have important work to do. You must be able to work with small groups… right? I have never had an aide, so my little kindergartners need to be able to work independently. So I told you about anchor activities. These are activities that essentially stay the same ALL YEAR. You just swap out the materials. So here they are:
1. Writing Station
Each month new words go up. My students can not WAIT to see what the next month will bring! Students go to this station and write… pretty simple!
At this station, there are five different types of writing options. Students decide, but they may only select one page and they must work on it the whole time. At the end of the month, new vocabulary cards are added and the same five types of writing options are given. There is no need to reteach this station… just a few nudges as the year goes on to elevate the writing… simple!
You can see my Writing Stations HERE.
We also have a Bible version. You can see it HERE.
2. Predictable Sentences
Predictable sentences are a great way for students to practice multiple skills: Concepts about print, sight word reading, handwriting, illustrations, and matching words to the picture.
We start the year with VERY simple sentences, but as the year progresses so does the level of expectations. By March, we are building multiple sentences and then writing them.
You can find these Predictable Sentence units HERE.
Students explore our classroom library. So fun! In addition to the picture books that I own, I also found these leveled sets from Wilbooks! (sidenote: Wilbooks doesn’t know me from the man on the moon, but I really like their books.) I have had them for many years and I have found their leveling system really aligns well with the Fountas and Pinnell leveling system.
If you have a limited personal library, like I did when I first started out, you can borrow some books from your school library or the local public library. Put them in a nice basket and your students will eat it up.
You can also take some of your classroom poems and make them into books. You can find these poems HERE.
4. Overhead Station
We love our overhead. This little dinosaur is super engaging for students! We start the year with simple letter formation on the board and then move onto other skills as the year progresses. Having multiple options and levels of difficulty at this station helps you to differentiate the activities.
You can find the overhead station activities HERE.
5. Listening Station
Such a simple station to keep going all year. I get my resources from Scholastic. Then I make response sheets that are specific to that text.
Multiple response options that grow over time sure helps to add rigor, but it also keeps this station fresh!
Listening to books is such a fantastic way to support your ESL students and vocabulary of your students.
We are using the Scholastic See Saw Listening Library Catalog this year. You can find the Listening Station units by clicking HERE.
Another option is to make a songbook. Students can listen and read/sing-a-long with the poems your class has learned.
I have also added QR codes to these lyric pages if you want to turn this into a sing-a-long station.
You can find these activities in my Poetry Music and Video units by clicking HERE.
6. Poetry Station
You can also put your “retired” poems into a station. Students will work together to reconstruct the poem.
Sometimes, they will grab their poetry notebook to help them. This is a great way to build fluency and revisit a few of our favorites.
You can find these poetry units HERE.
7. Stamping Station
We have activities from beginning sounds…
to word families…
to thematic stamping.
Tons of options with these!
You can find all my Stamping units by clicking HERE.
8. Sequence game!
I have a print and play beginning sounds option. Gotta love the daubers. The best thing about this game is once students understand the structure of the game, you can easily swap out the activities for a different skill. I introduce this in our small groups. Once students are proficient with the rules of the game… boom! It goes in a station!
There is an editable sight words and letter option.
and full-color phonics variety.
You can see all of these Sequence games HERE.
9. Other Games
Again… spend some time teaching your students a few game structures. We start the year off with this ABC game.
Then we can swap out the theme AND add some complexity. This snowman version is essentially the same game as the Chick-a-Chick-a Boom-Boom game. We have just switch the theme and changed the task to CVC words. In my Puzzles and Games station, I usually have a few varieties of games so students can select the activity that meets their needs… hello differentiation!
Similarly… Roll, Say, Keep works the same way. Because it is editable, you can add your own sight words… or hang out with just an ABC version.
You can see the ABC games HERE.
You can see the CVC games HERE.
You can see the phonics versions HERE.
You can see the ABC and Sight Word Roll, Say, Keep games HERE.
10. Time Me! Fluency Station
We introduce this activity in our small groups before it becomes a station. So by mid-September, this becomes a staple option. It also goes well in an early finisher bucket!
Flashcards + Timer = Good times! These are also editable, so you can add your own words. I usually make 3-4 sets of these cards that vary in difficulty. Again… simple way to differentiate this station.
Whew… there you have it! Simple but meaningful tasks that are easy to differentiate.
IF WHEN you start small groups, you will not have the time of go around the room and explain stations. Set yourself and, more importantly, your students up for independence. Then you will have the time and energy to do the very important work at your small group table.
You can find all the varieties of this activity HERE.
A HUGE thank you to ESGI for sponsoring the webinar. You can grab your 2 months FREE trial by clicking HERE (*affiliate)
Still have questions?
This is a post from a few months back that talked about how I manage stations. You might find it helpful. Click HERE to read more.
In other news… I wanted to offer the free file that was included in my webinar. When you download the leveled text, you will be added to a series of emails that will help support your Guided Reading. Don’t worry, you can opt out any time you wish.
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