Differentiated Learning Centers... DON'T Panic! - Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

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Differentiated Learning Centers! Don't panic! I have come up with ways to offer differentiation for your kindergarten learning activities. Rhyming is the first phonemic awareness activity. I will be adding additional skills including math.

Differentiated Learning Centers… DON’T Panic!

August 17 Deedee 3 min read

Differentiated Learning Centers! Don’t panic! I have come up with ways to offer differentiation for your kindergarten learning activities.  This might make you want to roll your eyes… but hang with me… I will show you HOW!

 

Differentiated Learning Centers! Don't panic! I have come up with ways to offer differentiation for your kindergarten learning activities. Rhyming is the first phonemic awareness activity. I will be adding additional skills including math.

The idea for this post all started with a conversation I had with a teacher in Chicago after one of my presentations.  She was feeling overwhelmed trying to work in thematic stations and differentiated stations with her students. This was a district requirement and she was drowning.

Why differentiate your stations?

It is said that differentiating is the center of quality teaching.  I certainly agree that it is a cornerstone and a foundation of strong instructional practices.  We already work differentiation into our small group lessons by the material we select.  We work differentiation into our whole group lessons by the way we scaffold our instruction.  So why do we need to differentiate center or station work?   Because it is part of our instructional day.

Differentiate EVERY ACTIVITY?

Yes and no… Some activities are automatically differentiated.  For example… the writing station/center or the listening station/center.  These are already differentiated.  Students are only going to write what they are capable of writing.  Those students who have letter/sound correspondence will add words. Those students who do not will respond in pictures… Easy!

How do you differentiate?

How your differentiate is based on ongoing assessment and observations.   In an effective classroom, assessment is ongoing and neverending.   Assessment is necessary because it informs the TEACHER and the STUDENT.  So how do you keep track of all of this? ESGI is one way.

I have my fictitious class listed here, but you can easily see how my students did on the rhyming assessment.

Differentiated Learning Centers! Don't panic! I have come up with ways to offer differentiation for your kindergarten learning activities. Rhyming is the first phonemic awareness activity we will make.

If you are more of a print out person… this is a great view.  As the year progresses, this is my preferred report.  I can print it out and see where my students fall under each skill.  (NT means Not Test).

Differentiated Learning Centers! Don't panic! I have come up with ways to offer differentiation for your kindergarten learning activities. Rhyming is the first phonemic awareness activity we will make.

You can grab your 2-month FREE trial HERE.  If you want help in setting up your ESGI assessments, you can read THIS POST.

Make a Plan!

Now you know where your students fall, you can create a plan!  NOTE:  Snow White did not make the list…. Sad City!

Differentiated Learning Centers! Don't panic! I have come up with ways to offer differentiation for your kindergarten learning activities. Rhyming is the first phonemic awareness activity we will make.

or you could use the ESGI report to color code it.

Differentiated Learning Centers! Don't panic! I have come up with ways to offer differentiation for your kindergarten learning activities. Rhyming is the first phonemic awareness activity we will make.

Now put it in action!

Slide the card behind the student picture so they know which task to complete.

Differentiated Learning Centers! Don't panic! I have come up with ways to offer differentiation for your kindergarten learning activities. Rhyming is the first phonemic awareness activity we will make.

Differentiated Learning Centers! Don't panic! I have come up with ways to offer differentiation for your kindergarten learning activities. Rhyming is the first phonemic awareness activity we will make.

When this student goes to the work center bin he/she will see 3 zippered pouches.  He/she will take the pouch that matches their target skill and work on that particular activity.

Differentiated Learning Centers! Don't panic! I have come up with ways to offer differentiation for your kindergarten learning activities. Rhyming is the first phonemic awareness activity we will make.

Differentiated Learning Centers! Don't panic! I have come up with ways to offer differentiation for your kindergarten learning activities. Rhyming is the first phonemic awareness activity we will make.

Early Finishers

This could also work for early finishers.  I talk more about Dessert Tubs HERE.   Put the 3 zippered pouches in the bin.  The student takes the pouch that matches their learning target.

Differentiated Learning Centers! Don't panic! I have come up with ways to offer differentiation for your kindergarten learning activities. Rhyming is the first phonemic awareness activity we will make.

For Dessert activities, I would not have a response sheet.  These activities work perfectly without them.

Differentiated Learning Centers! Don't panic! I have come up with ways to offer differentiation for your kindergarten learning activities. Rhyming is the first phonemic awareness activity we will make.

Differentiated Learning Centers! Don't panic! I have come up with ways to offer differentiation for your kindergarten learning activities. Rhyming is the first phonemic awareness activity we will make.
Roll, Say, Keep! Editable Sight Word Game

You can also use the color code for other existing activities you use.   Just add a dot!

Materials

I found the colored zipper pouches at WalMart for CHEAP!  They were in the Back to School section, so I am not sure if they can be found at other times.  HOWEVER… these are similar from Amazon (aff.).   You can also use plain envelopes and color code them.  I would recommend laminating them and adding a velcro closure.  You can find the round labels also on Amazon by clicking HERE (these are cool because you can print on them).

Differentiated Learning Centers! Don't panic! I have come up with ways to offer differentiation for your kindergarten learning activities. Rhyming is the first phonemic awareness activity we will make.

I have put all of these pieces in this unit.  It includes 3 levels of rhyming identification activities with 2 centers each (both in color and black/white).  This is the first of many, but I am not planning on bundling right now.

Differentiated Learning Centers! Don't panic! I have come up with ways to offer differentiation for your kindergarten learning activities. Rhyming is the first phonemic awareness activity we will make.
There you have it!  I sure hope this makes your life a little easier!

Differentiated Learning Centers! Don't panic! I have come up with ways to offer differentiation for your kindergarten learning activities. Rhyming is the first phonemic awareness activity we will make.

13 Comments

  • Carrie Lemke August 19 at 5:07 pm

    I love ESGI. How do you get it color coded? I tried and can’t figure it out.

    • Sharon March 18 at 8:41 pm

      Go to Grade Report on the right-hand side, then select which test you want to see and hit run report. You can also change the grading scale if you like, so say instead of meeting a goal at 80% they have to hit 95% or 100% for example.

  • Kelli Holmes August 26 at 7:39 am

    Is your center packet differentiated?

    • Deedee August 26 at 7:07 pm

      The Anytime Tubs are differentiated 🙂

  • Dee September 17 at 5:35 pm

    This post is a dream come true! Thank you so much for sharing this.

  • Kristie October 8 at 2:39 pm

    Will the center packs ever be differentiated? Thanks!

    • Deedee October 11 at 2:23 pm

      I am not planning of redoing all of my past units. However, more units are being planning and you can use the the same idea with existing units you might have. Simply add color dots to differentiate the skills.

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  • Joy January 31 at 4:36 pm

    are these rhyming activities self correcting?

    • Deedee January 31 at 5:51 pm

      Yes, they sure are 🙂

  • Patty February 8 at 7:55 am

    I just purchased and prepped your math and literacy station bundle. How might I go about differentiating these games for students?

    • Deedee February 9 at 10:39 am

      Well, since each center pack has different levels of skills, you could color code them (I like to use washi tape). So easier tasks could be one color, while more difficult tasks could be another.

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    My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching to different age groups and in different classroom environments. My heart belongs to early childhood education and I love working with other teachers who share this same love as me. Read More

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