Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Literacy Block

The 90 Minute Literacy Block 

We aren't doing the Daily 5 at my school, but after seeing some of your great ideas I kind of wish I was . . .  I have been doing this type of Literacy Block for seven years and it has been working GREAT!!! I start off with a 30-45 minute whole group lesson!! (Which sometimes takes me over the 90 minutes) I focus on the 5 domains of Literacy: Phonemic Awareness (PA), Phonics, Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Fluency.  We follow the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt NC reading series.

Whole Group
I start with a mini PA warm up and then go straight into Phonics.  I usually spend about 10 minutes building and sounding out words.  During this time my students use their DEBS (dry erase boards) to write words or sounds.  Then I teach Vocabulary (10 minutes), we practice sight words, vocabulary words, object words, and other common words.  Then we read a story and practice our comprehension (10 minutes) skill of the week! 

Then we do four 15 minute centers: Independent Reading, Phonics, Vocabulary, and Comprehension.  The students practice the skills taught during whole group in these centers.  During this time I pull my Guided Reading Groups.  I group my students heterogeneously for centers and then pull homogeneous reading groups.
Here is a look at my Center Board:
Each group is named after our fish theme.  The yellow paper at the top tells the order they complete their centers. The color dot is for their reading group.

Independent Reading
They complete this center at their seat:

I put each child’s AR sticker on the back of their back for a quick reference!

Comprehension Area

Phonics Area

Vocabulary Area

Center Folder

Each child carries their center folder with them during center time.  Inside their folder is one important sheet. Download a copy here!

At the top is the child’s Center Contract.  This helps me record how each student does on their work during that center. 
Here is a sample of the Grading Scale:
This scale really helps motivate students to do MORE than what is expected of them. 
At the bottom is the student’s Independent Reading Log. 
Independent Reading Log Questions
Each day the students answer a question about the book they have been reading.  Monday – Characters/ Setting, Tuesday – Problem, Wednesday – Solution, Thursday – Author’s Purpose, Friday – Favorite Part.

They place ALL work in the right side of their folder! I’m so lucky to have an Instruction Assistant during my center time.  She helps monitor student’s behavior/ work and helps grade student work on the spot. SHE IS AWESOME!!  I check the rest of the student’s work at the end of the day.  Each morning students can complete/ fix any center work from the previous day.

I hope this helps!!  J


Sharon said...

Your room looks like a well oiled room! I like the way you do your centers. Can you email me a copy of the center contract? Thanks so much.

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Frolicking Through First

Mrs. D said...

Thanks for all of the info! I would love a copy of your center contract and center rubric. Thanks!!

Jessica said...

I would love a copy of your reading log, as well as the center rubric! Thanks

♥ Owl in a Vowel Tree ♥ said...

I would love a copy of your center contract/reading log and rubric. They would be incredibly helpful! :) Thank you so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I would love a copy of your center rubric and management page... just what I need as an accountability piece for independent reading center:) thanks for sharing your great ideas!

StarrySkye said...

Thanks for sharing!! Can you please email me a copy of your reading log.

Samantha said...

Could you please email me a copy of your center contract/reading log? This is wonderful! I can't wait to use it in my first grade classroom! :) My email is:

Thank you!!

JessAnn said...

These are WONDERFUL ideas!! Would you mind sharing your center documents with me?
Thanks so much and have a Happy New Year!!

Anonymous said...

I would like a copy of your center contract and center rubric. Please email me at

Jenn said...

I would love a copy of your reading log.

lparnell said...

I teach 4th grade, but would also love a copy of your reading log to adapt. Thanks!