Literacy Workstations


I'm now officially on Winter Break!
In the past 4 weeks of school, I have been testing and tweaking my reading instruction.   As a school, we have moved towards literacy workstations.  I've tried literacy workstations in the past and it has always left me a bit nervous because there is less direct instruction and more responsiblity for learning on the shoulders of students.  The model we are using is based on Debbie Diller's "Practice with Purpose".
In my classroom, Mondays are designated for direct instruction of new skills and vocabulary with some guided practice.  On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday there is a lot less direct instruction and a lot more guided and independent practice in our workstations.  I have 12 stations and students work in pairs.  Over the 3 days (and sometimes Fridays), the students spend 12-15 minutes at each station. 
Computer:  Students listen to the story selection of the week.
Reading Skill:  Students reread the selection and complete a graphic organizer for the week's comprehension skill.
Writing: Prompts or activities related to the skill of the week.
Theme:  Varies weekly depending on skill.  This could be a reading skill game, riddles, or any kind of extension of the week's theme.
Fluency:  Pairs read aloud together (usually Reader's Theater scripts based on the week's theme).
Spelling:  Students do word sorts and word meaning activities with their spelling words.
Comprehension:  Students practice the week's comprehension skill with a leveled reader and the same graphic organizer.
Grammar: Grammar games and/or Mountain Language
Word Work:  Activities to enhance vocabulary.  Lately, we've been focusing on Context Clues.
Vocabulary: Students complete a vocabulary map for new vocabulary words.
Dictionary Skills: Students practice looking up words, using guide words, finding part of speech, etc.
Independent Reading: Students read a book of their choice and complete a written response.

When students complete the station, they turn in any work to their folder. Students are also graded with a participation/activity rubric that I keep on a clipboard throughout the morning.
During station time, I usually circulate and monitor the first rotation.  For the remaining rotations of the day, I work with pairs for remediation, interventions and enrichment.  For some, I'll join them and work with them at the station.  For others, I pull them out of a station to work on intensive interventions.
I'm happy with the way the stations are working now and am grateful that I had a full-time intern to help train the students and create a system that works.
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