Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Week 1: Getting Started With Literacy Centers in Kindergarten

I introduce Literacy Centers slow and easy.  Here is my board and, although I haven't split them into groups yet, I talk about the four different color groups (only based on which table they sit at).  On day 1, I showed them only these choices. I am slowly introducing all of the Literacy "Free Choice" Centers which is what they eventually rotate through when they finish their "must do" center.  They need plenty of time to explore the options so they can make an "informed" choice once independent literacy centers begin (while I am pulling students to work in groups or individually).  I am walking around teaching them how to use the materials, how to work together, and answering all questions that arise in hopes that I will increase their independence a bit more each day.

I got these road letters from a blog last spring (if anyone has the link, please do share, I just can't remember which blog shared this freebie!).  The children are exploring the letters with cars--always starting their drive at the top, of course!  Some of the children have even begun to write their names with the letters.  Eventually, they will write our popcorn words and friend's names.

Writing books is always a very popular center and it has already given me tons of information about my students who are "writing" books.  I asked this little girl what this page says, after she had told me about her first page, and she said, "Nothing yet."  She proceeded to draw the scribble lines on the left page in blue and then told me the story! (The top picture is her pointing to the "words" as she reads me her story). 
Storytelling is such an important aspect of literacy.  The children love choosing from my many finger puppets (so much easier to store and display than hand puppets) to create stories and performances for each other.  I've considered opening the doll house during this time as well.  Although it is play, it is also getting the children to talk and create stories and situations that need to be discussed through oral conversation.  We have to get our kids talking before they can start writing!
Alpha study! 

a Disney Princess-  love it!
Portable whiteboard writing.  These are fun because they are bigger than a lap board, but not too big that they can't be easily moved around the classroom.  I store the marker and eraser on the back by stapling a ziplock bag right on the board (a zippered pouch would work better). 
 And, of course, it wouldn't be true monkey business fashion without a little bit of Pokey Pinning going on! 
I will be adding posts as I continue my quest to slowly introduce Literacy Centers into my classroom.  Definitely not a process to be rushed.  If you want to build independence, they needs tons of guided practice before I can even begin to think of pulling groups.
The secret to success with kindergarten/1st grade centers is:
  • providing centers that will be independent, yet are easy and quick to get ready.
  • having centers that use basic classroom materials
  • providing centers that are constructive so your children can become increasingly more independent.
  • providing centers that are meaningful and relevant and can be differentiated for students.
I have created many center sets for my classroom that take me through the year with my students and have made them available for others at my TpT store.  For my followers only, I am throwing a September Secret Sale. 
Buy 2 products, get one free until the end of the month (the lesser priced product will be free).  To take advantage of this sale, you need to go to my TpT store and find the 3 products you want.  Purchase the 2 higher priced items and then email me at with the title of your free choice and I will send that to you via email. 

Check it out!

Check it out!

Check it out!
Check it out!


  1. Krissy,

    I LOVE your blog.

    I saw Highway ABC cards on Making Learning Fun. They also have shapes and numbers.

  2. This is where I got mine! :)

  3. Thanks girls. I couldn't remember for the life of me. I love!

  4. Have you ever had any kid poke themselves or another kid with the push pins? I have one kid that will poke anything and everything with a pencil, so I am nervous to try the push pins although I really love the idea!

  5. Bobbie, I have been doing the Pokey Pins with my kinders & I have only had one child try to poke. We discussed not poking anything except the paper & why before I ever handed the pins to them. When the one student chose to poke he lost his pin. It only took one time & he has not done it since. I was pleasantly surprised by how well mine have done using the pins.

  6. Do you have the center cards for sale or did you find them off another site? I love them..

  7. Thanks for an amazing blog!
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