Literacy Centers

Literacy Centers in Kindergarten is such an important time of the day.  It allows your kiddos the time to independently work on reading and writing skills and you the time to meet with your guided reading groups.  I don't know about you, but small group time is my favorite time.  

With that being said, literacy center time can also be a nightmare time of the day if your students are unable to successfully complete the tasks given to them independently and constantly have to come up to you and interrupt your reading groups.  

I wanted to share a few ideas I have tried this year that have helped make my literacy center time more efficient and not to mention have saved my sanity along the way! ;)

Over the years I have tried many different charts and way to organize and schedule my reading groups.  One important tip I have found is that the smaller the group the better the chance of the group successfully completing the task.

I also try to strategically organize my groups where I have at least one strong leader in each group that way I know the group can stay focused and on task.  You can even assign a "captain" of the day to have that role in the group.  Students love and are always eager to have a leadership role during an activity.

I created this chart to fill in each week to help me plan out my literacy centers.  I have found it to help me stay organized because the activities are planned for the week, and I know exactly who is going where on each day.  To stay organized and prepared for the upcoming week I usually make my copies for each center and write out my schedule the Friday before during my prep.  That way when I come into work on Monday my groups are ready to go and I can focus on other items on my to-do list to get ready to start the week.

If you like this chart I included it at the bottom of my blog post for you to download and use.   

Another save my sanity idea I started this year was to organize my literacy centers in these bins from Target.  They are the perfect size to hold all the materials my kiddos need to complete their literacy center and I love how I can just hand the whole bin to the literacy center group and they can go to the table and get started.  No more counting out the right amount of papers each morning I assign the activity and scrambling to gather all the materials.

Click on the link to take you directly to the bins: Target Storage Bins

To try to limit interruptions during my guided reading groups I also include all of the materials a group could possibly need to complete the task. 

1. Pencils (so I know they are sharp and ready to go)
2. Crayons (in case the paper calls for coloring a certain color I don't have to worry about a student coming up and telling me they don't have a (insert color) crayon.  
3. Dice or any other manipulatives they might need
4. Actual center activity with several extra copies.  I have been putting enough for all of my students to complete the activity for the week.  Also, it prevents a kiddo to come up and say they made a mistake and need a new copy.  Mistakes happen and my students know that if they need to take an extra copy they can.  

Lastly, one more idea that has really helped this year are these dome lights. I turn them on when I am working with my guided reading groups.  My students know if the lights are on they can not interrupt us.  They have really come in handy when I am doing timed assessments.  I have found the visual to be really effective and my students understand! I've even overheard other students telling a student who is about to walk up to the table, not now, they are busy! ;)

I found this set of two at Menards and used a Sharpie to write on them.  

Added bonus: my students love to push the button before we get started.  They know we are about to get started on important business.


If you liked the literacy center scheduler I created above I included it, just click the picture below.  I am a use my flair pens and write it out kind of gal, but if you prefer to type I included an editable version as well. 

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you found some ideas that you can use during your literacy centers.

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