They get a literacy menu each month.
Students are told which category to do each day, but they choose which center to do under that category.
Each folder holder has its 4 centers. So, they know that they need to go to the yellow folder holder if they are supposed to do a reading center. They find the center they want to do and do it! Then they color in the center on their personal literacy menu when it's finished. I tell them to color half way if they didn't finish.
I keep a checklist of all the centers for that month. They turn their centers in daily and I check them. I keep track so that I always know who is falling behing or who is not on task. I also pass back any work that is incomplete or too sloppy. They learn pretty quickly that it's best to do their best work the first time! :)
I file their centers in a hanging file system until the end of the month. Then I staple all their centers, their menu and their rubric together and send it home.
I start these centers in October and practice a lot with them. I have parent helpers too. By now, they are totally indpendent with their centers. They love the variety and get to practice a ton of different skills. The skills are all taught the month before. For example, this month one center is making compound words. I incorporated compound words into my morning message, shared writing and spelling lessons the month before so they had a good understanding before they had to do it independently.
Here are some pictures of kids doing centers this month.
Slide-a-word: Students move two sliders to make real words.
Read and Sequence: Students read each sentence strip and glue them in order.
Ending Sentences: Students read from pocket chart and put in appropriate punctuation.
Sorting Words: Students sort long and short vowels.
Describe a picture: Students use descriptive language to describe a picture. Then they read it to me and try to see if I can visualize their picture!
Making Words by connecting hearts
The entire February literacy menu can be found at Teacher's Notebook, but some of the centers I will be posting here.
Click here to download information about how to organize the centers (as described in this post) as well as how to integrate it into your Reading Workshop.
Here are all of the menus.
I am working on second grade and kindergarten too!