Saturday, October 1, 2011

Reading Block Rotations

This week was so busy, it went by in a blur! With all the assessments we do, I just started my Language Arts Rotations this week and though I was dreading having to introduce it all, it went pretty smoothly. I figured I'd answer some email questions with this post and explain how I run it. Basically I have my students grouped into three reading groups that we call our "Reading Clubs". I use one hour of my LA Block to have students rotate through an Independent Work Activity, Guided Reading with Teacher, and one Literacy Station. They spend 20 minutes at each one. The names are on post its. This works well since these are flexible groups and some weeks I may switch a few kids around. The names stay in place for the day, but the wheel can spin around as they move to show them where to go next.
Here is how I organize the literacy stations. Kids names are on pins. I want kids to work with a buddy at a station so I had to run 5 stations for the number of kids I have. (The drama is not being used this week) Kids will only go to one lit station a day. The next day the pins stay in place but I rotate those cards around so they will have a new station to go to. So if I am running 5 different stations, it will take 5 days to get everyone through them all. After those 5 days, I switch up stations and switch up who kids partner with. They are going to stations with a person from their reading club. I like dividing my class in thirds for the rotations because then really the most I will have at a station is 10 kids. The others will be with me or quietly working at seats. This really cuts down on the noise and distractions while I'm with my group.

I've had questions about how to encourage quality work during station time. One way I do this is by holding what we call, "Status of the Class" at the end of each day's rotations. Students come to a big sharing circle with the work that they produced and hold it up for others to see. I give "shout outs" to kids who have done great quality work and one person's work gets to be placed in the "Smile Showcase". I also can quickly gauge if work has been finished and done well. This eliminates kids shoving work in desks and having to "show off" their work to their classmates really does push them to work a bit harder.

Here is a picture of a student's work in the "Smile Showcase".

I'll be back one day soon to go over what those lit stations are and promise to answer questions about the Writing Block. I appreciate all your nice emails!!


  1. I have to say these translations are beautiful! Lovely to find your blog! Have fun.

    Sample Assessments

  2. Where can I get a copy of the smile showcase document?

  3. What do the literacy stations look like?