We all know the benefits of small-group guided reading activities, but we also know how challenging it can be to balance a guided reading activity with one small group while the rest of the class is left to its own devices. Reading A-Z’s Learning Center resources provide K-2 students with structured, foundational skills practice while you lead a guided reading group.
Learning Centers Promote Balanced Literacy
Learning Centers help you include balanced literacy in your classroom by allowing you time and space for guided reading while students apply their knowledge of foundational skills in fun, collaborative activities that solidify their understanding. As time-saving resources, Learning Centers are ready-prepared for classroom implementation, and the blank template poster signs can be personalized for your classroom’s unique needs.
Through engaging games centered on phonological awareness, phonics, grammar and mechanics, fluency, word work, and writing, Learning Centers promote a balanced literacy framework and save you prep time.
Six Steps to Using Learning Centers in Your Classroom
- After reading the Overview, choose the Learning Centers that address the skills your students can use more practice with.
- Print out all Learning Center materials—including posters, game directions, game cards, and Student Recording sheets—for those particular skills.
- Choose areas around your classroom to set up the Learning Center stations, and label them with the corresponding poster.
- Ensure each station has pens, pencils, scratch paper, or any other supplies students may need to enjoy the activities.
- Host a guided reading activity while students play skill-development games, or move from station to station to observe students practicing foundational skills.
- Check that students complete Student Recording sheets to demonstrate understanding of the skill they just practiced.
Get to Know the Centers
Phonological Awareness Centers
This center lets students explore the sounds of language. Students count sounds, syllables, and learn to differentiate phonemes and rhyming words.
Students make connections between language sounds and the written word through games that help them identify phonemes and graphemes.
Grammar and Mechanics Centers
When students visit the Grammar and Mechanics center, they experiment with sentence structure, punctuation, parts of speech, capitalization, and more. Refining these skills will increase students’ confidence in writing activities.
Word Work Centers
By focusing on spelling patterns, affixes, high frequency words, and synonyms/antonyms, this center helps students build their vocabularies and increase their reading comprehension.
Students practice reading with expression, accuracy and reading at an appropriate rate.
This center supports students as they practice writing to communicate ideas. Emergent writers can practice letter formation and developing writers can experiment with sentence construction.