ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.
Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.
Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
Learning Centers: From Shared to Independent Practice
|Grades||K – 2|
|Lesson Plan Type||Recurring Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Five 20- to 30-minute sessions|
- Listen and participate in a shared reading experience
- Apply literacy skills within the context of shared reading and independent activities
- Develop the ability to work independently of the teacher
- Develop oral expression skills while sharing their experiences at the learning centers
- Develop and apply concepts of print through teacher modeling during shared reading and independent practice during the learning centers
Follow the lesson plan outline that you developed (see lesson plan outline/template) for the actual shared reading portion of the lesson. On each day after the shared reading, a different learning center will be introduced to the whole group, modeled, and then practiced.
After the shared reading, introduce the Big Book center by modeling appropriate behavior and practice in this center. Allow individual students to come up, choose a pointer, and lead a shared reading of the story. Show students how to properly hold the book and turn the pages. Have them locate any high-frequency words focused on earlier in the lesson. Explain that the Big Book is now a center they can visit during the designated center time. Encourage students to take turns using the pointers and highlighting tape, and to read to each other or conduct a shared reading of the story in small groups.
Following the shared reading, introduce the listening center. Model how to use the tape recorder properly. (It is often helpful to place a red sticker on the stop button and a green sticker on the go button.) Allow several students to practice and then demonstrate for the group. Role-play a few situations where conflict may arise (e.g., more than one child wants to push the button at a time, not enough books for everyone). Brainstorm solutions to these situations.
At this particular center, students will apply concepts of print skills, such as left to right, return sweep, etc., as they follow along with the taped version of the story. This independent practice center also scaffolds the emergent reader with the support of the text being read aloud.
After the shared reading, introduce the writing center by saying "Each of the mice visited the pond on a different day, didn't they? They each had a special day, and on that day they liked to visit the pond. Do you know my favorite day of the week? My favorite day is Sunday because I can go to my parents. What is your favorite day?" Engage students in a discussion, always asking them what they like to do on their favorite day. On chart paper write, "On Sunday, I can go to my parents." Have students read the sentence aloud together. Sketch an illustration to go along with the sentence. Ask each student to repeat his or her favorite day, while you write the sentence on chart paper helping to form it in the established pattern of "On ________, I can ___________." Use a think-aloud strategy as you write unfamiliar words and repeat the strategy several times.
Show students the blank Writing Center Response Worksheet with the writing prompt at the top. Explain that during center time they will have an opportunity to go to the writing center to each make a page for a class Big Book. Let them know that if they don't know how to spell a word they should write it as they think it should look. (Success will vary depending on how much prior work has been done on building strategies for solving unfamiliar words.) Invite students to also draw a picture to go along with their sentence. Depending on the level of your class, you may decide to have students work with partners rather than individually at this center.
After the shared reading, have students look at the word Seven on the front cover of the book. Ask students to say the word together, and to tell you the beginning sound. Ask them to think of other words that begin with the same sound as seven and record the students' response on chart paper as they say the words together. Have students look around the room and find things in the room that begin with the same sound as seven. As each student finds an item, have him or her come up and write it on the chart paper. Repeat this exercise a few times.
Let students know that the read/write the room center is the same, except that they will record their words on a paper attached to a clipboard. Distribute the clipboards to a few students. As a class, choose another word from the book and have the students with the clipboards look around the room to find one item that begins with the same sound as the chosen word. Have them write the word on the clipboard paper, read the word to a friend, and then pass the clipboard to the friend. Repeat the procedure. This activity can now be a learning center.
After the story has been reread, distribute the prepared sentence strips to students. Ask them to read their word aloud. Tell students that you are going to reconstruct the story together. "What happens first?" Through questioning and referring back to the book, develop an oral retelling of the story while putting the distributed sentence strips in order in the pocket chart. The final chart will look something like this:
Go over the pocket chart together orally. Tell students you are going to remove the strips, and they can put it back together in the pocket chart center.
Access the Madison Metropolitan School District: Concepts of Print for additional ideas on teaching students concepts of print.
The main form of assessment for this series of lessons is teacher observation and anecdotal notes about students' reading and writing behaviors and independent work skills while at the learning centers. Gather the class back together at the end of center time to talk about what they accomplished at the centers, how well they solved problems, how they behaved, etc. This class discussion will give you a lot of information and also assist students in developing self-monitoring skills. To assess students' understanding of concepts of print, rubrics and checklists are available at:
- Assessing the Student's Concepts About Print
- Concepts about Print Scale Assessment for Child Observation Project