Reading Center

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Reading Center

The reading center, also known as the classroom library, should be a space that is inviting to children. It should be organized to assist students in finding materials for independent reading and should include materials for writing. Inside the reading center, I usually place the listening workstation, and big book station if I have the furniture provided by the school.
Modeling how to choose a book, how to talk about a book, how to put a book away, how to write in a reading log, and how to write a book review is important to do through the school year in small group instructions or as a reminder to the whole class during shared reading.


Materials for the Reading Center

  • A lamp
  • Stuffed animals
  • Story puppets
  • A plant
  • Pencils
  • Sticky notes
  • A tape recorder
  • Audio-books
  • Comfortable seating
  • Bookshelves
  • A rug
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Menus
  • Student-made books
  • Old morning messages
  • Yoga sequences
  • Differentiated (Level books) boxes
  • Big books
  • How to Choose a Book chart to choose books
  • Hand pointers
  • Tablets for online reading

Types of Activities in the Classroom Library

Read about an author from a study poster.
Read familiar books.
Read Independent level texts.
Look at pictures in a book and tell the story.
Retell the story cards.
Share favorite parts of books with a partner.
Read a book to a stuffed animal (Friend).
Read stories with a tablet.
Listen to an audio-book.
Use reading strategies.
Find important information in a nonfiction book.
Write a book review.
Write a personal reflection on sticky notes.
Find certain kinds of words.
Dramatize the book with puppets.
Substitute words using sticky notes.
Independent reading of writing chart created in the classroom.


Listening Work Station or Center

Inside the library center, a comfortable area can be found for the students to sit and listen to an audio-book or use the tablets. The main thing students will do is listen to tapes, CDs, or stories on a tablet. Set up a list of instructions to work the tape player, CD, or where to find books online. It is needed to provide a variety of genres. It can also be a recording studio if you have the resources.
Students in this center can predict what the book is about before they can listen to it, they can read along with the book, they can tell the book is fiction or nonfiction and retell the story they heard. Students can rewind and listen again for new words, make a picture glossary, look for words that tell about the main character, and list the word they heard.


Big Book Work Station or Center

I haven’t had this station every year. I’ve had it only if the school provides a big book cart/holder. The years that I did not have a big book center, I allowed the students to re-read the big books I used to teach on the rug or at a table.
When I had this center it was always on the rug, next to the library, between the community center (rug) and the library.
Before introducing this center to the students, make sure that you model how to turn the pages, how to use the pointers, demonstrate how to use the highlighter tape, how to use sticky notes, show them how to put a big book on the easel, practice how to use props for retelling and how to write at the Big Book station or center.
In this center, students can find a word with two letters, find one-syllable words, find capital letters, find a word wall word, read a big book with a partner, dramatize the book with puppets if available, etc.

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