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There are many benefits to having a literacy center in your classroom. For most of us, it’s not a matter of creating this space, it’s more about what to include in it. As teachers, we also want to offer meaningful learning experiences that help students work independently. So, if that’s at the top of your list, keep reading!
Why have a literacy center?
Being able to read goes much further than reaching the next milestone. The literacy foundations laid in the early years will play a vital role in a student’s ongoing success in life. When student’s struggle with learning to read (an never get proper help), they typically fall into one of the following statistical categories:
- They become individuals who struggle to find employment.
- They’ll settle for low-paying jobs.
- It is harder to increase their ability to earn a higher income.
- They potentially pass illiteracy on to their children (for lack of being able to read, help with homework, etc.).
These reasons, and many others, are motivational factors for including a literacy center in your classroom. Having them gives students the opportunity to learn new skills, reiterate old ones taught, and create routine. Last but not least, literacy centers also promote working independently, collaborative with other students, and facilitate motivation.
With this in mind, let’s look at five must-have resources for your literacy center!
Top Literacy Center Resources
Puzzles are something students can use to practice a variety of skills from alphabet matching to learning compound words. This resource accommodates most learning styles, especially visual and kinesthetic. Choose several different puzzle types to include in your literacy center and exchange them every so often.
We already know how important phonics are in the world of reading, right? Phonics boxes are a unique way to put educational games in your literacy center. With this particular resource, your students will have three different ways to use them:
- Work individually at a center or early finisher.
- Play concentration or Memory Match.
- Play Go Fish
Cut & Paste
My student’s thoroughly enjoy being able to put their hands to work when doing an activity. I have found that when they’re having fun, they are not focused on the learning aspect. Although as a teacher, I know they are getting some valuable skill-building time in simultaneously. Putting cut and paste resources in your literacy center will give your students an additional activity option all while helping them create something to be proud of.
Continuing with the goals of promoting independent learning, work, and play – task cards help with doing just that. I’m all about “easy prep” so including task card bundles in your literacy center will take the guesswork out of what to do. There are many themes you can choose from all while being selective with certain concepts. Whether you’re looking to expound on syllables, hard and soft letters, or suffixes, there’s a task card set for it all!
One of the quickest, no-prep resources to add to your literacy center are worksheets. They can be kept in a labeled paper tray or in a drawer of a storage cart. Students can easily grab these and go. They are easy to keep filled and even better for switching up, depending on the concepts you want present in your center.
Having a literacy center in your classroom can be a game changer for even the most reluctant reader. Make sure your resources are relevant and purposeful and you’ll see the difference in your student’s reading levels. Don’t forget to give your students opportunity to explore, discover, and create. All of this can be done with a great learning center!