First Grade Stations!

Our literacy workstation time is such an important time in our day!  Like most teachers, this is the time when I pull small groups for guided reading.  The children have to be able to work independently, rotate quickly, all while practicing skills that have been taught whole group. 

I thought I would give you a quick peek into our Workstation Time so you can see what my kiddos are working on!

First, the ever important guided reading time.  I try to pull 3 groups every day.  I see my lowest groups every day, and my higher groups 2-3 times each week.  We are lucky enough to have the Jan Richardson Guided Reading kits in our district.  These are AMAZING.  I highly recommend them! If you aren’t able to afford the whole kit, her book (The Next Step in Guided Reading) lays everything out for you! If you read her book, then you’ll know exactly how to structure your guided reading lessons. 




While I am teaching small groups, my kiddos are rotating through 3 stations (unless they are joining me for a lesson).  We rotate every 15-20 minutes.  I display the rotation chart on my Interactive White Board and they check that to see where to go next.  I do love the Daily 5 format of choice, I just let them choose in a different way.  Instead of choosing WHICH center they go to, they choose which activity within that Daily Activity.

The activities that students go to within a week vary, but here are the categories that I have:

  • Read to Self
  • Listen to Reading (either on Epic! or ipods)
  • Buddy Reading
  • Phonics
  • Sight Words
  • SeeSaw (sharing something they are working on)
  • Benchmark Advance (different activities that I assign them – each child’s assignment varies – it might be some word work, listening to a book, a writing activity, etc)
  • Writing Center

Here is a peek at some of the activities the children are doing:

These are all Phonics activities.  There are 6 different activities to choose from – the phonics skill changes each week based on our whole class focus, but the activities stay the same. 


For listening to reading the children can either choose to grab an ipod that is loaded with several books or grab an ipad and use the free app Epic!


Read to Self is pretty self-explanatory! The children grab their book boxes and READ!  They always read the books in their green folders first – these are the books that we have read together during our guided reading time.  The children switch books on a specified day in the morning so they always have fresh books in their bins. 


At the writing center, the children have a variety of tasks they can choose from.  Right now, the most popular choice is book making!  I have a variety of special writing tools and paper that the children can use to keep them excited and engaged about this center.  I switch a few things out each month to keep it fun!


Buddy Reading is pretty self-explanatory.  The children partner up, grab their buddy reading binders and read together.  We add new poems, stories, and reader’s theaters to this weekly to keep things fresh and exciting!  They LOVE reading together!


So, I realized I don’t have pictures of a few of my stations – so I’ll give a brief explanation and try to add pics later!


The children each have a differentiated word list that they will grab when they are at this station.  They do a variety of activities with their sight words – fancy writing, rainbow writing, stamping, and so on.


At the SeeSaw station, the children use the SeeSaw app to add something to their Online Journal.  This is their choice – they might choose a piece of writing to photograph and record, they might a grab a book and video themselves reading it, or they might even take out their word sort and read and sort it.  I wanted them to have some ownership in their portfolios, and it also a good little assessment for me to see what they can do independently.


Our district adopted the newest curriculum from Benchmark Literacy this past year.  This is my second year using it since I was a piloter, so I feel a lot more comfortable with a lot of the components.  When kids are at the Benchmark station, they grab an ipad, log into their Benchmark account, and complete the assignments that I create for them.

What about work work?

Our differentiated work work is done at a different time of day! This is a whole separate blog post, but I LOVE word study time!!


If you are interested in some of my activities, here is what I use for some of my stations:


(I will be adding to this series throughout the year – next up is blends!)

Fix It! Read It! Write It! November Sentence Scrambles

Sight Word and Spelling Activities for the Frugal Teacher

Fix It Up! {AGAIN!} - Sentences for Grammar, Sight Words and Handwriting

Have a great week!! Leave a comment if you have questions!