Thursday, September 29, 2011

Active Learning With Stations

We're trying something new in the upper grades at UPA Elementary this year...literacy stations.

Stations make the learning that goes on in the Reading Workshop much more engaging and active. It also means is that there is very little "down time" during reading time. They're pretty much constantly working.

Students rotate each day through a different set of three stations. The stations last week and this week include:

  • Independent Reading
  • Guided Reading
  • Writing About Reading using
  • Reading Skills practice (this past week we practiced summarizing)
  • Listening Station (listening to an audiobook for a special project)
  • Non-Fiction Reading Station
  • Student Directed Learning
These will change periodically as I swap stations in and out. Soon to come will be an activity station, where they work on an activity related to their guided reading book, a fluency station, where they record themselves reading out loud, and a book review station. And also, as we get the hang of things, I'll be integrating more technology and more higher level, critical thinking activities.

I will keep you posted as we move along. Feel free to work the question "What are you doing during reading stations?" into your dinnertime conversations.

Our Books

I'm running 3 reading groups this time around. We're reading three great books: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, The Westing Game by Ellen Rankin, and Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. (See the cute little bookshelf in the blog sidebar --->  )

I'll be meeting with students every day to guide them through these books, providing comprehension strategies and reading tips along the way.

Since they are fifth graders, and all of them are very accomplished readers, I will be assigning longer passages for them to read than they may have been used to in fourth grade. It's REALLY important that they keep up with this reading so that they don't fall behind the rest of the group.

Sometimes, they'll have to bring their books home to complete their reading assignments. This will definitely be true during weekends. They'll almost always have a few chapters to read on Saturdays and Sundays.

So please look for these books to be coming home tonight!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Greetings! I'm proud and excited to introduce my newest blog, "18 Kinds of Awesome," designed especially for my reading workshop students and their families.

Here I will be posting information about assignments, sharing student work and more.

Please sign up for a subscription in the sidebar so that you can keep up with all that we'll be doing this year.

It's definitely going to be 18 kinds of awesome! (If not more.)