• Welcome teachers! Log in or Register Now for a free ProTeacher account!

HELP on Strictly ONLY READING Centers!!!!


Full Member
Our curriculum person came in and told me that my centers are not really "reading" because I have a spelling and a writing station. I came up with a Identify nouns/adjective center, but she said that doesn't count!!!

I already have:
-read with a stuffed animal center (individual reading)
-partner reading
-phonics practice (more of a worksheet center...i hope this one counts??!)
-and guided reading with me!

ANY other suggestions on strictly READING centers?????????? Please help!


Junior Member
I don't know if you have a class subscription to Time for Kids, Scholastic or National Geographic. But I use these a lot in fourth grade stations. You could have them code the text with post it notes for important information or new information. (they use the symbols + for new information, ? for I don't understand or still have questions about, ! Wow fact, and * I already knew that. With the younger children, maybe have them find three WOW facts from the text and then write a short summary with those facts. I do a lot of two word summaries with the National Geographics where after reading the text they think of the two most important words that would best summarize the selection and then explain why they chose these words. Of course any of these strategies would need to be modeled before you put it in a station.

You could also have them do reader's theater in stations, listening stations with books on tape, you can buy one of those cheap small tape recorders and have them record themselves reading a text they are familiar with (you would have to show them how to use the tape recorder), make your own whisper phones for them to read to themselves, etc.

I too am fault for not having all my work stations being "reading". We do a lot of grammar games, spelling, writing, etc. as well during our work stations and personally, I don't see anything wrong with that. Has your curriculum director read any of Debbie Diller's books. She has a lot of work stations that aren't necessarily "reading" but they are language arts based and word work, writing and phonics are all a part of a good language arts curriculum.


Senior Member
Have her read "The Daily 5" which talks about getting rid of centers and having kids read. I did away with centers when I felt I was trying to come up with things to keep children busy. Now kids simply read and write about reading while I meet with groups or individuals.


Full Member

Thanks! I will look into "The Daily 5" and suggest to our curriculum person some of Debbie Diller's books!


Senior Member

I am always fascinated by the "thou shalts" we encounter in this business.

Personally I don't think you can separate reading and writing. But then again these days we seem to be calling them "literacy centres." ;)

Don't know what grade level you have but here are a couple of ideas -books on tape,
-computer software programmes such as WiggleWorks, Language trek, Reading Island etc,
-reading the room --- anchor charts, word wall, pocket charts
-word sorts


Junior Member
Reading Center Ideas

Have you looked on the Florida Center for Reading Research website? (www.fcrr.org) There is a tremendous amount of center activities, divided into the "Fab 5" areas of Reading for grades K-5. I have used several of the vocabulary and fluency activities. Good luck!!!


Literacy Center Ideas

Go to Yahoo Groups and check under the
firstgradeteachersintn group
There's a ton of center ideas and downloads for first grade, but you could adapt them to any grade.
Hope this helps.


New Member
Thanx 4 the resource link

I can't believe how many activities there are on this link. I'm still looking at the k-1 pages. Can't wait to get to school and share these with my colleagues. Thanks a million!


Florida Research

This site is fantastic. A colleague of mine recently did a presentation on this site. She loves it and shared with the staff at a meeting. It is great. I suggest everyone check it out.


Teacher First Grade

The centers for reading pertain to the phonics lesson being taught for the week. You may also have a group working on previous phonics lesson taught that they may have not grasped. One other group may work with leap pads as reading comprehension or again to reinforce the phonics being taught. I tend to have listening centers that pertain to the theme of the week, for example "Forest" stories or animals that you may find in the forest. I have an open library. A pocket with differentiated instruction for high, medium, and low groups with fluency words for the theme of the week. I also word for for the high frequency wors for the theme of the week. A magnetic word wall for spelling words of making sentences for the theme of the week. I have a writing process center for writing to the prompt for the theme of the week. Guided reading with me. Computers are set up with comprehension and phonics skills for the week. Vocabulary pocket chart that is interactive with words/pictures/ kids meaning. Hope this helps!

2nd grade rocks

Senior Member
hope this helps

:D :o Hello, Here is the linnk for fcrr: http://www.fcrr.org/forTeachers.htm
Hope this helps. :D
Also if you read Kathy Collins' book Growing Readers she has reading only centers. <!--lovestruck--> They consist of the children doing a character study, maybe reading Amber Brown books, Henry and Mudge books, etc.; or she might have the children doing a genre study, an author study. What she does is she has a mini lesson on whatever she wants the children to study and then she sets out baskets of those books: Amber Brown series or Henry and Mudge series or whatever and the children read those books and then discuss what characteristics the particular characters have; or they can compare characters from one series to the others; or if it is a genre, perhaps they would investigate that genre and then discuss what characterisitcs that genre has. <!--yawn--> <!--misspeak--> Well, I am probably babbling now, <!--eyebrow--> so I will stop. I hope this made some kind of sense!:rolleyes:



Full Member

I've been using the ideas that i've found on here! Yay! I think the principal and our curriculum person are seeing my hard work (thanks to your ideas) because they would send in other teachers to scope out my classroom for my centers! Thanks to all your ideas! I love PT! hehe!


Senior Member

I am from FL and have used the fcrr site many times and love it. It has something for every area of the reading process.


Senior Member
yeah! I agree!

In second grade, I don't do centers, except for some from fcrr.org. These centers are only given to a few of my students that need practice in specific skills (data drives everything these days).

SO instead of dealing with all that center chaos, I have my students read, read, read- independently with a purpose. The purpose could be: As you read, be prepared to share the title and plot. It's whatever we're studying. Meanwhile, I meet with a reading group. After 20-30 minutes, I pick sticks and students are prepared to share purpose.

I use 4 Block, so this is my Self-selected reading block.

Centers are a headache, but I'll have to use them when I teach 1st next year.


Full Member
My Reading Only Centers in 2nd Grade

* Listening Station
* Partner Reading
* Library
* Read Magazines
* Read into a tape recorder (then listen)
* Computer Station (they listen to a story on the computer)
* Overhead Station (read poems and songs on the overhead)
* Readers Theater
* Poetry
* Independent Reading
* Storytelling
* Oral Language

I think that's all I do...


Senior Member
Reading only

You must be in a Reading First school because we had to have the same thing. However, the math people from our regional office also said that we needed to have a math center as did the science people.
I stopped using centers and started using RW. I really liked it, and I think that my students learned more out of it than "centers". This summer I am going to read the Daily 5 to see if I can implement it as well.
I love, love, love the Florida website.


Senior Member
Sounds Like

You must teach one of the lower grades (1,2). One of the centers that I had in my 1st grade room this past year was Leap Pads. I had 3 of them. Students would plug in the headphones, put in a book, and follow along. To keep it all organized, I put each book and cartridge in a big ziplock. Then all of the bags went into a big plastic tub. You can find them at resale shops like kid to kid, once upon a child, etc. They aren't expensive. I usually paid $3 per cartridge/book set. I got a leapster therer for $14.
How about computers? Do you have any in your room? If so www.starfall.com could be one of the centers.


Senior Member

OMGosh, you must be Reading First too. :p
Yes, all centers must be literacy based. I have done centers for 6 years, and I teach third grade. Here's what I have.....

Read/Write The Room
Recording Studio
Literacy Board Games
Author Study
Puppet Theater
Guided Reading
Word Wall
Computers (literacy only)
BIG books
Partner read
Listening Center
Kids News
Sequencing Center
Whisper Phones
Reading Rods

I will be more than happy to tell you about any of these that you aren't sure about. I don't have all of these going every day, and not even everyweek, but I can switch them out.

Just remember! Centers are for practice. Nothing should be in a center that hasn't been done in class. I spend the first few WEEKS going over procedures, troubleshooting, etc. with them. I model, model, model and they practice, practice, practice before I "turn them loose in a center". I have been to several Debbie Diller workshops and LOVE her books and ideas. She says there should be only 2 to a center, but for me 4 has always worked! So, I stick to that, but no more than 4!! Just find what works for YOU!



Full Member

I really like the read into a tape recorder then listen station. I might be inclined to use that one this year. Thanks!