Sunday, October 6, 2013

Our first day of Literacy + Math Workstations

We have been talking about these workstations for weeks, and on Friday we finally started them! Literacy and math workstations are really exciting because the kindergarteners pair up with a partner and rotate between ten stations (each pair of kids only goes to two per day, and then they hit all ten throughout the week). We have seven literacy-related stations, two math-related stations, and one "teacher table" station, where the kids will meet with me to practice reading and math strategies in small groups. I've been introducing the stations one at a time for several weeks, showing them how to do them and letting some eager volunteers model the right way to do it. Friday was the first day that we tried all ten at the same time, and the kids did great!

Without further ado, here are the stations with our learners hard at work!

1. Listening Workstation
At this station, partners listen to a book on tape. When they're done they draw a picture of their favorite part and vote on whether the book made them happy or sad. :)

2. Math Tub Station
Here partners play together with math manipulatives, including pattern blocks, building cubes, number turtles, and other hands-on math items. 

3. ABC Workstation
Here there are three options for activities related to reading and writing. Below is a picture of one choice - Writing Around the Room! I have hidden letters taped up around the room and the kids take a clipboard around the room hunting for them. When they find a letter, they write it down on their paper until they find them all! This station also includes two other letter games this week.

4. Smartboard Station
This is always a favorite - a giant touchscreen! At the beginning of the year the kids play letter and number games on (which is a great website for them to play at home too, by the way)!

5. Games & Puzzles Station
Here kids get to pick from letter-, word- and number-related puzzles and board games. This is also a popular choice during free choice time!

6. Buddy Reading
Here the kids cozy up next to each other while reading books, and pick out books to read together or alone. At the beginning of the year, since most of us can't read the words in these books, we teach them to "read the pictures," which means figuring out what's happening in the story based on what the pictures show. They can also retell the story to themselves if they have heard it read out loud before.

7. Pocket Chart Station
This station comes with a tub full of pocket chart games that the kids can choose from. "Where's Johnny Appleseed?" is a major favorite, which is what these two smarties are playing. The apple cards each have a different letter on them, and one person hides a picture of Johnny Appleseed behind his letter of choice. The other person has to point and say each letter in order to see if Johnny is hidden behind it!

8. Big Book Station
Big books are so exciting to read! These two are using my teacher pointers to read a giant nature book together. They can spread out on the carpet, or prop the book up on my teacher easel and pretend to be reading to the class.

9. Math Fact Practice
This station is filled with math games that the kids have already learned during math centers. They choose their favorite and play together. The games cover all sorts of math concepts, from number sense to measurement to addition/subtraction later on. Below, these girls are playing a racing game - roll the dice and move your character that many spots. First one to the finish wins!

10. Teacher Table
I don't have pictures of the teacher table this time because I was walking around the room making sure all the kiddos knew what they were doing - but they barely needed me! They are such independent learners already. Today we stayed at each station for just about seven minutes. We'll be doing workstations every day, and the kindergartners' stamina will increase so that soon we'll be working at each station for fifteen minutes or more!

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