Picking reading centers can be a fun but tedious job. As teachers, we want to make sure all of our students have the most personalized schooling experience they can! But picking reading centers that are meeting the needs of all 25+ students, is HARD! One of the easiest ways you can help personalize reading centers is to allow each student to use a text that is on his/her own level. I’ve created 5 engaging reading centers that you can use with ANY text! These will help give each student their own personalized reading experience! Come check these out!
Reading Center #1 – Colorful Comprehension
Colorful comprehension is a super simple to prep center. All you need is the recording sheet and a tub of crayons, markers, or colored pencils. Students LOVE writing with colors and they rarely get the chance! In this center, have each student pick a text at his/her level (or assign each child a text). Have the students read the text and then afterwards, find each ‘skill/concept’ based on the text they read. In the assigned color, they must write down their findings on the paper.
I’ve provided two different recording sheets, one with reading skills under the crayons and one without – this way you can assign your own reading skills that you need or want to focus on for each crayon! It’s simple, kids love writing words in crayons, and you get the satisfaction of knowing that each child is having a personalized experience!
Reading Center #2 – Roll and Answer
Roll & answer is another easy to prep center! All you need is the game board and two dice (per student/pair/group). You can do this game independently, with a partner, or even with a small group of students! Here’s how it works: Students will roll two dice at once time. They will line one up on the bottom of the grid on the game board and one on the side. Then they will find the matching coordinating spot (link of it like a coordinate graph!) Once they find their spot, they read and answer the question based on the text you had them read.
Again, students get to use any text! This is a great reading center for literature circles or book clubs to use as a review, too! Another great thing about this game is that you can have students write out their answers in a reading journal or scrap paper OR you can have them converse with their partner/peers to help strengthen their academic conversational skills. Lots of different variations with this one! Oh, and kids LOVE to play!
Reading Center #3 – Text Analysis Scavenger Hunt
Everyone loves a good scavenger hunt, right? With this center, all you need is a copy of the scavenger hunt cards and a book on the student’s level. After reading their book, students will take a card (at random, order doesn’t matter) and read it. Then they will travel back through their text to find evidence of what the card has asked them to find. Something that I LOVE to do with this center is allow students to use highlight tape! Once they find what they are looking for, they use highlighting tape to highlight that spot in their book. If you haven’t seen or used highlighting tape, definitely check it out HERE! It’s a fun tool to keep in your guided reading basket!
Again, you can switch up this center for accountability in a few different ways. You can have students paired up and have them discuss their findings or you can have them journal their findings in a reading journal or a super simple to make recording sheet. Students love going on scavenger hunts through their books and this one never disappoints!
Reading Center #4 – Evidence Reversal
This is probably one of my FAVORITE reading centers, ever! And it’s nothing more than a piece of paper! It’s called Evidence Reversal or – This Shows Me! What I do is have students read the text they have chosen or were assigned (again, on their own levels). Then I have the student go back through they THEY pick out different pieces of evidence that they feel are important to the text. I give them no direction and no specific thing to look for. They pick out different sentence(s) and write them down and then they have to tell me what that sentence shows me.
For example, they might find a sentence that shows great evidence of a character trait in action or maybe they find a sentence that explains the problem of the story. Leaving this wide open allows students to freely be able to think and analyze the text without pressure but still have accountability. Many times, I will keep these and use them when conferring with students. They are great to show what students are thinking about while reading and the conversations we have over them are always rich and deep. And again, all with just a simple piece of paper!
Reading Center #5 – Sticky Thinking
Sticky thinking is again, one of my favorite centers. The reason why is because it’s so open ended and supports students to THINK about what they are reading. Remember, reading = thinking and nothing more. IF students are not actively thinking about their text then they are not going to comprehend what they need to. In this center, students will use a sentence strip and blank post it notes. At the top of the sentence strip they write ‘My Sticky Thoughts’ and at the bottom they write their name. Then AS they read (not after) they stop and jot down things that they are thinking about. I encourage them to be done with the center by the time they are done reading. There should only be one post it note you write when you’re done – the thinking needs to happen DURING your reading.
Students will stop and jot down about anything they are thinking about – could be a connection they made or a word they don’t understand. Or maybe it’s a question they have or something they visualized! Anything goes – as long as they are thinking! If you are uncomfortable about the openness of the post it notes, you can always give students printed posted notes with sentence starters or specific things to think about and find and have them do the same process. Again, the point of this center is just to get them to THINK!
I hope you loved getting to see these awesome reading centers! I love every single one of them and I just know your students will too! Oh – and did I mention that you can have them all… for *F*R*E*E*? Yup! They are all yours just by signing up for my email list below!
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