Hands on Literacy Centers

BY Andrea Burnett, Lisa Callahan, Alyssa Chase & Erin Meagher

Barnstable Community Innovation School

Project Description
As first grade teachers, we do a lot of reading instruction! We have found that a major piece of learning to read is developing phonics skills. Through phonics instruction, children connect the letter or letters to a sound. Once they learn how to “crack the code”, we find that their reading skills accelerate. First graders are 6 and 7 years old and need engaging ways to practice their phonics skills. We are requesting several fun and engaging literacy centers to use at a teacher guided center to propel students to the next academic level. The center activity kits that we are requesting have blocks, cards, stamps, flip books and decodable readers which will motivate students to learn. Gone are the days of worksheets and workbooks! We want our students to have activities that require them to use language and experiment with sound. We would use the centers throughout the year to support our reading curriculum. For example, each phonics skill is introduced in a sequential ways which builds on previous knowledge. With the kits that we have requested, we would have a hands on center for every skill that we introduce throughout the year.

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)
Success means that students are engaged in their learning, using dialogue to collaboratively work with peers and increasing their phonics skills as measured by spelling tests, reading assessments, and writing samples.

Benefit to the students and the school
Our student population includes a large group of English Language Learners. These students speak multiple languages and come from diverse backgrounds. Reading can sometimes be a challenge for students that are still learning the English language. These centers are age appropriate and have visuals to support our ELL students.

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)
We would share these materials with the entire grade so all 85 students could benefit. In addition, these kits are reusable so every year, more students will be able to use them to increase their learning.