The clear source for literacy: tools, downloads, and strategies for educators
The Engaging Learners website is your source for lessons that have been specifically adapted to the Literacy & Learning Center model. New resources and products will be added weekly, so you'll want to check back often.
How to Compile Differentiated Reading Lists
Centers requires you to divide your students into small groups not based on their ability, but based on the texts they choose to read. But how do you decide which texts to offer your students? There are some procedures and tips that help make it easy.
Supply a selection of texts that all address the same basic literary themes, cover the same content, or address the same essential question. You'll see that students are more motivated to read challenging texts when they choose the text themselves.
A student group engages in role play, as a panel of experts, to answer questions from their teacher and classmates. After the full-class activity, the students take record notes and impressions in a graphic organizer and convert them into a written paragraph.
Students learn to express and explore multiple points of view, and integrate point of view and voice into writing. During the full-class mini-lesson, students develop oral communication and self confidence, and practice team building, self-awareness, critical/creative problem solving, and idea generation.
Writer's CraftRoutine writingPlanningDetailsSpeak & ListenPoint of viewPresenting informationTask/purpose/audienceCreative LearningImprovisation
What do I know? What do I think?
Students are encouraged to self-reflect on what they are learning by writing two complete sentences answering the questions: What do I know? and What do I think?
Student writers practice writing complete sentences with correct punctuation and capitalization. They also practice an effective note-taking technique.
This lesson teaches students sequencing in writing. All pieces of writing present a situation, a problem, and then a solution. By breaking this organizational idea into the smallest increments possible, students are better able to conceptualize this organizational model.
Students develop coherence in writing with logical organizational structures.
Writer's CraftRoutine writingEvent sequence
Words That Are Confusing
Homonyms, or similarly sounding words, can be confusing. In this activity, students first engage in a full class “confusing word pair” activity. Then, in the Vocabulary Center, they divide up into small groups to discuss confusing words and make a poster describing or illustrating one confusing word pair
Students learn to distinguish between commonly confused words.
Poster - Visualization
Visualization, or creating a mental picture, is a powerful comprehension skill that empowers student readers to tackle increasingly difficult texts. This foundational poster offers students an opportunity to read a text, create a visual image, and then share that visualization with others.
Hang this poster at the Reading Center for student reference.
Reading TogetherResourcesTeacher Resources
Teacher Tip - Just Right Books
Grouping students for reading is most successful when it is based on choice. Each student in the class will individually select the book, article, or topic that most interests them, and will be placed in a group with the other students who picked the same text. This method of grouping provides a dramatic boost to student commitment and inspiration.
During the development of the Literacy and Learning Center model, the need for a center where students can reflect, revise, and complete their work became evident. Students work at different paces and the Make Up Center was developed to accommodate this reality.
Self-reflection and classroom organization
ResourcesTeacher ResourcesTeacher Tips
Teacher Tip - Center Transitions & Movement
As you introduce Literacy and Learning Centers to your students, it’s important to teach students routines and how to transition and move between centers
ResourcesTeacher ResourcesTeacher Tips
Teacher Tip - Cups Monitoring System
Just like a raised hand, colored cups can be seen from anywhere in the room. But cups communicate more than a raised hand does! They allow students to proceed with their work until the teacher is able to address their concerns. Also see the POSTER - CUPS MONITORING download.