The Literacy Lowe-Down

A Newsletter for Watkins Teachers

I’ve Taught Reader’s Workshop Procedures… Now What???

Corners, Centers, Stations… call them whatever you want. What matters is what you do with them! You have spent the last few weeks teaching procedures to ensure a productive Reader’s Workshop. Once routines and procedures are in place, it’s time to examine your tasks. Students are in Corners/stations at least twice as long as they are with you for small group instruction. How can you make sure that time is engaging and productive for students?


Corners tasks should be:

  • Explicitly modeled and taught
  • An extension of concepts already taught during the literacy block (independent practice)
  • Based on students' needs


Here are some questions to ask yourself about your Corners tasks:

  • What is the purpose of this Corner?
  • What student need prompted you to create this task?
  • How is this Corner differentiated for struggling students/ students in need of enrichment?
  • Do students know the expectations for each Corner? How? Is success criteria posted?
  • How do you evaluate the effectiveness of each Corner? How do you collect/ analyze student work?
  • Are tasks an extension of what was already taught?
  • How is writing incorporated during Corners? Are logs being used in a meaningful way?
  • Is this task engaging for students, or are they bored?
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Designing Meaningful Tasks

Here is an interesting post from one of my favorite blogs... Shanahan on Literacy. After reading the post, ask yourself... am I starting with the activity, or the outcome?

Introducing Corners/ Stations

As you watch the video (link below), consider the following:
  • How can you tell the stations are based on the students' needs?
  • Why does the teacher discuss the importance of the station she is introducing?
  • What Corners/Stations might you need to reteach before you start small group instruction?
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