Thursday, April 18, 2013

Literacy Work Stations - Teacher Tip Thursday

Guided reading is definitely not my strong suit. Coming from a primary background, kids usually came to me knowing how to read, with plenty of strategies. Then I was put down to Year 2. Lots of these kids could read up to a certain level but some couldn't! Panic came creeping in. I developed something that worked for me, with those kids, at that time. Panic subsided.

Enter Kindergarten.


Know I need to know how to give them the strategies they need to read, to listen, to speak, to write.... you know where I am going.

Enter Debbie Diller.

I read something in a blog post while cruising Pinterest about a book of hers called Literacy Work Stations. I thought I should give it a shot, bought it on Book Depository and it arrived yesterday.

Wow again.

I am only up to chapter 4 but my head is so full of ideas of how to manage groups while the kids are involved in meaningful learning. One of these ideas leads me to....

One of my recent TPT purchase was a fabulous set from Keeping Life Creative. It is a felt story set of the Hungry Caterpillar. Click HERE to go and see it on TPT. 

At the time, I only bought it because of its uniqueness, but after reading some of my new book, my ideas got going!

I was going to use the pieces to create a drama/puppet set and get the students to retell the story!!!

Firstly I cut out each piece, then laminated and cut again. I usually hate that extra step but thought it would be worth it in this case :) How cute are these pieces!!

 Then I sticky taped a long thin paddle pop stick on the back.
How cute is this guy?? Taadaa....puppets!
He was still hungry so he ate through a piece of chocolate cake......

If you love these felt creations, she has other story sets available too! Go and visit her blog/website too

I see this workstation being a favourite as I develop other sets of characters from well known stories. I hope this is something you might use in your room too :)


  1. Aww your puppets are super cute! I almost got Debbie's book the other day but wasn't sure - sounds like you got some great ideas from it so I might just go back and get it! I also want to get the Guided Reading one by Pinnell and Fountas as it looks great too! You're right - teaching reading in kinder is such a big learning curve. I'm looking forward to seeing your new ideas in action!

  2. Pamela from Keeping Life Creative is amazing - I first found her years ago when I dabbled in digital scrapbooking. I was SO happy when she opened an account on TpT with her beautiful felt graphics. We used the Very Hungry Caterpillar graphics today when making a retelling hat.

    It sounds like Debbie Diller's book would be worth purchasing. Not that I need any more ideas (ideas are coming out of my ears). I hope you'll be sharing some more of your great ideas, though. Would love to see your literacy activities. :)

    Miss Galvin Learns

  3. I just checked out Pamela's store and couldn't resist buying her graphics, they are adorable. Thanks for the tip.

    We have taken on L3 (Literacy Language Learning) this year and are knee deep in new ideas for guided reading and writing. Have you heard about it? It has a strong Reading Recovery flavour. Not sure what I think about it yet~ I will wait a little longer before I comment on what I think.

    Hope you are having a relaxing break.

    Classroom Fun

  4. Love Pamela's graphics. I love the felt look of them irresistable. They are doing L3 at my school, I have found a lot of Daily 5/CAFE similarities with it, so the last school I was at used CAFE in stage 2 along with Super Six Strategies. I have dithered about the Debbie Diller book because I have sooo many books on guided reading and reading comprehension, but I look forward to seeing more of your ideas Brooke.

    Mrs Poultney's Ponderings

  5. Oh, these turned out so cute! Thank you so much for your kind comments. I've heard great things about that book. I may need to check it out :).
    If you want to save yourself some time, you could always print, laminate, and then cut. I do this all the time, and it works great!

  6. Brooke, I just found your blog today. I use story props (like those caterpillar puppets) all the time! I have been teaching for 22 years, most of them in kindergarten, and I have to tell you it's my dream job.

    I have a lot of free guided reading books, writing prompts, and ideas on my blog if you'd like to come over and pick up some freebies. :) I teach in Maryland and it's really exciting to find a teacher-blogger from another country.

    Your latest follower,

    Sharon Dudley, NBCT
    Teaching with Sight

  7. Thanks for the recommendation of those gorgeous Hungry Caterpillar props. I'm off to buy them!

    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep