Kindergarten Step by Step- Edition Two {Guide to Center Time}

Hey all and thanks so much for joining me for the second edition of Kindergarten Step by Step.  Last week was all about schedules!  If you missed that post you can click HERE!  You will also want to make sure you sign up to receive my blog posts via email so you don’t miss out on the weekly series!  You can sign up directly under my picture to the right side of the school!  Alright, forward… today we are going to be discussing literacy centers!  I get a lot of questions how I run things in my room so I have covered that for you today!  Please know that this is just what’s worked for me… if you love it, get it a shot!  If you want to throw tomatoes then fire away ๐Ÿ˜‰  All of the information shared on the video and on the slides below can be downloaded for FREE here!

If you’d like you can click play in the video and then follow along with these slides or on the actual packet from TPT!  The visual quality is a little poor on the actual video!  However, if you love to hear me ramble you’ll want to listen in below ๐Ÿ™‚

What ARE independent centers?

Wanting to start centers?  Check off these four things and you’ll be on your way!

Why do I feel the importance of INDEPENDENT work?

The five centers of my day!

The up and down pacing of my literacy center block!  

Sample week of students!

A checklist to make sure all students are going to each center during the week!

Below is a sample of one day’s rotation board!  However, I have added a week’s work of samples for you to view and editable rotation boards that you can download for free HERE!  The student reading levels are only shown for a quick visual of the reading group and would not be shown on the finished boards ๐Ÿ˜‰
I love using my interactive board for center dismissal!  The students can quickly see where they are going and get there quick!  Once you set up the files for the first time you only need to pull the file up and click!  No switching cards everyday, etc!

A look at one student’s journey through the literacy center week!

A look at ideas for your word work center!

A look at ideas for your writing center!

Ideas for your technology center!

Ideas to go “beyond” book tubs for independent read.

Hands-on explore ideas!

A closer look at the first four weeks of the literacy center block!

Ideas for setting up your writing folders/center

Ideas for setting up your word work baskets!

Independent read options for the kiddos!

Ideas to organize your technology center!

Explore tub organization!

A little about about holding kids accountable during literacy centers!

Taking time daily to discuss positives and possible something to work on the next day!

Transitioning back to the carpet after each round!

Ideas on how often to switch out your centers!

A couple ideas on how to introduce the new games to your students!

The importance of brain breaks during independent work time!

A couple ideas on how to organize your centers!

I get a lot of questions from teachers that have purchased several of my packet… and they aren’t quite sure how to mesh them all together!  Below I explain and show a year long pacing of literacy centers, writing center, and explore tub ideas!  I only show one slide below, but once downloading the packet you’ll be able to view all the weeks!

A look at a possible week 1 and 2 literacy centers, writing center material, and explore tub ideas!

Below is a look at the packets I utilize throughout the year for literacy centers and writing center!

Primary Writing Printables for the YEAR

Are you ready to take over your center time!?  Here is a quick last minute check!

I hope you were able to pick up some information and activity ideas for your literacy center block!  Remember that you can download the entire packet along with the free rotation board by click below!  If you are struggling with a part of your literacy block of have questions about mine feel free to email me ta******@ho*****.com
Thanks!  Tara


  1. I LOVE this! I've always wanted to do Daily 5, but was a little overwhelmed, but you have broken it down and explained it perfectly! One question (and I hope this isn't something I missed you already answering), how do the students know which Word Work center/basket/activity to choose? Do you level them? Thanks in advance!

    Alana Green

    1. Oh yes I forgot to mention that! So for word I do have those leveled! Next to their name/picture on the rotation board I place a colored circle! The colored circle matched the colored basket! ๐Ÿ˜€ You could also number the baskets if they are all the same color ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. Hi Tara! I just want to say THANK YOU for being so thoughtful and detailed in your work. I just had a quick thought/question. Have you ever thought about translating all of these awesome resources to Spanish? I am a Kinder Bilingual teacher and it's really hard for bilingual teachers to find useful resources. I feel like my ELL students miss out on MANY awesome quality resources due to the language barrier. Just some food for thought:) Have a great day! Thanks again!

    1. Hi there! I'm so sorry that it's tough finding material for your little ones! ๐Ÿ™ I have just hesitated myself as I am not confident in the language and always feared of doing it wrong ๐Ÿ™


  3. Wow thank you for going into depth on this subject. I have tried straight Daily 5 and workshop style. I. like hat you have a great mix. I am excited to start next year with this approach, Thanks for taking time to add great pictures and examples.

  4. Hey! So what games do you have your kids play on the laptops? I got a grant to purchase three chromebooks this year, and I would love to start using them in the classroom for centers, but I need some ideas for some good, educational, kid-friendly sites or games for the kids to play. Thanks!

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