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  • Literacy Work Stations vs. Learning Centers

    A topic of conversations in educational circles is the use of traditional learning centers versus literacy work stations.  I have purchased several book by Debbie Diller addressing this issue.  If you are interested in this literature, I will be most happy to share what I have found.  Below are the basic differences between the two.  


    Literacy Work Stations

    Traditional Learning Centers

    Materials are taught with and used for instruction first. Then they are placed in the work station for independent use.

    New materials are often placed in the center without first being used in teaching. The teacher may have shown how to use the materials once but they were often introduced with all the other new center materials at one time.

    Stations remain set up all year long. Materials are changed to reflect children’s reading levels, strategies being taught, and topics being studied.

    Centers are often changed weekly with units of study.

    Stations are used for students’ meaningful independent work and are an integral part of each child’s instruction. All students go to work stations daily.

    Centers are often used by students when they “finished their work.” Centers were used for fun and motivation, for something extra.

    Materials are differentiated for students with different needs and reading levels.

    All students do the same activities at centers. There was not usually much differentiation.

    The teacher meets with guided reading groups during literacy work stations.

    If the teacher met with small groups, each group often did the same task.