Differentiating Your Literacy Centers: One Size Does NOT Fit All

Differentiating Your Literacy Centers: One Size Does NOT Fit All

Differentiating Your Literacy Centers: One Size Does NOT Fit All

We’ve all heard this phrase “one size does not fit all” over and over, but how does it apply to differentiating your literacy centers?  First, you must believe that differentiation is critical to helping students of all abilities to work within their zone of proximity.  Once you have accepted this as your guiding principle, the actual implementation of differentiating your literacy centers comes quite easily.

Getting Started
To get started, review your student data carefully to determine where they are with the skills you are teaching at the time of your literacy center planning.  For a quick snapshot, let’s look at the following five first-grade students.  Like all students, they are each working at a different proficiency level within their reading skills.  Luis and Rachel need to practice and master their phonological awareness skills, Alex and Marcus should be enhancing their fluency skills, and Gail should be challenged with her literacy center activity overall since she has mastered all components at this time.

Student Assessment Data
How to Differentiate
So how would a differentiated literacy center look for these five students? There are many ways to differentiate.

Here is one example of a differentiated literacy center for the skill “alliteration,” a phonological awareness and fluency skill.

Differentiated Literacy Center


Author bio

Kelly Hackett

Kelly Hackett, Educational Leader

Kelly Hackett loves literacy—and curriculum design, too! These two areas have been her passion since she started her educational career over 20 years ago. Kelly has been a classroom teacher, national and state level educational consultant, and literacy coach. Kelly has trained many educators at the school and district level on how to understand, design, develop, implement, and evaluate literacy research and activities that support existing curriculum. Kelly’s passion is to help educators and parents understand the research-based literacy components that are critical to reading success.