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