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Literacy Centers (Grades 1-3) Review by Tammy Walker

Jo Ellen Moore
EditedKaren P. Hall
IllustratorJo Larsen
Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
18 Lower Ragsdale Drive
Monterey, CA 93940

Useful for a classroom setting or in one's home school, Evan-Moor Literacy Center books are a wonderful resource for anyone wanting to spice up her classroom. This text offers three different kinds of centers: a Hanger Pocket Center, a Shoebox Center, and a Folder Center. Centers are made ahead of time. Students are told to choose a topic from a given center. Then, he or she practices the skill described from that piece of paper pulled from the center. The teacher has everything needed to create engaging literacy activities including complete instructions, description of student tasks, full-color patterns needed to construct the centers, and reproducible task cards and blank cards for creating her own activities. The centers are intended for skill practice, not to introduce new skills, so it is important that the teacher first model each of the tasks ahead of time.

Within the Hanger Pocket Centers, your student will choose writing practice from the following themed hangers: mailbox, pencil, circus clown, kangaroo, and dog. Within these various themes, students will gain practice in letter writing, handwriting practice, writing a story, reading a poem and answering questions, and placing items in categories.

Within the Shoebox Centers, themes include a birdhouse, bear, chicken, elephant, leaf and caterpillar, and flower. Practice includes writing descriptive paragraphs, support and topic sentences, working with riddles, compound words and synonyms, and rhyming.

The Folder Center includes Penguin Pals, trucks, monkeys, rabbit, trains, and dogs as their themes. Students will increase their skills in working with antonyms, making words, deciding between singular or plural, creating super sentences, putting words in alphabetical order, and determining between believe and make-believe.

Ready-made language arts practice at your fingertips. Prepare ahead of time and place a few around the house. When your children need a change of pace, or even claim boredom, have them go choose a slip of paper.

Product Review by Tammy Walker, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2008