Title: Literacy Work Stations
Author: Debbie Diller
Classification: Staff resource – literacy
Themes: literacy, work stations
What’s it about?
This is comprehensive book which details, pictorially and with text, what literacy activities should be taught, the types of activities and tips about managing the work station concept. For those unfamiliar with work stations, these are small groups who work on different tasks for a set time before swapping to another. Each station usually focuses on a single skills.
The examples (especially photographs) are very helpful in conveying what is being written about. The author is obviously enthusiastic about teaching as it comes through in the tone. It is very comprehensive and covers all main areas of literacy for junior primary.
It it more geared to junior primary (in my opinion) focusing on those basic skills. The sheer volume of information can be a little overwhelming.
I have to admit when I first got this book I was extremely enthusiastic and motivated. I spent hours taking notes about what I was going to change in my literacy program…and that was where it ended. The author does say that the activities should not take longer to make then for the kids to use but what I found was the daunting task of starting with nothing and trying to make something out of it.
The activity ideas are good and I will probably use some of them with my kids when they are about 4 years old and up but to me some of these activities seem more like ‘busy work’ and ‘fun’ rather than learning. Most activities would be difficult to assess in terms of how much impact it had on a child’s learning and some students would still struggle finding the tasks too easy/hard even with differentiation or stay on task.
I wanted to love this book but at the end of the day I found it interesting but after two years I still do not teach literacy with stations but have still had outstanding results. I recommend you borrow this first to ensure it meets your own classroom needs and your personal style of teaching.