So today I had my students come in and find books that were on their reading level (or one above or below). They grabbed 1-3 since I don't have them for long, and most of them were really excited to put together a book bag. We don't have any nice bags or baskets yet, but I (well, actually my wonderful para) just labeled gallon size Ziploc bags and put them in containers based on their group. Then I can pull out each container at the beginning and let them find their bag.
My plan is that I'll do read to self, work on writing, and word work as my centers (since my classes are so small and time is limited), and I'll try them 2 or 3 times a day. Then I want to do whole group lessons to review the new skills they're working on or to work on test-taking strategies. I'm about to lose my para for a few weeks because she's having surgery, so I'll be on my own for a little while. I think this system will help with that, though. Then when she comes back, I'm going to have her help me either pull kids or help with the word work station.
What do you do for word work with the upper grade students? I have kids ranging from level I-Q that I see, and they are from grades 3-5. I was thinking prefixes and suffixes for my higher 4th and 5th grade students. Then for my lower ones, I want them to practice a LOT of decoding strategies. Any recommendations?