Learning Centers Create Opportunites to Review Skills

Collaborative and Differentiated Learning Happens in Centers

Classroom - Jose Luis Pelaez Inc - Blend Images - GettyImages-546825313
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc - Blend Images - GettyImages-546825313

Learning Centers can be an important and fun part of your instructional environment, and can supplement and support the regular curriculum. They create opportunities for collaborative learning as well as differentiation of instruction.

A learning center is usually a place in the classroom designed with different tasks that students can complete in small groups or alone. When there are space constraints, you can design a learning center that is basically a display with activities that the children can take back to their desks.

Organization and Administration

Many primary classrooms have "center time," when children move to an area in the classroom where they either can chose which activity they will pursue, or they rotate through all the centers.

In intermediate or middle school classrooms, learning centers can follow completion of assigned work. Students can fill in "pass books" or "check lists" to show they have completed a required number of activities. Or, students can be rewarded for completed activities in a classroom reinforcement plan, like a token economy.

In any case, be sure to build in a record keeping system that the children can keep themselves and you can monitor with a minimum of attention. You might have monthly charts, where a center monitor stamps completed activities. You might have a stamp for each learning center, and a monitor for the center for a week who stamps a passport. A natural consequence for children who abuse center time would be to require them to do alternate drill activities, like worksheets.

Learning center can support skills in the curriculum, especially math, can broaden students understanding of curriculum, or can provide practice in reading, math or combinations of those things.

Activities found in learning centers could include paper and pencil puzzles, art projects connected to a social studies or science theme, self correcting activities or puzzles, write on and erasable laminated board activities, games and even computer activities.

Literacy Centers

Reading and Writing Activities: There are lots of activities that will support instruction in literacy. Here are a few:

  • Laminate a short story into a folder, and give prompts for students to respond.
  • Laminate articles about popular television or music personalities, and have students answer Who, What, Where, When, How and Why questions.
  • Make puzzles where students match initial letters and word family endings: example: t, s, m, g with the ending "old."

Math Activities:

  • Puzzles matching problems and their answers.
  • Color by number puzzles using math facts to come up with the numbers.
  • Board games where students answer math facts on the spaces they hit.
  • Measuring activities with scales, sand and different size measures such as cup, teaspoon, etc.
  • Geometry activities where students make pictures with geometric shapes.

Social Studies Activities:

  • Combine literacy and social studies activities: Write and illustrate newspaper articles about: the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the discovery of America by Columbus, the election of Barack Obama.
  • Matching card games: match pictures to names of historic figures, shapes of states to names of states, capitals of states to names of states.
  • Board games based on historic eras, such as the civil war. You land on "Battle of Gettysburg." If you're a Yankee, you go forward 3 steps. If you're a Rebel, you go back 3 steps.

    Science Activities:

    • Centers based on the current content, say magnets or space.
    • Place the planets correctly on a velcoed map.
    • Demonstrations from class they can do in the center.
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    Your Citation
    Webster, Jerry. "Learning Centers Create Opportunites to Review Skills." ThoughtCo, May. 1, 2017, thoughtco.com/learning-centers-create-opportunites-to-review-skills-3111079. Webster, Jerry. (2017, May 1). Learning Centers Create Opportunites to Review Skills. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/learning-centers-create-opportunites-to-review-skills-3111079 Webster, Jerry. "Learning Centers Create Opportunites to Review Skills." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/learning-centers-create-opportunites-to-review-skills-3111079 (accessed April 26, 2018).