Learning Centers are often used in elementary school classrooms to help students master a new topic or enhance their understanding of a current one. Discussed in this source are three types of learning centers, including enrichment centers, skill centers, and interest and exploratory centers, each with a different goal in mind.
In her first grade classroom, Ms. Karanikolis created learning centers to get students up and moving, in order to promote a more fun learning environment. Getting children up and out of their desks is a very integral part of teaching. It helps them stay alert, be more attentive, and stay focused.
In order to effectively create learning centers in the classroom, it is important to keep them organized. The teacher in this video recommends keeping the topics and materials organized into different Ziploc bags with the name of the center and the skill being practiced, as well as a title and directions page, and all materials so it is clear to students what is expected of them.
Learning Centers help teachers to individualize and even personalize the experience for children in their classrooms. On page 97, it states that many of the problems associated with science are that, instead of getting involved and exploring answers for themselves, students are forced to read about it in textbooks. But with learning centers, students are provided the opportunity to take control of their own learning in a fun and engaging manner.
There are some wonderful examples of learning centers and ways for them to be set up in your classroom. Also provided are strategies for successful execution and how these centers can enhance the learning experience for children in the elementary school classroom.