PROGRAM PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT * 1 HOUR * LEVEL 2
What are Learning Centers?
Learning centers, or interest centers as they are often called, are designated areas of the classroom that are devoted to a specific subject. These centers are aimed to help children practice what they are learning during large group instruction, otherwise known as circle time. Centers give students the ability to hone in on the skills that are being presented at their own pace.
Learning centers give students the opportunity to explore in a natural way. Think of it as “learning by doing” rather than the teacher telling them exactly what to do. Because this way of learning is more play-based, it is more developmentally appropriate for young learners.
Here are some examples of typical learning centers in an early childhood classroom:
A math and manipulative center can help reinforce math concepts that are being taught. Items such as puzzles, dice, play currency, clocks and cards can be used to create engaging games for children. Here they will practice counting, identifying and writing numerals, and exploring geometry and measurement.
The art center can promote creative expression and serve as an emotional outlet for students. Children can experience and play with different textures, materials and new artistic techniques.
Children can develop engineering skills and math concepts such as geometry, shapes, counting, and simple addition. This center should include blocks of different shapes, colors, and sizes.