Childhood Center Learning Centers:
A learning center is an
addition to the student's learning environment. It provides an orderly experience
in which the student may grow independently at their own pace, learn in their
own manner, and at a level that is appropriate in relation to their potential.
Centers can help the teacher provide instruction at a variety of levels and
ART CENTER: The
art center is an exciting place for children to work. Children come to the
center, choose an activity, and work independently. When children cut with
scissors, they use small muscles to do what their eyes tell them to do. Lots
of practice using fine muscles is needed before children make precise marks
on paper. As children learn to use the art center to express themselves, they
develop the ability to think creatively and solve problems.
LIBRARY CENTER: The
library center provides the children with the opportunity to write, read and
listen to stories. Children can listen to stories on the tape recorder and
draw what they hear. Children also have the opportunity to share these activities
with their friends. Children learn to appreciate and enjoy good literature
as they explore their own creative efforts. Taking care of books becomes part
of a routine as children understand the value of books and develop a love
of reading that will last a lifetime.
BLOCK CENTER: The
block center is a very versitile learning place. Reading, Writing, Math, language,
and social skills occur through the use of blocks. When children play and
organize their structures, they are learning beginning skills necessary for
reading and writing. Children develop important thinking skills such as creating
balance, order and symmetry as they work with blocks. Blocks are in direct
mathematical proportion so fractions, part/whole relationships, shapes and
counting are a natural part of building. When children work together to create
a structure, they are sharing not only the blocks but their ideas and plans
for the structure. Planning together gives them a reason to work cooperatively.
POURING CENTER: The
pouring center is a place to learn many different concepts and skills. Children
learn math by measuring volume, weight, balance and distance. In addition,
they learn the concepts of more and less, empty and full, and solid and liquid.
They develop scientific principals when they explore different textures and
experiment with the properities of many kinds of materials. Vocabulary is
increased as children work with and talk about funnels, water wheels, measuring
cups, eye droppers, etc.
The manipulative center has many different areas such as flannel board,
magnetic board, puzzle shelf, and games. There are many choices so that children
can work a puzzle with a friend or cooperatively play games with other children.
Finding the differences or figure ground perception (distinguishing shapes
from their background). Puzzle work also helps develop the understanding of
the part/whole relationship, a valuable math and reading skill. By working
with a friend, there are lots of opportunities to negotiate and problem solve
which leads to the development of effective communication.
DRAMATIC PLAY CENTER:
As children play in the dramatic play center, they learn to take turns,
share, and select their friends based on common interests. They take on family
and community roles that help them understand what other people do and how
they act. In essence, children have an opportunity to try on a role and see
if it fits their personality style. The dramatic play center helps them to
make choices and decisions as they discover ways people help each other. Children
also learn to problem solve, work out difficult situations, develop vocabulary,
and practice social interaction.
As children use the computer, they begin to feel confortable with technology
and to understand its capabilities. They are developing a critical foundation
to build on and add to all throughout their school experience. Computer use
is an everyday choice for the children as it becomes another "play"
activity. Software is the key to using the computer as an effective learning
tool. Through appropriate software, children can solve meaningful, real-life
problems, express themselves in writing and drawing, experience math problems
and discover solutions.