Center Ideas

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by peaches9686, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. peaches9686

    peaches9686 Rookie

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    Sep 23, 2010

    Hi everyone!

    I teach Early Childhood Special Ed (for children with autism at a private, therapeutic day school and I love it. I am the lead teacher and I have 3 paraprofessionals. I have 4 students between the ages of 3 - 5 years old. Because of how the school is run and the therapies they want the teachers using, most of the day is one on one. Also, my students really don't sit and pay attention for too long. Anyways, I really want to set up play centers in my classroom. I'm hoping that it will promote structured play.

    I don't have many ways of dividing my classroom up and don't have a budget. It is my first year teaching and was hoping for some advice as to how to create fun centers for my students.

    If you have any advice, it would be greatly appreciated!!
     
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  3. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Sep 23, 2010

    Send out a letter to parents--including the ones in other classrooms. Ask for specific items, and they may donate.

    Can you spend a little money? And go to Goodwill?

    Use what you have and create interesting centers:
    Put down some mats, blankets, etc, and have a quiet area for reading.

    Use boxes, baskets, bins to hold like items. Children like to explore--so your empty food boxes are interesting. Bring in catalogues from your own junk mail.

    Find nature items--rocks, pine cones, shells.

    A tub of water and some scoop and pour items are really fun.

    Tell us what supplies/equipment you have and we can give you some other ideas.
     
  4. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Sep 24, 2010

    If yours are like many of the kids I've had, we have to teach tem HOW to play...

    for instance, I had a one of those rugs with the roads on it, that kids often use to drive the toy vehicles on... but my kiddos didn't know that was the purpose of the mat. So I took some photos of the mat, printed them, and made that into a work task... the kids took a car from the "parking lot" on the left, drove it across the "road" and into the garage on the right (part of a box)... once they learned that, it translated to the carpet.

    For blocks, legos, etc... again, about the only thing my kids would do is make simple towers. So I made some other structures (simple ones at first) and they learned at work time to copy what we had made (photos)... we made the same pictures into a book, and kept it near the play area, so kids would look through and get ideas.

    Use your play area with 2 kids (and 2adults, if you need to) for some turn-taking, reciprocal play, etc... board games, etc.
     
  5. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Sep 24, 2010

    You can make alot of things on your own with simple matierals. Homemade playdough is really good and cheap. There are some great recipes online and I found that students with autisum love playdough that smells like different flavors. Also, put some shaving creame down and have the kids write their names in that. They will love it. As clarent said, many of them probably do not know how to play so you probably will have to teach them. good luck!
     
  6. SamIAm

    SamIAm Companion

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    Sep 26, 2010

    I had to put my centers together with very little money too. Much of what I have was either donated, or bought off of craigslist or garage sales. If your creative and have a good eye for deals, you can get a lot with very little. Here is my blog: http://preschool-mommy.blogspot.com/search/label/Classroom Environment. I have pictures of my centers on it, and some info about how I put them together for cheap. HTH!
     
  7. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Sep 26, 2010

    freecycle.com
     
  8. teacher12345

    teacher12345 Cohort

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    Sep 26, 2010

    Awesome site!

    Here are some preschool tasks and structured play tasks from that site:

    http://www.preschoolfun.com/images/dt teacch/le teaach/Mvc-009s.jpg

    http://www.preschoolfun.com/images/dt teacch/la teaach/Mvc-001s.jpg

    http://www.preschoolfun.com/images/dt teacch/la teaach/Mvc-004s.jpg

    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/dt teacch/teacch 2008/IMG_2327.JPG

    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/dt teacch/teacch 2008/IMG_2325.JPG
    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/dt teacch/teacch 2008/IMG_2344.JPG
    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/dt teacch/teacch 2006/IMG_1993.JPG
    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/dt teacch/teacch 2006/IMG_1996.JPG
    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/dt teacch/teacch 2006/IMG_1999.JPG
    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/dt teacch/teacch 2006/IMG_2020.JPG
    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/dt teacch/teacch 2006/IMG_2027.JPG
    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/dt teacch/teacch 2006/IMG_2037.JPG
    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/dt teacch/assembly_picture_sequence.jpg
    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/dt teacch/assembly_visual_picture_potato_head.jpg
    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/dt teacch/sort_by_shape.jpg
    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/dt teacch/2004 master TEACCH Images/IMG_0006.JPG
    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/dt teacch/2004 master TEACCH Images/IMG_0007.JPG
    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/dt teacch/2004 master TEACCH Images/IMG_0010.JPG

    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/images 2001/teacch 2002/teacch 2004/109-0922_IMG.JPG
    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/images 2001/teacch 2002/teacch 2004/IMG_0015.JPG
    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/images 2001/teacch 2002/teacch 2004/IMG_0017.JPG
    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/images 2001/teacch 2002/teacch 2004/IMG_0006.JPG
    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/images 2001/teacch 2002/teacch 2004/IMG_0011.JPG

    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/images 2001/teacch 2002/teacch 2004/IMG_0012.JPG

    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/teacch galleries/IMG_3963.JPG

    http://www.preschoolfun.com/pages/teacch galleries/IMG_3979.JPG
     
  9. mellowred

    mellowred Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2010

    Those were great pics, thanks
     
  10. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 16, 2010

    Great ideas. Sam, do you teach PS/Daycare? Is is in your home? It looks great.
     

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