Learning Center question

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by vvkgteacher, Aug 2, 2002.

  1. vvkgteacher

    vvkgteacher Guest

    Aug 2, 2002

    Hi! I am first year KG teacher and I am trying to implement learning centers in my classroom. How many activities are appropriate to have in each one? For example, how many puzzles in my puzzle center? How often do you add or take away activities? I know that certain centers are naturally able o have more than one child per activity (block center can hav 2-3 children building with one set of bloack.) Thanks!
     
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  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Aug 2, 2002

    Hi! I too am a first year KG teacher. I think it depends on what center you are working with to decide how many items. For example at a puzzle center, you may want to have enough puzzles for each child to work on their own. OR if you are wanting to portray working together, have one more difficult one for them to have to rely on each other to work with. I think it really depends on what overall skills you are hoping to accomplish while they are in their centers. Good luck! :)
     
  4. Margo

    Margo Devotee

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    Aug 2, 2002

    This is the way that I establish my centers

    art-4 people
    housekeeping-4 people
    listening-2 people
    writing-2 people
    library-2 people (more if they take the book to the rug or their seats)
    block-2 people
    manipulatives-unlimited since they take the activity to their seats

    I usually change activities periodically throughout the year. I don't have a set schedule or time frame. I just play it by ear. If it seems as though they are getting bored, I make some changes. Or, if they have advanced beyond an activity, I will remove it and add something more difficult. This is mostly in the manipulative and writing centers. Also, I start the year out with fewer choices and gradually add to them as they become more familiar with the routines and procedures of center time.
     
  5. 5leafclover

    5leafclover Companion

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    Aug 2, 2002

    I am assuming that you are talking about Free Choice Centers, or what we called Free Centers. I had several choices of centers written on a posterboard with clothespins attached. So the square on the posterboard that said "Listening" had two clothespins that also had "Listening" written on them. This way the kids know when each center is full and it is very easy to control the number of people per center on any given day. Sometimes I only wanted 2 people to play with the legos and sometimes I wouldn't mind letting 3. So one day I would just add/remove a clip. Anyway, for the most part my Free Centers were as follows.

    Art - 4
    Home Living(Housekeeping) - 3
    Legos - 3
    Class Library - 3
    Listening - 2
    Math(Manipulatives) - 4
    Blocks - 2
    Puzzles - 2
    Computers - 3

    I always made sure that there were more clips than there were students in case a child changes their mind they can switch to any available tag.

    We had Free Centers every day for 20 minutes directly following our Academic Centers. What I called "Academic Rotation". This was basically 4 centers that the different homogenous groups would rotate through. One would be Guided/Shared reading, one would be writing(led by my assistant), and the other 2 were independant groups. (making words, file folder games, write-the-room, etc.)

    Anyway, this system worked very well for me. I spent about an hour and a half doing Academic Rotation and Free Centers every day.

    Nick
     
  6. 5leafclover

    5leafclover Companion

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    Aug 2, 2002

    I forgot to mention that sometimes I had "Special" clothespins that stood for a special center I had set up for that particular day. This could range from stamps, play dough, or another educational type center dealing with the current science/social study theme.

    Nick
     
  7. vvkgteacher

    vvkgteacher Guest

    Aug 3, 2002

    Thanks Nick! I think I will try the clothespin idea!!
     
  8. AngelaS

    AngelaS Cohort

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    Aug 7, 2002

    I taught PreK for three years and at the beginning of the year would only have two or three things to do at each center. I told the kids that once they showed me they knew how to take care of the materials AND clean up the right way, I would put out more things. Sometimes I would show them the next thing as an incentive. By the end of the year, the centers had lots of things to do. When things were being misused, I would take them away. After two days of scraps on the floor, glue on the table, and papers stuffed into the shelves, I shut down the Art Center for the rest of the week. On Monday, they had only pencils and paper. That's when they knew I was serious! Tuesday I added crayons, then scissors, etc. until they earned back the materials. Each year it's a little different, and the kids get as much as they show me they can be responsible for.
     
  9. vvkgteacher

    vvkgteacher Guest

    Aug 8, 2002

    Thanks AngelaS! I like the idea of the incentive and taking away the misused centers...good learning experience for the children.
     

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