1. What kind of centers would you create in your classroom? Create a list in your
classroom with clear learning objectives. Be sure to propose one open-ended center.
A learning center is a space set aside in the classroom that allows easy access to a variety
of learning materials in an interesting and productive manner. Learning centers are
usually designed to offer a variety of materials, designs, and media through which
students can work by themselves or with others to operationalize the information learned
in the classroom. Centers are designed to enhance the learning of concepts, skills, themes,
or topics. One can create several kinds of centers in a classroom such as enrichment
centers, skill centers and interest and exploratory centers.
Enrichment centers are designed to offer students a variety of learning alternatives as an adjunct
to a common unit of instruction. These centers are typically used after the presentation of
important materials or concepts and are designed to provide students with opportunities to enrich
and enhance their appreciation and understanding of the topics through individual experiences in
the center. For example, after you have presented a lesson on the life cycle of plants, you might
assign individual students to a center with the following components:
Construction of a terrarium using soil, several plants, rocks, etc.
Observing several plants under the microscope
Designing an individual observation kit for use in the field
Preparation of several foods using different types of common plants
Exploring various news articles on plants in our daily lives
Creative writing on the uses and misuses of plants in modern society
Watching a filmstrip on the ecological implications of acid rain on plant life
Painting a mural on the stages of plant growth
Skill centers are similar to enrichment centers in that they are used after the initial
teaching of a concept or skill. Their difference lies in the fact that students are assigned
particular areas in the center as opposed to having free choice of the topics they want to
pursue. Thus, after introductory instruction on a particular concept has taken place, you
can assign students to various parts of the center to help reinforce the information
presented. You must be aware of the various skill needs of your students to effectively
assign individuals to the areas in the center through which they can strengthen and
enhance these skills.
Interest and exploratory centers are designed to capitalize on the interests of students.
They may not necessarily match the content of the textbook or the curriculum; instead
they provide students with hands-on experiences they can pursue at their own pace and
level of curiosity. These types of centers can be set up throughout the classroom, with
students engaging in their own selection of activities during free time, upon arrival in the
morning, as a “free-choice” activity during the day, or just prior to dismissal. These
centers allow students to engage in meaningful discov...