Q:

What are some tips for setting up a creative learning center in a classroom?

A:

Quick Answer

The first tip for establishing a classroom creative learning center is to make certain that a place for students to explore, play and make choices and that allows for teacher observation and interaction is the goal. If so, one learning center that addresses a particular interest of the students is a good starting place. Learning centers should include a variety of activities, appealing to students' varying learning styles, provide simple instructions, and be cozy and attractive to students.

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Full Answer

Adding rugs, defining the space with a room divider or curtain, and adding comfortable seating are options for creating a creative and cozy learning environment. Teachers can encourage students to make personal contributions to the center, such as related collections or drawings from home, and set aside a defined space where students can display their work.

Observing how students interact with the activities and each other while in the learning center is instructive for redesigning or periodically adding new activities. Ideas for focusing a creative learning center include creating a writing center with different types of writing utensils and papers, story starters and grammar tips, or setting up an art station with materials for drawing cartoons or creating mobiles. For a math-focused learning center, include math games and activities along with calculators, slide rules and other manipulatives to engage students.

A teacher may also want to involve the students in choosing the type of learning center and how to arrange it. The learning center location and arrangement depend on classroom size, available furniture and the learning center's focus. A science-centered space may need room for microscopes and cages, and a near-by sink is a good choice for an art-centered space.

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