Learning centers are areas of the classroom devoted to particular aspects of the curriculum. Organized around tables or classroom workstations, each learning center comprises the materials for groups of two or three students to work on small projects together dealing with specialized topics.
Reading, writing and language skills
Books, both fiction and nonfiction, are available in print and on tape. Word games such as Scrabble, Boggle and Password are provided and students have floor cushions for reading or group discussions. Tools for writing include pens and paper, a tape recorder for interviews and magazines and other sources of images. A computer should include a printer, word processing software, email and an Internet connection.
Visual expression and graphic arts
Art supplies require drawer and bin storage. Painting and drawing materials including watercolors, acrylics and finger paints and drawing materials like pens, pencils and chalk must be easily available and stored. An easel, chalkboard and a drawing table are required along with clip-on flood lights for illuminating projects. For photography work, a digital camera should be available along with a dedicated computer with image-processing software.
Science and nature
The stock of books should comprise field guides and science-related resources, as well as current issues of mainstream science magazines. Hardware will include a microscope, a telescope and other tools to explore and experiment. Laboratory measurement containers, plastic specimen boxes for insects and rocks are also useful. The computer dedicated to the science learning center should include probe-ware and spreadsheet software as well as science reference CD-ROMs.
A selection of math-based puzzles and games that develop logic skills should be in reach for the spontaneous use of students. Calculators with arithmetic and graphic functions along with instructions that for solving common problems are vital. Math manipulatives, toys and objects that translate abstract mathematical concepts into displays, should also be kept out for casual use. The math computer should be capable of displaying 3-D geometry and include a graphing calculator and spreadsheet software.
Nova Solutions furnishes today’s educational environment with well-designed classroom workstations and tables that adapt to the learning center concept. Contact us for more information.