Classroom Centers That Work

February 16, 2018

Finding classroom centers that work for everyone can be challenging. What to plan so that students can work together on common activities, meet the needs and goals of a diverse group of kids, and also allow the staff to manage many children at the same time, doing different activities. Here are 6 that are working in the classrooms at Crossroads Center for Children.

Fine Motor Center – One side of the Room 3 table here is working with playdoh to make shapes and practice sharing and turn-taking, and the other is working on dressing skills such as buttons, zippers and latches. At the other table, students are using their Learning Without Tears magna-doodles to practice letter formation. Two educators here are each overseeing a different table, while one or two others can attend to individual students. On another day, students might have other options to move their little fingers, such as cutting, coloring, tracing, utensil use or a host of other fine motor skills.

Race Car Center – There are all types of Play Centers that work, but for Room 1 a favorite is Race Car Centers.  The  common activity is that everyone is playing with race cars, but in 3 centers. Each center is set up for small groups to engage. Each has its own track and cars and the students move from one to the next.

Tag Bag Center – In Room 7 Tag Bags make a great activity for a center. The tag bags come from our Learning Without Tears materials and each bag has a number, a corresponding amount of dots, and a different kind of latch. Children will explore the bags at length and can practice sorting by color, number, type of latch, or they can savor the time to play with all of the closures, or sometimes they can search for the one with a hidden object inside.

Transportation Center – Meanwhile at another center simultaneously, students find out neat things by driving trucks and cars across a magnetic table.

Cookie Decorating Center – Also a great center for kids is food preparation. Here Room 5 worked on decorating their own cookies. The trimmings were placed on the table and students could experiment, share and of course try their product when done.

PB&J Sandwich Center – Another food prep idea is this one. Room 5 students got to spread and taste. They learned that making their own lunch is something that can be helpful to their parents.

Centers provide opportunities for students to work together to solve common problems or meet mutual goals. Along with that benefit is the independence and confidence that comes with acting as a part of a group. Children need to learn to do for themselves and each-other as they grow older, and centers can be great arenas for those needed skill-sets.

What are your favorite activities for centers? What are you going to try that we are doing? We’d love to hear from you! Be sure to read more about the great activities here!

Group activities in the classroom can help form skills for school, home and life.


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