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Learning Centers:

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by

Lindsey Desselle

on 24 March 2014

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Transcript of Learning Centers:

Basic Information of Learning Centers
Learning centers are "situations around the classroom that a teacher sets up for students to work in either small group or individual activities." (Thirteen)
According to Tiffany Rocco, "learning centers are designed to assist students in developing independence and learning through self-discovery." (Rocco, 2010)
Learning centers are a more efficient way to meet the needs of all learners, while aiding teachers in discovering what students actually know.
Also, students have the freedom to choose which activities to work on in the centers, which provides a sense of ownership in their own learning.
Examples and Materials in Learning Centers
One classroom can house several different types of learning centers, such as listening, mathematics, music, writing, and reading learning centers.
Once the teacher decides which centers he or she wants to create, materials can be made by the teacher or even found on several websites.
Most learning centers include manipulatives, art materials, books, and other instructional materials the teacher needs. (Scholastic)
Also in the Scholastic article, a teacher shares that she created a technology learning center where students use the internet to complete the activities. (Scholastic)
Addressing the Disadvantages (continued)
3.
Learning centers are noisy.
Classrooms in general tend to be noisy sometimes, but that falls back on the teacher's classroom management. Great classroom management can prevent classrooms from sounding "too noisy." Also if students know not to speak above a whisper when communicating with their partner at the learning center and actively practice it, this too will aid in the prevention of a noisy classroom. Sometimes though, noise is not a bad thing to have. Some noise proves to be educational conversations going on between students.
The Disadvantages of Learning Centers
Below are the disadvantages that are listed in an article by Dana Rongione.
1. Learning centers are too costly.
2. Learning centers are time-consuming.
3. Learning centers are noisy.

In the slides that follow, I will disprove these disadvantages with reasons and facts.
Addressing the Disadvantages
1. Learning centers are too costly.
While learning centers may cost teachers to spend their own money, teachers can use the materials more than once. Also, there are grants that teachers can apply for that will pay for supplies for the learning centers. All you have to do is submit the paperwork, and the website will enter you to win the grant, such as adoptaclassroom.org. Another thing teachers can do to reduce the cost is simply search for free materials. Websites, such as teacher worksheet and discovery education, will provide free teaching materials for teachers to simply print. So while from the outside looking in it seems expensive, it is not as long as the teacher does the research.
Learning Centers:
Works Cited
A new approach to learning centers. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/new-approach-learning-centers
Nebraska Department of Education, Lincoln. Active learning in the classroom: Classroom organization. In (1993). The Primary Program: Growing and Learning in the Heartland (pp. 171-186). Nebraska: Nebraska Department of Education. Retrieved from http://www.education.ne.gov/OEC/pubs/pri_pro/ALCO.pdf
Three types of implementation exercises. (2004). Retrieved from http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/mi/implementation_sub1.html
Fredericks, A. (2005). Learning centers. Retrieved from https://www.teachervision.com/learning-center/new-teacher/48462.html.
Nebraska Department of Education, Lincoln. Active learning in the classroom: Classroom organization. In (1993). The Primary Program: Growing and Learning in the Heartland (pp. 171-186). Nebraska: Nebraska Department of Education. Retrieved from http://www.education.ne.gov/OEC/pubs/pri_pro/ALCO.pdf
Rocco, T., & Rosella, J. (2010, April 20). Benefits and disadvantages of using centers in elementary classrooms. Retrieved from http://nyteachers.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/1357/
Rongione, D. (2004). The disadvantages of learning centers. Retrieved from http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/disadvantages-learning-centers-17974.html

Addressing the Disadvantages (continued)
2.
Learning centers are time-consuming.
In the Ronigione article, teachers not only spend time setting up but also changing them throughout the year. While that may be true, it is about the same amount of time teachers spend on planning lessons. Also, the time spent on learning centers is well worth it. Students are receiving knowledge and learning skills on their own. All students want to believe that they have some control over their learning and education. Learning centers can give them that sense of control and freedom. As educators, we do not want to take away those experiences, knowledge, and skills. So, learning centers are worth the time as long as teachers create them correctly.

Conclusion
No matter the disadvantages someone lists learning centers are worth it! Learning centers have proven to be great in active learning, because the students are directing their own learning. Students get enjoyment out of hands-on activities, as well as working with peers on activities. Also, we do not have to reinvent the wheel. You should do some research on an activity before creating it, in case another teacher has already done it. This can also save some of the precious time we do have for planning.
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