Imagine a classroom full of positive energy, movement, and excitement, with students engaged and involved in the learning process. If that grabbed your attention and you want your classrooms and student salons to have the “BUZZ,” then you will want to integrate Learning Centers. A learning center is a self-contained section located in various spots in the classroom or student salon where students engage in independent or self-directed learning activities. Learning centers provide students with the opportunity to practice hands-on skills and learn new concepts through self-discovery while involving social interaction.
The first step to integrating learning centers is to:
Develop a Blueprint– create a blueprint that will outline each station, the learning objective for that station, a short description of the activity, and any supplies needed.
Diversify – when considering the various types of stations, diversify. Consider different stations that will appeal to all types of learners.
Independent vs. Groups – You may set up a learning station to be an independent learning station, where students are guided through and work independently, or a group station. I recommend establishing groups between 4 – 7 students for each station.
Game Station – everyone loves to play games. Create fun learning puzzles from puzzle.com or utilize one of the many educational game apps available online to create interactive game stations where students can test their knowledge.
Technology Station – integrate technology into the classroom using student devices, computers, laptops, tablets, etc.
Self-Discovery/Individual Work Stations – students work individually and can answer review questions, define a list of vocabulary words, or review flashcards.
Flip Chart Group Discussion Station – have a flip chart posted with a question. Students can work in groups discussing the question and recording their thoughts. At the end of the class review various thoughts and ideas that were posted by each group.
Video/Webinar Stations – have a video or webinar loaded onto a device for students to watch and a series of questions for students to answer to recap what they learned.
Article/Blog Stations – have an article or blog posted for students to read and discuss. Consider milady.com or miladypro.com.
Technical Stations – have a technical challenge for students to perform. Make it fun!