Our classroom is set up for learning in different centers. A center is an area of the classroom where a variety of hands-on materials and meaningful activities are available for children to choose. The centers provide opportunities for children to be actively involved in learning and making choices in a variety of ways. Children have many opportunities to make choices, come up with ideas, experiment, and take responsibility for their work. Here's what you'll see when you visit:
- Materials are on low shelves, in containers, so children can get them independently and put them away.
- Shelves are neat and uncluttered so materials are easy to see, remove, and replace.
- Picture (and word labels) are on containers and shelves so children know where materials belong and learn to use print.
- There are distinct interest centers--blocks, dramatic play, toys and games, art, library, sand and water, music and movement, cooking, reading/writing, listening and different play spaces outdoors--so children know what choices are available and make decisions.
A variety of learning materials are in each center so that no matter where children choose to play, they learn. Similar materials are grouped together to teach children to sort and classify--skills that are important to understanding and solving math problems.