Interest centers, or learning centers, are spaces that are set aside in the classroom to provide your students with access to learning materials. If you’re thinking about adding learning centers to your classroom, you might not be sure where to start. Here are some ideas on how to create interest centers for the modern classroom.
Design an Inviting Space
Give your students a comfortable area where they can go to learn. A table and chairs, a beanbag chair, or a cozy nook with pillows will make your students want to visit the learning center.
Here are some common parts of a learning center:
- A title to identify the center for what it is
- Space for keeping things that you need to use in the center
- Storage bins or boxes for keeping everything tidy
- Materials needed for using in the center
- Instructions on how to use things in that particular center
- Learning alternatives in case some tasks in the center are too difficult for some students
Make the Space Visually Appealing
Students will be more likely to use the interest center you’ve created for them if it’s visually appealing. Consider how you will do this. For example, you might make your learning center autumn-themed with colorful leaves. If possible, you might even include some pop culture in your interest center. Keep in mind that bright colors are more likely to catch your students’ attention.
Create a Fun Learning Space
Your students aren’t going to want to visit the learning center you’ve created for them if they find it boring. Find ways to deliver the material you want them to learn in a fun, unique way. For example, you might consider creating a game for them to play.
There are many different types of learning centers you can create in your modern classroom. Let’s take a look at some examples of them:
Enrichment centers – Enrichment centers will give students a variety of learning activities to go along with the common unit of learning. This could be building something, designing an observation kit, exploring news articles on topics that affect our world today or painting a mural.
Skill centers – Skill centers, as the name implies, are used after the initial teaching concept is in place. Then, your students can practice the skills they have just used and apply them practically, helping to solidify what they have learned.
These are just some ideas on how to create interest centers for the modern classroom!