Saturday, September 8, 2012

Learning Centers in Trinity Preschool Classrooms

We have our classrooms set up all similarly, but we adjust materials to suit the ages of the children who use that room.  These are the learning centers that are in each room:

1. Rug/Group time area: This is our gathering spot for stories, music, sharing time, etc. The rug is also a large open play space located near the block area for additional space for block play during choice time.

2. Block area:  This area includes unit blocks, cars and trucks, trains sets, play people, plus many other kinds of blocks that rotate through each classroom.

3. Art area: Our art center is broken up into three areas actually, the first is the art table where we set up daily art activities which are "process" based.  That means we give children creative materials and they use them to make art, rather than a craft piece or a product piece comprised of specific materials that must be used in a specific way.  The second art area is our easels, and in most of our rooms, we have two easels next to each other so children can work side by side.  Our easels could have paint, chalk, stencils and markers or sometimes they magnetic shapes to use on the magnet boards.  Our third art area is called "free art" and that is because it is a table set up with art materials the children can use to make whatever they choose.  They can use the colored glue, markers, scissors, crayons, stencils, pencils, etc. to make their own art.

4. Library/Book Rug: This area has comfortable couches and chairs for the children to sit and look at books alone or with a friend.  We also keep the floor puzzles in this area for children to use.

5. Dramatic Play: Our dramatic play area is a popular center as children explore the ever changing materials.  Our dramatic corners change occasional from the traditional house corner to a space center, post office, bakery, grocery store, pet store, or library.  This is great for children to help develop social skills and language skills.

6.Table toys: This area has materials that change regularly, we have a variety of puzzles, sorting activities, match games, fine motor skills activities, language materials, etc.

7. Science Area: We provide an assortment of science materials for children to explore.

8. Sensory Table: Children learn through their senses and the materials in our sensory table change regularly to provide an assortment of textures to explore.  We love water, (sand- outside), beans, rice, pom poms, anything we can find that is safe and fun to touch.

9. Misc: We bring in other items to the classroom too, such as a light table.

The materials in the rooms are changed frequently, we are fortunate to have a good variety of equipment so we can provide the children with a rich environment. 

The most important component however in our rooms is she teachers!  The teachers are able to interact with the children in each of these area of the rooms to help children learn as they use the explore and have fun.

We also have a large motor room and a great playground the children use each day.

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