This lesson is designed to explain what math learning centers are.
This lesson will also discuss when to use math learning centers as well as introduce different types of math learning centers.
What Are Math Learning Centers?
You are a 2nd grade student and your teacher just taught the class how to regroup using two-digit addition problems. You feel pretty sure that you understand but you wish you could practice more and maybe even work with other students. The teacher has just announced that students will be broken up into small groups and each group will rotate through different math learning centers containing two-digit addition with regrouping activities. Learning centers, what’s that?Math learning centers are areas in the classroom where students have the opportunity work on a variety of math activities in order to practice skills that have already been introduced.
The teacher may group students according to ability, behavioral, gender, or just a random assortment of students based on who works best together.
When to Use Learning Centers
Teachers may decide to use learning centers immediately following a lesson as a way to give students extra practice with skills that have just been introduced. Teachers may also use learning centers the next day or the following days after working on a concept in order to serve as review.
The learning center activities may help the teacher determine which students can apply the skills that have been taught and which students may be in need of additional help. In addition, learning centers can be used to give students an extension activity to build upon what they already know and connect it to the next skill that will be taught.
How to Use Learning Centers
The teacher can decide the best time to use learning centers based on the ability of the students as well as students’ individual needs. If the teacher has a group of students who simply do not understand the concept that was taught, learning centers can be used as a way to keep the rest of the class engaged while those students who need extra instructional time have an opportunity to work one on one with the teacher.The time students spend at learning centers can be on a scheduled rotation, with a designated amount of time being spent at each station before all students rotate in a predetermined manner.
Alternatively, students can have individual teacher-created goal sheets based upon their skill level, and they work on the activities at their designated learning center until they have successfully completed the activities. This goal sheet allows teachers to give students new goals, and thus new learning centers, as their skill levels advance.
Types of Learning Centers
The types of learning centers are endless.
Teachers can add hands-on activities that require students to work together to complete a task. The teacher may decide to have an individual assessment at one of the learning centers so that students can receive a classwork or quiz grade for that day. The teacher may even decide to have students complete a project and break the activity up into different learning centers so that by the time the students rotate through each station their project is complete.
The teacher may even incorporate a video or an accelerated reader book about the concept. The teacher can use certain centers for higher achieving students and more guided centers for those students who may struggle academically. Regardless of the center that is chosen, students have multiple ways of practicing the skill.
Math learning centers are areas in the classroom that contain a variety of math activities that give students the opportunity to practice skills that have already been introduced. Teachers can group students based on whatever the needs of the students in that particular class are. There are multiple types of learning centers that can be used, and teachers can use the work that has been completed for classwork, quiz, or project grades. Learning centers give students who need help the opportunity to work with the teacher as well as other students, and they give students who already understand the concept the opportunity to apply the skills that have been learned.