McCarthy, M. M. (1977). The How and Why of Learning Centers. The Elementary School Journal , 292-299. Retreived from Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1001090.
This article was written in the late 1970s, but still seems relevant to classrooms today. The article explains the purpose of centers and states, “the learning center tries to deal with the reality that pupils learn at different rates, have different interests and needs, and are motivated when they are permitted to make choices based on these unique needs and interests” (pg. 293). The article seems to be written for teachers who are either unfamiliar with learning centers or are struggling with implementing them successfully and gives ideas and guidelines for learning center activities.
Bittel, N. (1978). The Learning Center as a Tool in Individualized Instruction. Improving College and University Teaching, 67-68, 70. Retrieved from Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27565182
This article was written in the late 1978 and discusses the importance of allowing teachers to observe successful learning centers in action before implementing learning centers of their own. The article focuses on how centers can be used to individualize instruction for all students, objectives for students and teachers, and the goal of learning centers. The author states, “The new goal in teaching is not so much to disclose facts to students as to develop in them skills which enable them to discover for themselves as individuals. And students learn best through their own experiences, including their involvement with a variety of instructional materials” (pg. 68). The article is old, but applicable to classrooms today.
Christensen , A., & Kelly, K. (2003). No Time for Play: Throwing the Baby out with the Bath Water. The Reading Teacher , 528-530. Retreived from Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20205238.
This article discusses the importance of retaining play in kindergarten classrooms instead of giving in to pressure to increase student literacy performance through other instructional methods. The article urges teachers to implement high-level play and states, “high-level play in the classroom occurs in two major arenas, manipulative materials play and dramatic play” (pg. 529). The authors suggest that teachers incorporate manipulatives in dramatic play and allow students to act out their favorite stories to assist students in extending their literacy learning and understanding. They also discuss the importance of monitoring and adjusting dramatic play to maintain high-level play. Overall, this article is a good resource to read before beginning a dramatic play learning center.
Conn-Powers, M. C. (2010). Preparing Children for Kindergarten: Learning Centers. Retrieved January 29, 2015, from Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana University: http://www.iidc.indiana.edu/styles/iidc/defiles/ECC/LearningCenters.pdf
This article states how centers are designed and run, including the amount of time allotted to center time. It discusses student and teacher expectations and the importance of students knowing and understanding their role in center time. It includes a table that has skills and examples of acceptable behavior. The article explains the instructional strategies behind center time. It has a second table that explains the differences between preschool centers and kindergarten centers with strategies to bridge the gap, which is especially helpful if a classroom has very young kindergarteners. This article is a good source because it explains that how to design centers so that they are successful in a teacher’s classroom.
Heroman, C., & Copple, C. (2006). Teaching and Learning in the Kindergarten Year. Retrieved January 30, 2015, from The National Association for the Education of Young Children: http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/Play/Ktodayplay.pdf
This is a section of a book called K Today: Teaching and Learning in the Kindergarten Year that was retrieved from The National Association for the Education of Young Children. This selection discusses classroom community, structure, physical environment, learning centers, organization, and scaffolding. It includes examples of learning centers for books, writing, mathematics and games, science, music and movement, art, dramatic play, blocks, and technology. It also includes a scaffolding in action table. The table demonstrates how to start a learning block with a high level of teacher support and end it with a low level of teacher support. Overall, the information included in this selection is useful and helpful when thinking about how to implement successful learning centers.