This research study has shown the importance of learning centers in a kindergarten classroom. The main concern for this study was that it is difficult to create engaging, independent learning centers that align to the Alaska State Curriculum standards. Learning centers are important to kindergarten students because it is developmentally appropriate for them to learn through play. Learning through play fosters the developmental need for movement and imagination. The main argument against having learning centers in the classroom is that they take away from important direct instruction time. However, when learning centers are aligned to the curriculum requirements, it allows for students to kinesthetically apply, practice, and connect the curriculum concepts they learned during direct instruction.
I recommend that kindergarten educators incorporate learning centers into their lesson plans at least once a week. My students engage in learning centers twice a week for an hour each time. I use that time to work with individual students at different learning centers. My students also complete a self-assessment for behavior and engagement after learning center time. I advise other educators to do the same because allows students to become accountable and responsible for their behavior and learning. I also keep a tracking sheet during learning center time. It helps me keep track of which students are struggling and whether a learning center is causing too many interruptions and off task behavior.