I have music centers on the brain. I can't quit thinking about them because I want to make the experience my students have when using centers more meaningful and effective. I'm almost.....sort of.... happy with my learning outcomes for some of my centers but not as happy with others. Every year the actual management of centers gets easier, but there is always room for improvement. As a tenacious optimist I think I can do better! In fact, I've been thinking about centers all through spring break and am ready to jump in this week Melodysoup Centers 14.0.....
Questions I ask myself when planning to use centers
1. Have I chosen wisely? Every center I choose must be interesting enough for students to want to participate AND instructionally important enough for them to construct meaning. If I find that some of my centers are "super cool" while others are "place holders" then it's time to figure out how to duplicate the "super cool" centers OR bring the "place holders" up to scratch.
2. Do I have time? I don't see my students very often and I don't see them for very long. I've recently realized that in some cases when I want students to practice certain things, as few as 2-3 centers help me to keep the class moving forward while building success and increased independence.
3. Have I stayed true to my objective? Centers can be really fun! Centers can foster "play state" which is the best place for children to learn! Centers can be all sorts of things, but did the opportunities I provided for my students foster the learning I intended? Did I lead them through an opportunity to learn a musical skill? Or did I lead them through an opportunity to learn that their classmate eats crayons?
4. Do I have the right management in place? The most creative and fabulous centers in the world will fail miserably if the students can't get them out and put them up without eating up all of their time or destroying the center. Centers HAVE To be EASY EASY EASY EASY EASY to use!
5. Is this center transferable? The more grade levels that can use a given center, the better!
Melodysoup Centers 14.0