Learning centers of one type or another are generally commonplace in a kindergarten classroom. They have many purposes, but the foremost is to provide opportunity for classroom teachers to work with small groups of children on differentiated academic skills.
These learning centers (or, as they are also called, workshops, stations, literacy centers or workjobs) can be constructed in many different ways. My favorite? After 2 1/2 decades in the kindergarten classroom, I can easily say that center rotations give a teacher the most "bang for the buck".
I have centers 3-4 times a week for 1 hour and 15 minutes. This allows me to have 6, 13 minute rotations daily. Because my first goal is to provide time for small group teacher-time right from the beginning, I spend a great deal of time teaching procedures, expectations, and behaviors. Next, I carefully choose centers that will offer guided or independent learning opportunities.
Our podcast, episode 13, gives an in-depth look at the structure of my classroom during center time. Check out the video above for a visual peek into my world of learning centers.