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Learning Centre

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Early Childhood Education
LEARNING CENTRES
“HONEY BEES READING CENTRE”

Introduction
What are Learning Centres?
The term Learning Centres refers to designated areas of the classroom where students congregate in small groups to accomplish given learning tasks. Typically, students can work independently in these centres, sometimes while the teacher works with a small reading group.
Examples of learning centres may include: listening to audio cassettes, playing educational games on the computer, practicing handwriting, writing/editing written works, reading silently, playing imaginatively in the puppet centre, and playing math games with manipulatives. Student work in a given learning centre for a certain amount of time, then rotate to the next one when time is up.
Teachers will need to spend a significant amount of time training students on how to behave during centre time, as well as modelling how to complete each of the learning centre activities. This will assure that learning centre time is productive, relatively quiet, and organized.

AGE GROUP OF CENTRE AND THE MAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF CHILDREN IN AGE GROUP
Four and five year-olds are the age group for which the ‘Honey Bees Reading Centre’ is planned. Children in this age range display several characteristics which can be categorized as cognitive, physical, psychosocial and moral.
Cognitively
* Enjoy stories and can retell them * Are fascinated by words and silly sounds * Have large vocabulary and can express themselves in vocal and non vocal ways * Love repeating phrases, rhymes and songs * Build confidence through verbal expressions * Can tell the difference in sounds
Physically
* Are active but can tire easily * Are trying to master finger control and may struggle with the scissors * Want to do things for themselves so tactile activities are loved * Participate in chores
Psycho-Socially
* Seek adult approval and like to please them * Likes praise * Dislike a change of routine * Are learning to share and take turns * Are inquisitive and ready to learn new things * Often test people to see who can be controlled * Beginning to develop some feeling of insecurity * Have a creative imagination and shouldn’t be punished for making up stories * Are bossy frequently , quarrelsome, whine, cry and complain * Like pretend play which can be complex at times
Morally
* Are beginning to be aware of right and wrong but may blame others for own wrong doing

5 OBJECTIVES OF THE HONEY BEES READING CENTRE

Our reading Centre contains resources that the student can use on their own or under supervision that relates back to what was taught during the Lesson time.
In our Centre students will find a Quiet Corner where they can sit and read quietly on cushions, this area helps to de-stress or calm them.
In the Audio section, Students can listen to literacy selections for personal enjoyment by listening to stories being read to them via CD Player.
Teacher led Story time, allows students to practise valuable skills such as Listening, sitting quietly and recalling events in the story, such as main characters and outcome. This activity also creates an opportunity for students to develop their oral language skills.
A selection of Puzzles, either Alphabet or story telling sequencing puzzles will allow Students to practise arranging the events of a story in sequential order, they will work together as a group or on their own at their own pace.

MATERIALS USED IN THE CENTRE

Artificial Trees (made from plastic/foam noodles and coloured tissue paper)
Floor Alphabet Mat (which the pieces are locked together to make a floor mat for the kids)
Rocking Chair
Several Coloured Cushions
Large Bean Bag Chair
One bookshelf
Large handmade storybook of The Three Bears for story time scenario
Handmade Felt Puppets (3)
Banner (with name of the centre)
Handmade sandpaper letters
Assorted story books
Assorted Nursery Rhyme books
Assorted word and picture puzzles
Assorted Ladybird books
Children's CDs
Portable CD player/radio
Rules for the Centre Chart
Days of the week chart
Numbers chart (1 to 10)
Alphabet Banner
Rhyming Jars/bowls
Crayons
Blank paper
Table cloths
Early Readers Bible
Book of Bible Stories
Miscellaneous items:-
Masking/Scotch/Double-sided tape
Glue
Children's scissors
Staple machine
Sharpeners
Pencils
Rulers

TWO ACTIVITIES THAT CAN BE CARRIED OUT WITH MATERIALS
Working within the reading centre, teacher will assemble relevant materials to be used for that period before hand. I.e. books and manipulatives, flash cards etc.
She will ensure that the area is set up to her satisfaction to enable the best possible learning experience for the students, mats and cushions are available, clean and in position for the start of the lesson. She will have her seat situated in such a manner that her students will be given full advantage of the lesson as it unfolds.
When the students are using the centre on their own, she will make sure that there is ample suitable reading material and manipulatives available for them to interact with, individually, in pairs or small groups. Letter puzzles, alphabet books and floor puzzles, sequencing cards, picture books and electronic equipment such as iPads or computers set up with word search or match games.
One activity that can be carried out in our centre is Story Time. The teacher will as stated before, gather all the materials needed beforehand. She will have students sit on the floor in a semi-circle before her on their mats or bean bag. She will introduce the book by telling them the name and showing the book at the same time. She can then get their interests up by asking what they think the story is all about...do they think it is a funny story?..sad? Then she can begin telling the tale, reading slowly enough that all the students will understand what is being said.
Questions will be asked after she is finished giving the students a chance to express their ideas on the outcome of the story.

The fact that children are so full of imagination makes story time so much fun for then. They love to make up stories and they love telling stories from pictures. The use of puzzles and picture books as an activity during story time encourages children to vocalise their thoughts on what story they think the pictures are telling. The teacher can also take a set of pictures, spread them out on the floor and have the children tell the story by putting the pictures in sequence. The same will apply for the puzzle and the children will work together to put all the pieces in the correct order. This is a fun activity for kids and it encourages them to share and interact with each other.

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