Each morning we have open learning centers. This should not be seen as just a “Free Play” time that does not involve learning. This is a time of the day that the child can learn through play and social situations, they can explore and apply their own working theories of the world to develop understanding. The children are encouraged to visit the centers that the teachers have set up and most children will try each station, spending more time at the center that they enjoy before moving on. The children have the choice to move in and out of the teacher created centers and to explore the other areas of the classroom as well. Centers will vary depending on the morning and the interests of the children. The purpose and focus also varies but often include subjects such writing, drawing, painting, sensory, building, creating or play based math concepts.
Here is a glimpse of centers on one particular morning. Observational drawing of sea creatures with black pens and markers, since many students love to draw and have shown an interest in sea animals. On another table we put out the “Slime” that the children helped make along side of templates of monsters to decorate, the children love to make up stories and role play about monsters. On the carpet Ms. Dodo plays a game with matching modes of transportation using the words (and math concepts) same and different. I sat in the stage area, where we took away the musical instruments and replaced them with recyclables as a provocation for children to create their own instruments.