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Current Issue Table of Contents | Back Issues

Volume 3 Number 8

Harry & Rosemary Wong remind us that, "An induction program is an organized, sustained, multiyear process with many activities designed to help you succeed...."
Preparing for the First Day of School by Jan Zeiger
Classroom Discipline Forum Will Support New and Veteran Educators by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor in Chief
Six Traits of Writing Forum by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor in Chief
Ideas for Welcoming Teachers & Students Back to School by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor in Chief
Classroom Rules??? by Bill Page
Learning Your Students' Names: Fun, Fast, Easy and Important by Bill Page
Making 2002-2003 The Best Year Ever by Bill Page
Your Summer Reading List: The Process of Change in a School System by Dr. Rob Reilly
Beware of the Standards, Not Just the Tests by Alfie Kohn
The Importance of Reading Aloud by Lisa Frase
Dear Old Golden Rule Days, Chapter 2 - Creative Activities by Janet Farquhar
Objection overruled, or You can always go to law school if things don't work out by Taylor Mali
Dealing with Dishonesty by Tom Lucey
The Maiden Week by P R Guruprasad
Is Learning to Read Easier Than Learning to Play the Piano? by Grace Vyduna-Haskins
School was GREAT today because... by Linda Todd
The New Teacher and Coping With Special Needs Students in the Classroom by Dave Melanson
Learning About Community Service by Jay Davidson
Book Reviews - We Can Work It Out: Creating Peace in the Home & Songs for Howard Gray by Susan Gingras Fitzell
Summer Recess by Joy Jones
Tips On Time Management by Jan
Class Books Around the Year Compiled by Terry
Literacy Centers Organization by Catherine Thornton
Why the Center Approach? from The Mentor Center
Classroom Teachers' Management Tips (Part II) from the Chatboards
Why Teach? by Lynda L. Hinkle
4 Blocks Literacy Tips: Storing "Making Words" Materials from: The Mentor Center
How to Encourage Substitute Teachers to Return to Your School by Lucy, Substitute Teacher
Teaching Students To Discuss Controversial Public Issues from: ERIC Clearinghouse
August Columns
August Regular Features
August Informational Items
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Teacher Feature...

Why the Center Approach?

from The Mentor Center

Sue Stonski wrote:

Would someone please explain why all classrooms use the "center" approach in setting up their classrooms? This might be good for children who have good self-control, but many don't yet, and I seem to hear plenty of other moms, including myself, who hear, on a daily basis how their child can't "focus", but there is so much going on in the classroom I doubt many adults could focus, as well. What was wrong with the old-fashioned rows of desks, where everyone followed the teacher? I realize I am showing my age, but I have 3 children in school right now, and the 2 girls don't have too much trouble, but the boy has too much opportunity to talk. This would be gone if they were in a traditional seating pattern. I would love to hear from both teachers and parents....could you please mention your (gasp) age? I think there might be a pattern to the replies! Thanks!

Posted by rth:

No style of teaching is inherently good, whether it's sitting in rows or using centers, but centers can be good for students. Each teacher must take into account the needs of the students and what teaching methodology is best for helping those students to achieve the expected learning goals. The instructional & management styles of the teacher are also an important factor.

Some of the pluses of centers are:

  • They allow teachers to meet the needs of children at different ability levels and with different learning styles.
  • Centers allow children to practice cooperative work skills.
  • Centers provide activities for self directed practice & learning.
  • Centers give teachers more time to work with small groups and individuals.

When working at centers, children often do need to learn more self control and time management, but these are not a negative aspect of centers. If the teacher controls the children's actions by walking up and down the rows and not allowing any movement or talking, the children are learning to be controlled, instead of learning to use SELF CONTROL.

I've been teaching for 30 years, so that should help you to know my age.

Visit the Archives of Online Meetings for harvesting additional Center Ideas.

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