This is a follow up blog post to my post on April 23, 2018, “Basing Learning Centers on Authentic Text.”
Learning centers allow students to work independently with content they have learned in the various skills areas: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Centers also provide the opportunity to students to experience tasks that are at varying challenge levels while interacting with authentic text.
Skill-based centers allow students to put vocabulary words and grammar concepts into practice through guided reading, speaking, listening and writing activities. Centers allow students to work either independently or collaboratively with their peers, and also facilitate more meaningful one-on-one time with their teacher.
Why implement learning centers?
- Increased student motivation
- Meaningful learning opportunities
- Fosters independence
- Challenge advanced learners and heritage speakers
- Students working independently on activities that may have otherwise been teacher-led
- They are fun!
Steps to thinking through learning centers
- Gather examples of authentic text on the theme of your choice to be used at centers as enrichment at the end of the unit.
2. Think about how each center might focus in one skill (listening, speaking, reading, writing)
3. Consider how students will capture their learning
- Graphic organizers
- Journal entries
- Notes page where students accumulate information
4. What will the follow up activity look like?
- Group discussion
- Speaking or writing performance
- Jigsaw sharing
Tips for planning and managing centers
- Practice each center as a whole group
- Model use of center materials
- Have generic directions for each center type and switch out content
- For small spaces, centers move not students
- For large classes, duplicate centers
- “Ask three before me” strategy
- Red, Yellow, and Green stoplight
Example of learning centers for novice-level Spanish class on the theme of clothing:
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLjk6YY09BA
Que ropa llevar infographic: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/202169470756001272/