Choosing to include center-based learning in your library can be one of the most invigorating things you could do for your library program and for your students!
Center-based learning can help to increase communication and collaboration with other teachers in your building as you seek information about what they are doing in their classrooms and what skills their students need reinforced.
Ideally, your centers will relate directly to those teaching standards valued in your school, and should align with your school/district vision and mission. By tying your center activities directly to the standards, you are demonstrating the value of the library program in real ways to administrators.
It can also lead to greater student engagement, as students look forward to collaborative, hands on activities, that offer them a break from a more structured, teacher-centered environment.
While there are many benefits to starting a center-based library program. It can be a daunting task. Here are some tools to get you started. Once you get your feet wet, you will find there are many more things you can do, and you will find ways to adapt centers to meet your mission and vision for your library.
The Prezi below, will give you an idea of what centers are, how you can structure them, as well as some suggested resources.
Resources to Get You GoingBelow are links to Google Docs I created to help you get started with centers.
- Center Signs - these are the signs I use to indicate which table will be in each center. It helps to attach the signs to thick paper and laminate. Each week, attach a table letter to the sign using a cloths pin, so students know which center they will be working in.
- Small Table Letters - attach/print these on thicker paper and laminate. Use a clothes pin to attach the group letter to the assigned center.
- Kindergarten Centers Starter Pack - pack includes center activities for 6 centers.
- First Grade Centers Starter Pack - includes center activities for 6 centers.
- Second Grade Centers Starter Pack - includes center activities for 6 centers. Most require the use of iPads or a similar device.
Resources to Keep You GoingI highlighted many of these resources in the prezi above.
- Mrs. Lodge's Library - Jessica Lodge's blog
- Risking Failure - Carolyn Vibbert's blog
- Library Learners - Cari Young's blog
- "101 Library Centers Resources" - On the Elementary Librarian by Jocelyn Sams
- Florida Center for Reading Research - scroll down and click on each of the subheadings in red for multiple activities related to reading and literacy
- Library Centers Starter Kit - by Jessica Lodge, Carolyn Vibbert and Cari Young - includes 15 ideas for centers - free on TPT
- Pinterest - search for library centers or follow my board
When it comes to centers, what works best for you? What are your favorite center activities?
Feel free to comment or share with me on Twitter @heidinelt