Work Center Time Routines
Faciliting Work Center Time
Center time and standards can coexist...
Why do I make sure we have 40 minutes each day for Work Center Time? Because children:
- learn to make thoughtful choices,
- explore materials in new ways,
- develop new skills and understandings,
- use literacy and math skills in authentic contexts,
- and work both independently and collaboratively.
My role is to facilitate. Moving from center to center, I:
- observe and assess children's work,
- offer words of encouragement,
- validate children's efforts,
- help them solve problems,
- and support new insights and understandings.
This "floating" let's kids know I see them. I see their work. And it's this "feeling seen"* that facilitates a calm and focused work time.
* To explore this idea further, see Ruth Sidney Charney's, Teaching Children to Care: Classroom Management for Ethical and Academic Growth, K-8 (Northeast Foundation for Children, 2002).
Meeting to Share Children's Work
Experts share their work...
After Work Center Time we usually meet as a whole group.
- I ask questions to help children reflect on their experiences: "What did you work on?", "How did you do that?", or "What did you have to think about in order to make that happen?"
- When children share what they did, others get ideas and may be motivated to explore an unfamiliar center.
- Taking time to talk about their work communicates my belief in the importance of the time and the work that they choose to do.