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.