The type of literacy center is a listening center. The children can use it train themselves to learn more about some of the topics covered in class as well as to improve on their existing knowledge on the same. Children can also use the center to listen to books on tape as they cover the topics in class or as the teacher or other student reads.
Organization and Routines
Some of the materials required for such a center to function effectively include audio players, books, audio recordings of books and any other material that may fit into these categories (Schiller & Phipps, 2002). Regarding the audio recordings, they may have been professionally recorded or be personal voice notes of the teacher while trying to explain a concept in class. The language they have used of information they may have incorporated is presumably different from that which they may have employed in class. It is perhaps necessary to also have headphones, seeing that listening headlines the center. Furthermore, the number of books should fit the number of learners, so that at least every student can have their own.
In the course of a year, as the child becomes more competent in writing, then the teacher may provide writing materials in the form of pens and books or papers. If the writing involved is significantly small, then the teacher may only need to provide sheets of paper and a container to hold them. In addition to pens, crayons, pencils, and markers should also be in plenty. It is worth noting that the age of these students predisposes them to make significant mistakes that may be detrimental to a center with insufficient materials (Florit, Roch, & Levorato, 2013). In this regard, all the materials mentioned above should ideally be in surplus.
Designate a Space
The ultimate location for a listening center should be in the corner. The sound is lowest in such a place, and distractions are also substantially much fewer compared to, say, in the middle of the classroom (Schiller & Phipps, 2002). Children are likely to be quieter and more attentive there.
Listening Center Response
Preschoolers are generally not developed enough to write comprehensible things on pieces of paper. However, sound is a powerful medium through which to ensure they pick as much information from the class as practically possible. The teacher can, therefore, instruct the students to reenact the scenes they have heard in the audio clip (Schiller & Phipps, 2002). Alternatively, they may provide verbal answers to the questions the teacher may have put forward to them. Of course, these questions should be related to the clip.
Because the center has sufficient materials that are appropriate for the student to use at their age, they may opt to use crayons and pencils, in addition to the piece of paper, to illustrate whatever information they may have received from the relevant voice clip. As their learning improves over time, the teacher may request them to write down the messages to which they have listened. As noted above, they can still use crayons and pencils to do so. However, since the center is geared towards advancing the knowledge or preschoolers, it may be more appropriate to allow them to act out what they have heard, illustrate it, or use crayons to demonstrate it (Schiller & Phipps, 2002). Doing so is destined to improve their imaginative skills and their ability to synthesize information.
Creating rules for the place is an absolute necessity to ensure that other children can benefit from it equally, in addition to maintaining its quality for use over a significantly long time. Therefore, the teacher should, for instance, require that children keep quiet while at the learning center. Since the rules shall apply to toddlers, the teacher should repeat to them regularly. They should also post them in a visible place where the children can constantly be reminded of them. At their tender age, they respond better to symbols and pictures than words. Therefore, rather than write, say, do not make noise, the teacher should use a symbol of an index finger shutting the mouth.
Designate Various Jobs to the Children
Naturally, the children will have arguments over small issues concerning who gets to use the materials and facilities provided in the learning center. The teacher has to prevent conflict from arising from there. A sure way to tackle such a problem is to delegate such duties to different children (LeMaster, 2010).
Introducing it to the children should involve the option of letting them know of the place and its importance to their learning. They should then notify the children of their duties in the center orally. Additionally, they should have a chart detailing these requirements to which the children can regularly refer whenever such a scenario demands (Schiller & Phipps, 2002). The jobs should be rotational to enable other students to participate fully as well without denying anyone a chance. If a group is involved, then it is more important to have such designation so as every child has a task to which they are attending in a group setting. Concerning the use of symbols and colors among the students, the teacher may sue bright-colored paper shapes to signify different roles and tasks. For instance, those with a green star are in charge of certain materials at a particular point in time.
A crucial point to note is that preventing the noise from bothering other children is extremely important. Young children are quite easy to distract, which may be counterproductive to the center's goals. This issue is especially necessary if the teacher opts not to use headphones.
Florit, E., Roch, M., & Levorato, M. C. (2013). Listening text comprehension in preschoolers: a longitudinal study on the role of semantic components. Reading and Writing, 27(5), 793-817. doi:10.1007/s11145-013-9464-1
LeMaster, B. (2010). Authority and Preschool Disputes: Learning to Behave in the Classroom. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 20(1), 166-178. doi:10.1111/j.1548-1395.2010.01055.x
Schiller, P., & Phipps, P. (2002). The Complete Daily Curriculum for Early Childhood: Over 1,200 Easy Activities to Support Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles. Beltsville MD: Gryphon House.
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