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Play-Based Learning Centers--in need
Old 04-15-2011, 12:04 PM
 
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I am doing a presentation with one of my co-teachers at school on play-based kindergarten learning centers. We are calling it "Taking it Back to the Old School-minus the nap time". I am looking for some great play-based center activities that we can record for kindergarten teachers.

Also, I am looking for problem-based kindergarten questions if anyone has any!!!!

Thanks!


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Old 04-15-2011, 01:08 PM
 
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one of my most popular centers is the fix it shop - all kinds of tools are needed. Kids take apart toasters, other small appliances donated and figure out the parts needed. Our custodian loves to come sit on the floor with his power drill for some of the more difficult screws. He and the kids take things apart and we are always surprised at what's inside. We aren't so good at putting things back together but we try.
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:36 PM
 
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I have a Rush Hour Jr. game and the regular version and both are popular---good for spatial skills, logic and strategy.

Pick UP Sticks---this was cited in an NCTM article as helping struggling first graders develop number sense, along with Jenga, play bowling games (floor type), and simply putting a paper plate on top of a water bottle and seeing how many unifix cubes you can put on the paper plate before it topples. And...a card game where there are 40 cards, ten each of one dot, two dots, three dots and four dots. I can't remember all the instructions to the card game, but you can search for the article at NCTM. Most of these games have an element of balance to them and I can see why that helps children to internalize number sense....equations are a balancing act when you think about it, each side of the 'equals' sign must be the same.

Crayon melting---guaranteed to hook the most reluctant colorer---those kids that somehow decided they didn't like to color so avoided it for five years....especially boys, but girls too--there's an element of danger here, but I give them hot-pads and they use them at first, then get brave and do without. Put coloring book type pages on or just blank paper and crayons will melt with instant color---they also dry very quickly. You can also do drawings on the foil covering the crayon melter and then take a print. The crayon melter is simply a foil covered warming tray, made for keeping food warm.

Rat-a-tat-cat card game, puzzles

Legos, small ones, especially Star WArs, Indiana Jones, Castle/pirate ones.

Bristle Blocks, any other building/contructing toys

Realistic plastic animals--they will automatically sort and classify these in many different ways.

Playdough---great for strengthening the same muscles needed for writing, especially when you add those safety scissors--cutting uses the exact same pincher muscles as writing.

Flannelboard and flannel characters (especially fairy tales) for story-telling and re-telling (hmmnn..isn't that a standard for most of us?)

Easel painting and dot painters--fine motor skills, large motor skills, spatial skills, language development, vocabulary

Writing: fancy pens that light up, snake/lizard pens, marking pens, oil pastels, all kinds of fancy papers, plain white paper, foam stickers or foam shapes, glue sticks, pre-cut speech bubbles, Elephant and Piggie how to draw examples, how to draw books on animals, castles, horses, etc., colored masking tape, staplers, cellophane tape dispensers. They avoid the 'writing' center like it's the plague at the beginning of the year, but by the end I have to devote 2-3 tables to it and today a little girl spent her time there writing out all these numbers that she showed me she had figured out how to count by two's all the way to 40! Earlier in the week a boy made a book about music and wrote two songs out that he remembered from music class and drew musical notes too! This is a chance to use what we've taught all morning in ways that are meaningful to THEM. Provide the materials and they will come and use them.
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:47 PM
 
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I an in full agreement about play based centers. I call them developmental centers. But, I don't know about calling..back to the old school. This may immediately turn off the younger teachers. Just a thought
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:11 PM
 
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I love this product from Lakeshore:
http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/seo...02105795~~.jsp
The children love the restaurant box the most - they use it in the housekeeping/kitchen area. It encourages them to incorporate real-life writing experiences into what's normally considered a play area. One child takes the order while another can fill the order using plastic foods.

Any kind of building blocks (I LOVE my Magna-Tiles set right now.) Imaginations just soar when the children are free to build & create with the tiles - they can take flat objects to create 3D objects - my boys are so engaged!

Thanks Jacque for all the great suggestions!


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Thanks!
Old 04-20-2011, 05:08 AM
 
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Thank you so much. That looks awesome!
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:09 AM
 
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We were trying to get them to understand that kindergarten used to be so much fun, and now it is too stressful!
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Melissa and Doug Puzzles
Old 04-22-2011, 05:01 PM
 
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The wooden puzzles that look like real food. I have 3 sets, a cake decorating set, a sandwich shop, and pizza. There is also a set of picnic food. This is popular with both boys and girls all year.
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