A thousand years ago (well it feels like that) learning centres were all the rage in schools and then like all things education, the pendulum swung away from this classroom approach. We used various activities and kids rotated through them. They WEREN'T GAMES.
So I revisited this teaching approach the other day while relief teaching in a senior primary class and used just ONE activity to see how it would pan out.
It was brilliant. Kids were focussed, engaged with each other AND the strategy of the activity. (I avoided calling it a game - because we don't play games in school) It actually blew me away how successful this activity was. OK - This is how it went.
I started with the whole class engaging with ONE activity called LEAP YOU. I resurrected it from my old file of classroom activities. It is essentially a bit like Chinese checkers.
Kids worked in pairs.
THEY (not the teacher) had to read and unpack the rules. (Curriculum content - TICK)
Kids played one practice game. In practice games there is no winner - so they can discuss strategies, rules, try new things. It is important to STRESS that this is a trial so they can learn together. (Social Goals - TICK)
In their day pads (or draft books or whatever) they WRITE about the game (More Curriculum content - TICK)
THEN they played the game - engaged with the activity competitively. (Easy lesson for relief teaching - TICK)
What you need.
The LEAP YOU board. If you like this activity, get a some photo copied onto card board and laminate them.
Markers - and lots of them. (I use 5 cent pieces as markers because I have lots of them - but you can purchase markers and sort them into the same colours from toy stores for about 5c each). You can use head/tail but I purchased a small tin of gold paint and painted one side.
What next? CLICK HERE to check out my new eBook which contains a lot more of these activities.