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Chapter 10 William Allan Kritsonis, PhD

Establish a Study Center in the Classroom

The elementary teacher is constantly being bombarded with innovative ideas and suggestions emphasizing the need for independent classroom study centers for children. Traditional independent study centers afforded students the opportunity to complete assignments and to develop better study habits; however, it did not always give them the teacher assistance they so desperately needed in English, mathematics, reading, and other subjects. For this reason, the traditional center is currently on its way out and is being replaced by student-oriented study centers that involve more individual participation. When establishing a study center, examine different facilities in order to determine how to provide an efficient, workable study center. Detailed planning is vital if the study center is to be successfully instituted. For maximum appeal to children, equip the study center with charts, maps, scales, magazines, reference book materials, tape recorders, listening posts, and globes. Computers provide invaluable teaching assistance and educational software, readily available for all levels, to make learning fun. When choosing instructional materials, remember to allow for individual differences in terms of academic performance, interests, skills, and abilities. Divide the center opportunity to individually choose specific areas that satisfy personal education needs. As members of the class require additional information, encourage them to use the study center. The atmosphere within the study center must motivate children to help one another and to work constructively and cooperatively on projects and topics for which there is common interest. Be available to each child by rotating through the various study areas as much as possible during the day. Even the best-equipped center cannot replace the human element of teacher interaction. Assign children requiring special information to a specific curriculum area. Children who do not accept the responsibility of being assigned to a study area must not be allowed to disturb students who are there to work. On the other hand, those students


who are responsible for their sections can be granted freedom of movement to select the curriculum areas where they wish to work. The study center can be an extremely useful tool for providing challenging educational opportunities to students. Bright students are free to expand their horizons without the frustration of accommodating slower classmates. Slower students, with the aid of study center computers, receive the repetitive exposure they need to thoroughly understand subject matter. Even the teacher, for whom the pressure of being all things to all people is finally alleviated, enjoys the benefits of successful study center. Following directions is extremely important in the classroom. The teacher should post the following list in the classroom so students know what is expected of them when they complete and submit work: 1. Read everything carefully, 2. Read again anything you do not understand, 3. Begin work carefully, 4. Complete all work, 5. Check your work again to make certain you have completed all tasks, and 6. Submit your work. A Thought in Words An industrious and virtuous education of children is a better inheritance for them than a great estate. Allison