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Term Definition

Organizing a developmentally appropriate learning center

learning center A clearly defined space for a specific type of activity

and learning; also known as an activity area

developmentally appropriate center A learning center or activity area organized to

match the needs of the intended age group

boundary The edge of a learning center on any one of its four

sides; may be marked by a shelving unit, colored
tape on floor, etc.

automatic boundary A boundary that is already there---e.g., a wall

traffic pattern The direction children walk in as they move from

center to center

wet area An area close to a water source

dry area An area far from a water source

active area An area where there is some noise and lots of


quiet area An area where there is very little noise or


privacy Conditions that allow a person to be alone

Guidelines for specific learning centers

easel A free-standing prop for signs and art work

drying rack A place for wet art work to dry without being

sensory table A sand and water table where children explore with
their fingertips

small manipulative An activity that involves small parts, hand-eye

coordination, and small-muscle skills