When you need to add the cherry on top of a concept, what are you going to do? Go to centers! When you are trying to test prep for the upcoming state testing season, how are you going to review? Go to centers! Centers are one of the most versatile tools that we have in our arsenal. They can be perfect for reviewing new and old concepts. In addition, you can use centers for enrichment and going to the next level.
1: Utilize Grouping for Optimal Enrichment Opportunities
In order to make sure your activities are effective when you use centers for enrichment, it will be important to make sure your groupings make sense. If you want students to be pushed as individuals, you will want to use homogenous groups. On the other hand, if you want students to push each other, a heterogeneous group might be the better option. In groups, students learn how to collaborate and can push each as well as correct where needed. In addition, grouping students effectively can be a good classroom management technique.
2: Gamify Your Math and Literacy Centers for Enrichment
One way to not only motivate your students but also enrich their understanding is to use games in your learning centers. Your games can either be something that are in your physical centers that you print off, like Squares Your Brain, or something that is digital. With a game, students are motivated to win (because who doesn’t like to win) and they have to use their skills to get there. If you are working with students to boost their skill level, a game is a simple trick that you already have up your sleeve to enrich skills.
3: Spiral Back and Review
Enrichment isn’t always about the now. As testing season approaches, you can use centers for enrichment by spiraling back and reviewing past material. When you use spiral review, your students are using specific skills they may have forgotten about over the course of the school year. How? You re-use centers from previous months that focus on specific skills and have students focus on skills they have probably been using without realizing it. While it may seem easy to them, you are still strengthening skills students already have. In this way, using centers for enrichment can also be an excellent way to test prep.
4: Enrich the Process for Next Level Mastery
While having something to turn in at the end of a center activity can be great, sometimes it’s good to go beyond the worksheet and focus on the process. By focusing on the process, you’re caring more about the steps rather than the end result. I know when it comes to testing the end result is what gets scored. However, if the process is clear and students have mastered it, then the end result will be correct as well. You can focus on the process instead of the worksheet by using digital resources, pictures, and videos, as well as through the use of games. By focusing on the how, you are telling students that knowing how to do something is more important than getting the right answer.
5: Keep It Digital
Finally, you can use centers for enrichment by using your digital resources. Digital centers are simple to differentiate student by student, they require little clean up, and can be altered easily. If you have digital resources that you already use, like Boom Cards, you can add them as an activity for your centers. You can also use digital games to enhance your centers and your students learning.
Centers are a great “go to” for a variety of different reasons. They are structured to be short activities which holds your students’ attention well. In addition, you can use centers for enrichment in the classroom. Sometimes we need to take students to the next level and using centers to enrich existing knowledge is one of the best ways to use your math and literacy centers.
Until Next Time…
Keep Being Educational Rock Stars