4th Grade Learning Center Ideas for Teachers

Learning centers can be created for any subject and can be targeted to any student's ability level. Coming up with ideas for 4th grade learning centers may take some time and creativity; however, students will benefit from the fruits of your labor as they learn by themselves and from one another. The examples below are simple centers that students will enjoy.

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Importance of Learning Centers

Unlike teacher-driven lessons, where students listen to the teacher and take notes, learning centers allow your students to engage in hands-on activities. They work independently or in small groups, which teaches them responsibility and teamwork. Learning centers also give you time to work with small groups or with students who need some extra help.

Tape Recording Center

This center will help improve your students' fluency, which is the ability to read aloud with ease and expression. Before this activity, tape yourself reading a story aloud. Leave this tape at the learning center station, along with the book you recorded yourself reading, some headphones and a tape recorder.

Have your students listen to your recording while they follow along with the story. Then, have them record themselves reading the story aloud. Finally, have them listen to themselves reading and compare it to your recording. They can take notes on the differences and similarities between the two recordings.

Grocery Store

This center allows students to practice adding and subtracting with money. You will first need to get some 'pretend' money and a selection of grocery items, such as an empty cereal box, a plastic orange and an empty coffee can. Put a price on each item. You can adjust the difficulty level of this activity by choosing simple prices ($1.00, $5.00 or $10.00) or more complex prices ($7.32 or $13.02).

Lay the items on a table and explain that one student will be the customer and the other will be the grocery store clerk. The customer will purchase five items, and the grocery store clerk must total the bill. Then, the customer will pay the bill and the grocery store clerk will provide the correct change.

Following Directions

At this center, students will practice following directions, as well as working with sequencing and measurements. Start by laminating the following recipe:

Play Dough

  • White flour (four cups)
  • Salt (one cup)
  • Water (1 1/2 cups)
  • Food coloring (a few drops)

Instructions: First, take the flour and put it into a bowl, then add the salt. Slowly add the water, followed by the food coloring. Mix the ingredients until they become dough-like.

Tell your students that they must follow the recipe exactly, or the play dough will not turn out right. You can make the activity more difficult by only providing 1/2 of a cup, so they must use their knowledge of fractions to make 1 1/2 cups. If they figure out the measurements and follow the directions, they will be able to play with their dough.

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