"Center"gize Your ELA Class

English Language Arts

What Is A Learning Center?

Learning Centers are activities that engage students to work independently from the teacher in small groups, pairs, or individually. Learning centers reinforce and extend classroom instruction.

Learning Centers are great for all grade levels, but are specifically designed for middle school students in mind.

Benefits of Learning Centers

  • Motivate students and allows students to take ownership of their learning
  • Group activities appeal to the social nature of middle school students
  • Differentiated activities meet the academic needs of individual students
  • Allows time for the teacher to meet one-on-one with students
  • Incorporates reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing

Some Types of Learning Centers

  • Teacher led (most important)
  • Independent seat work
  • Writer's Workshop
  • Vocabulary/Word Study
  • Computer
  • Independent reading


*The primary objective of learning center model is to meet with students one-on-one and in small groups in order to provide remediation skills and concepts covered in class.

How To Create Groups

  • Group by need or skill
  • Group by learning styles
  • Group by interests
  • Group randomly (draw numbers, names, etc.)
  • Self-selected grouping
  • Flexible grouping (change groups as needed based on student performance)

Things To Consider

  • Number of students per group
  • Number of centers in rotation
  • Amount of time for each rotation
  • Frequency

Tips On How To Make Centers Run Smoothly

  • Be sure to go over the ground rules and expectations for Learning Centers beforehand, and keep them posted in classroom for reference.
  • Always post a center chart so students know where to go and what they are to be doing.
  • Have a timer so students will know when to rotate to the next station.
  • Be sure students have a notebook or folder so they can keep their assignments in for each station.
Learning Centers/ Stations for Middle and High School #1 004
Reading Centers for Middle Schools : Reading Lessons