Posted on 08/22/2017 at 07:44 AM by Blog Experts
The new school year is here and we shortly will be seeing teachers moving back into their rooms designing spaces to make learning positive and meaningful for young children. How does that look in the early childhood classroom? What are all the factors that teachers will need to consider as they begin their year? Teaching staff starts with an idea of “how do we make children and families feel welcome!” Each classroom attempts to convey messages, as listed in Creative Curriculum, such as “This is a good place to be”, “You belong here”, “This is a place you can trust”, “There are places where you can be by yourself when you want”, “You can do many things on your own here”, and “This is a safe place to explore and try your ideas”. All of these statements should lead the staff and program to carefully look at:
- how the room is organized and arranged so children & families can access needed items,
- how can children interact (individually or in groups) in the space,
- what materials are available for children to explore and manipulate
- How the daily routine reflects the learning need of the children and offers consistent, predictable timelines for children to understand the “day”
- AND many more questions about what is going on the room for children
It might be important for you, as the teaching staff, to have a discussion around what are your goals for the classroom and how to you visualize that happening in the room with and for the children. So, if your goal is for children to be independent, what are you doing to build independence? Are you having them pour their own snacks, dress themselves, and do more on their own with your guidance? All of this is critical for “independence”! If you want children to be more verbal, what are you building into the daily routine that encourages language, vocabulary building, and oral discussion? So, start your year thinking about what “goals” you want to have for your children and maybe even, stand in the doorway to the class and look around to see if the room is ready for the children! Have a great year!