In a preschool facility, one of the most important tasks to consider at the beginning of the school year is the appearance and layout of the classroom. A preschool or day-care classroom is normally a child’s first taste of school, and so, it must be a place where a can enjoy learning. It should also be an environment where a child feels secure, optimistic, and nurtured.
When thinking of a preschool centre’s layout, one must also bear in mind that while it should be a place that’s suitable for learning and other activities (i.e. playing, eating, etc.), it should also be child-friendly and safe. It is not a secret that toddlers have high levels of energy, so they should be able to move freely in the classroom without any danger of being hurt.
Fun Comes in Small Sizes
There have been several theories by educational experts on what should be a preschool classroom’s layout. One of the most popular theories was formulated by Maria Montessori. For Montessori, the size of all the furniture in a preschool classroom, including chairs, tables, and shelves, should be proportional to the size of the students.
If you are in the processes of building your own day-care or simply aiming to improve your existing classroom, try to put yourself in the shoes of a child. Kneel down while viewing the area so that you will more or less get the child’s eye view. It is also advisable to divide the room into different sections such as: art, blocks, dramatic play, music, library, and science. You can have more depending on the curriculum that you have and your teaching style. Some preschool teachers set-up a writing area near the bookshelves or library, or if the area allows it, an indoor play area is also included.
Keep in mind that some sections need to be bigger than the others. For instance, areas like blocks and dramatic play need more space and tend to be noisy most of the time. As such, it is advisable to group these sections in one part of the room. On the other hand, areas for more activities that need silence (i.e. reading, writing, art, etc.) should be placed at the opposite side of the room. You may divide the room using shelves or duct tape.
Ideally, the storytelling and show and tell area should be situated at the center of the room. Just make sure to that this area does not have obstructions and huge objects, so that your students can comfortably form a group whenever necessary. Meanwhile, the walls of the room should be filled with artistic and colourful decorations such as artwork, weather chart, photos of the birthday celebrants, and more.
Put a Label On It!
Although very few preschoolers already have the ability to read, everything in the room should be properly labelled. This will promote awareness of printed letters and words among the students and teach them basic vocabulary. By the end of the school year probably would be able to recognize the letters in the labels and even read them on their own.
The different sections of the room should also have corresponding labels. These labels can be hanged above the ceiling or posted on the walls. To help children recognize the areas that these labels pertain to, you can add pictures related to the activities done in each area. For instance, draw or cut-out pictures of crayons, pencil, and paint brush with the Art Center sign.
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