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Rethinking Your Classroom Arrangement

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With the new school year quickly approaching, early childhood educators everywhere are planning how they are going to set up their classrooms.  What worked last year may not work again this year, and it is important that we stay diligent on how we want to organize a child’s space.

Children in preschool should be given a variety of hands-on learning activities and be encouraged to learn through play. Young children learn best when they are engaged in active learning activities and by exploring their environment. Therefore many preschool teachers and programs choose to set up their classrooms in a center-based way.

Things to think about when planning the layout of your preschool classroom

  1. How big your classroom is

 How many learning centers and materials you can put in your classroom will depend on how much space you have to work with. If you have a small classroom, think about options that can move or be used for more than one thing. Keep in mind that even a small classroom can be a great place to learn if the right things are set up.

 

  1. How many children are going to be enrolled?

How you set up your classroom will be directly affected by how many children you are in charge of. If you need to fit more children into the space, you'll have to cut back on learning centers and activity areas or find other ways to use them in your classroom.

 

  1. What kind of classroom space you want to add

 It's important to set up a place in the classroom where you and all of the children can sit down and learn together, whether you want it to be a sitting area, a desk area, or a combination of the two. Make sure that the layout of your classroom includes a place for you to work.

 

  1. How many learning centers you want to have

Make this choice based on how much space you have after you've planned out your classroom and teacher's station. If you only have space for a few learning centers, choose the ones that will help your children the most.

 

  1. How much room each learning center needs

Most of your learning centers should be big enough for 3–4 children. Depending on your space, you may have to limit some centers, like the reading area to only one to two children.

 

  1. Any sinks, windows, closets, or other permanent parts of the classroom

To save space, it's always best to use the permanent things that are already in your classroom. If you have a sink, try to put messy activities and learning centers (like painting, sand and water, etc.) near it. A science area near windows is also a great way to get children to observe nature and the weather in real time.

 

  1. The amount of noise in learning centers and other classrooms

 When you plan the layout of your classroom, it's important to think about how loud each space will be. Try to keep places with low noise levels close to each other and far away from places with a lot of noise.

 

  1. The furniture you'll need for the classroom and the learning centers

Furniture can either take up more room than necessary or help you make the most of the space in your classroom. Plan to use furniture as dividers between learning centers and to use different types of furniture to improve the layout of your classroom.

 

Want to learn more? H&H Child Care Training offers both online and instructor-led courses on Classroom Designers for preschool teachers and  Playful Spaces for Infants &Toddlers

Check out our fill list of courses here and sign up for your next training today!


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