When we think about setting up our rooms, we usually think of classroom design.
However, there is more to consider!
The design as well as the materials and other items in the classroom will determine how comfortable your students and families are and how productive you are! In addition, the layout of your classroom can decrease--or increase-- negative behavior in the classroom!
When considering all things preschool classroom, we need to think about the following:
Interest Learning Centers (Storage & Display of Materials)
The preschool classroom should be set up with the goal of letting children know where materials go, however, the set up should not limit what can be done in each area (yes, it's okay to use the blocks in the dramatic play center!
And it's okay to dress up before playing at the water table!)
When setting up your classroom you will also need to consider health and safety.
When determining your classroom design, think about how each interest center is used and, therefore, the activity level that may occur in each center.
The reason for
determining this is to ensure that you do not put a center that is active and,
at times, loud (like your dramatic play area) next to your library area where
the children are trying to listen to a story or next to your computer where the
children need to hear the instructions coming from the speakers.
This is not to say that blocks can ONLY be used in the Block Center. The purpose of defined areas is to know where the materials are housed/stored.
Once you have determined which areas to keep away from each other, draw it out on paper. How does it look to you? Is there a natural flow from interest center to interest center and throughout the classroom?
DON’T BE AFRAID TO CHANGE THE CLASSROOM DESIGN-OFTEN!
If the set up doesn’t work for your group, change it! There are many reasons you may want to change or modify the layout or design of your preschool classroom
Yes, children like consistency, but change is not taboo! When we have made changes to our environment, we talk with the kids about it right away! One of their favorite circle time activities has been when the teacher asked them, “Does anyone notice anything different about our room today?”.
You may want to consider changing your layout when you see:
We change or modify our room design often. Dramatic Play moves from one end of the room to the other about once a month!
Your classroom design will largely be determined by the amount of space you have, where the windows and doors are located and the type of flooring you have in each area.
Most classrooms are organized around Interest Learning Centers. We will talk more about each specific learning center and where the best space for each center is in your classroom.
When considering your space, keep the following things in mind:
Now, let’s talk about some general considerations for each interest learning center.
Do you have your Interest Learning Centers labeled? Picture labels help your children to know what happens where! Posters help your families to know what happens in each center!
I created this packet specifically for these purposes!
This preschool packet includes 14 Interest Center Posters and 22 Interest Center Label Signs for your classroom!
I use Center Signs all year long and Center Posters at the beginning of the year, at open house, at parent conference time or any time families will be spending time in the classroom!
I have articles about each specific Interest Learning Center! Each article gives details about that specific interest center including how to set it up, materials to have and the teacher's role in each center!
Click any image below for detailed information about each Interest Learning Center!
The following two books are go to books for me when considering classroom design!
You can click these links:The Creative Curriculum for Preschool and Complete Learning Center Book
or click the picture links below to find them at Amazon (many times you can find used copies at amazing prices there!). You might also find them at your local library
Another consideration when looking at your classroom design is health and safety with regard to materials.
You should have a cleaning/sanitizing schedule in place for your materials.
You also need to check for toy safety recalls.
The following articles will go into more detail on each of these areas.
Many times you will have substitutes, parents or classroom volunteers in the classroom.
They can be a huge help in keeping your space organized, sure, however, you need to be sure that your room is inviting to all who use the space - including yourself!
In addition to the people who use the space, you'll need to consider temperature and care of your classroom pet, if you have one! They are fun, and some take more work than others! Click here to read my page all about classroom pets!