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Working with Young Children, Chapter 9: Preparing the Environment
Transcript of Working with Young Children, Chapter 9: Preparing the Environment
Value of Planned Space
Review the developmental objectives of the program before arranging a classroom.
A well-arranged, attractive classroom is not only welcoming and visually pleasing, it conveys a sense of order, encourages kids to use materials and do things for themselves, nurtures a desire for exploring and molds their behavior.
When planning a space, safety is a concern.
need open space in order to supervise the entire room
have the correct ratio of caregivers to children
The arrangement of space affects the children's and teacher's behavior.
teachers are more friendly, sensitive and warm to children in a w
The goals for a well-planned space include:
providing a safe environment
providing areas that promote emotional, cognitive, social and physical growth
providing different materials so kids can make choices
enough adults in a space that is easy to supervise
has eye appeal for kids and adults
has easy access to materials
has high activity and low stress so kids can work and play comfortably
1. What are the goals for a well-planned space? List at least three.
attractive and appealing to both adults and kids
have plants, children's artwork, bulletin board
be right inside the entrance
store school/kids' records and public relations material
used for conferences, family interviews, teachers' meetings, planning sessions
for sick kids or kids that have signs of a communicable disease
has a cot, toys
size depends on amount of daily food preparation
must be inspected by local health department
floor should be easy to clean
has locked storage space, coat rack, sofa, table/desk
most states have laws that dictate the number of toilets/sinks for a group of young kids
size of toilet fixtures will depend on the size/age of children
water heater should be set on low heat
easy to clean flooring and non-slip
classrooms should be on ground floor close to an exit
best shape of room is rectangular
need enough space (35-100 sq ft/child) varies from state to state
2. What are the seven main areas of physical space of a center?
3. A special room or space for children who become ill or show signs of a communicable disease is an _____________________.
4. What is the recommended amount of indoor space per child? ____________ sq ft/child.
5. Carpets, drapes, pillows, sand and stuffed toys are examples of _________________ materials.
7. List four possible program goals.
8. True or False A method to judge if the setting is scaled for kids is for an adult to walk on his/her knees through the entire classroom.
Indoor Environment Continued:
painted with lead-free and washable paint
bulletins boards and or chalkboards attached
carpet is easy to maintain, adds warmth, noise control, eye appeal, comfort
need tightly woven that has flat, firm surface
placed so kids can see outside
not locked in case of fire
drapes/blinds for light control, hold in heat, reduce noise
should be lightweight
doorknobs low enough for kids to reach
should push out to open
use materials that reduce/eliminate noise
68-70 degrees F will be comfortable
lower temp if vigorous physical activities are planned
adults may need to wear a sweater
40-60% relative humidity is considered comfortable
out of kids reach
safety caps inserted if not being used
determines room arrangement
do not use long extension cords (may cause someone to trip or fall)
be proper height
be hard, smooth and washable
light enough to move
able to seat 4-6 kids
rectangle shape often preferred
easy access of equipment and supplies
arranged to encourage kids to independently remove and return materials
be movable, but have locks to keep from moving
match the height of children
sliding doors are best
Lockers and Cubbies:
helps kids learn responsibility
be labeled with photo or other visual clue based on kids age
contain a hook for coat
should be painted or varnished to prevent staining
placed near the entrance
Color Choices for Child Care Centers
Color can affect how teachers and children feel about their classroom.
create a feeling of openness, make the room appear larger.
make a room seem smaller.
Factors for choosing colors:
amount of light
amount of time spent in the room
White rooms are thought of as clean and cool. Good for eating, isolation, reading and administration areas.
Light blue gives the feeling of comfort, soothing, and security. Useful in the nap, eating, reading and isolation areas.
Light green make kids feel calm, peaceful, refreshed, and restful. Good for isolation, reading, nap and eating areas.
Yellow makes people feel cheerful and happy. A nice color for music/art areas and playground equipment.
Orange is welcoming, forceful and energetic. Should be limited.
Red can be too stimulating and should be limited. Used for outdoor equipment, grossmotor equipment and teaching aids to stimulate kids.
Purple can have a mournful effect. Best used as an accent color.
Factors That Affect Space Organization
vary from state to state
all require a minimum # of fire extinguishers
exits must be clearly marked
entrance door must open to the outside
there is a minimum # of sq ft of space per child
based on kids' abilities, age and skills
stimulate growth and development
change as other goals are achieved
should reflect state licensing requirements
take into consideration when arranging a room
the more kids, the more empty space is needed (1/3 - 1/2 for open space)
arrange the room with group size in mind
based on size of occupants
The arrangement of a classroom centers around traffic patterns.
children should be able to walk to/from different areas efficiently
Organizing Basic Activity Areas
classrooms arranged according to activity areas provide an ideal environment for active learning
each activity area is a space of its own and supports the program goals
arrange shelves in U or L shapes to create boundaries
arrange by function (wet and dry areas should be far apart from each other; quiet away from active activities)
room arrangements must e dynamic
may need to rearrange, add/eliminate equipment and/or materials in the areas when the kids' interests change
Introducing Activity Areas
children need to learn what materials, activities, safety and cleanup rules are in each area
existing students can teach the new students about all the areas
teach kids the routine for using and replacing material
use labels and signs (helps them become self-directed learners and encourages them to return materials to storage areas)
helps kids practice sorting, grouping, comparing, arranging, cooperating, making decisions, and role-playing
should be located on a carpeted area (reduces noise)
have children build up, around, and out
have materials at kids' eye level and within their reach
heavy blocks/materials should be placed on floor or bottom shelf; lighter things on higher shelves
labels give kids practice at matching, makes cleanup quicker, and helps them return the blocks to the correct shelf
should be near a water source
use tables, chairs, shelving units, etc. that are easy to clean/maintain
Dramatic Play Area:
aka: the home living or housekeeping area
arrange like a real home would look
teacher may provide stove, table, refrigerator, chairs, sink, doll bed and/or other props
contains a sensory table (includes water or sand)
kids practice interacting with others
place near a water source
place near the art area and outside the line of traffic
may want to have safety goggles, wood scraps, tools, etc.
most preschool kids nap or rest after lunch
if your room does not have a separate sleeping area, make sure your room has a flexible room arrangement
rules differ from state to state on the required amount of open space that mush be between cots
Small Manipulative Area
aka: small motor area
located in a quiet, dry area of the playroom
may contain: puzzles, stringing beads, sewing cards, color cubes, etc.
should be in the quietest part of the classroom
may contain: paper, pens/pencils, markers to encourage writing skills
will need space to allow for dancing and movement/dancing
may contain: tapes, records, CDs, puppets, rhythm instruments, etc.
where a child can be alone
have a rule that when kids go to this space, others may not disturb them
can use a loft, cardboard box, wooden crates for this space
should be small with only enough room for one or two kids at a time
teacher should be able to see into this space, but other children should not be able to
placed by the wet, active areas of room
may contain small caged pets
try to place near a light and water source for growing plants
placed in the dry, quiet part of room
may contain a computer/printer, electrical outlet
keep the monitor visibe throughout the classroom (encourages interaction and curiosity, helps teacher supervise from anywhere in the room
choose furniture designed for young children
located near the kitchen
include ethnic and cultural materials/artifacts
Displaying Children's Work
display the kids' work throughout the activity areas
may use: bulletin boards clothesline, appliance boxes, wall hangings
placed at children's height
set a time limit for each display, change the work often
Outdoor Play Environments
Children need to need both indoor and outdoor activities.
The recommended square feet/child varies from state to state, usually between 75-200.
Planning the Playground
usually has empty space and a wheeled vehicle path
make sure equipment has enough space between the other so the children using them cannot touch
the teacher should be able to see all of the equipment from any place on the playground
kids shouldn't have to walk through one area to get to another
may have a fence around it
most states require a fence for safety
should be fastened securely at the gate
should not have sharp metal or splintered wood
commonly used materials are chain link and wood
children should not be able to climb over or through
should have some grass for running and games
under equipment should have bark or sand
good cushion of 9-12 inches of loose material
is appealing to the eye
can be used for science program
trees provide shade, sound control and beauty
hills can help develop large muscle skills
kids should be able to return materials themselves
use large barrels or baskets to store materials
Wheeled Toy Paths
where kids can ride/push wheeled toys
need to consider safety for kids and protect the outdoor play area
should be joined to the storage shed
be designed with curves instead of sharp turns
include jungle gyms, tree houses, and slides
need adequate space between the equipment
should be placed in shaded area or built with a roof
placed near water source
make sure this area has a cover to keep cats from using it as a litter box
some centers have built in wading pools
must have constant supervision
pools need to be emptied at the end of each day
garden hose can be used to water plants/gardens
city zoning or state child care licensing rules determine what animals may be used
have cages large enough for the animal, have mesh floor to clean easily and padlock to protect against vandals
must be protected from weather
Organization is a key to promoting kids' learning.
Space should reflect children's developmental needs, experiences, needs, interests as well as program goals.