Now that I have a few brief moments before classes pick up again and I disappear once more into the land of text books and essays I wanted to share something special with you- a tour of my own classroom!
We are a NAEYC accredited center and Reggio inspired. Most importantly every classroom is different and largely inspired by the teachers and children. They say that the classroom is an additional teacher. I take great pride in our space and hope that translates to the children as we learn why it is important to take care of it and everything in it. Okay, let the tour begin!
Our construction area is easily the most popular. The stage gives the Greenies a safe space to build that is protected from traffic. We can tip it up and out of the way as needed for more space.
We try to keep a good amount of materials available. Anything on these shelves are available with a request.
One thing to note- I have very limited amounts of plastic in the classroom! I like to offer natural and recycled materials as much as possible. Another thing to note are the "stop signs." Each child has their own sign that tells others that they are still working on a project and to ask before you touch. Here are close ups of our construction shelves:
We often try to change our environment depending on the needs of the Greenies. This group was particularly fond of construction and dramatic play. About half of our classroom space is dedicated to these interests. Our dramatic play area consists of a loft- upstairs is our designated "bedroom" with bed, clothing, and babies. The bed was my son's toddler bed! It used to be called the tree house so I added real branches. Downstairs is your traditional kitchen and sitting area. We have 2 lamps for lighting which give off a nice soft glow.
Science and nature are a BIG interest of mine and I love to share it with the children. I created this area so our science treasures are always on display. The table usually holds a choice related to science, math, or technology. This week we have colored beads, cardboard tubes, and a mirror. We are also observing 4 potted paperwhite bulbs. We threw away the box before the Greenies could see what the flowers will look like and then asked them to draw their own representations of what they think the blooms will look like. The drawings are displayed next to the planted bulbs (see the second picture below.) Note that the drawings are on the same level as the kids!
This space was set up as a place to gather for circle time but also for quiet reading, families to sit comfortably, and other focused play that needs a big, quiets space. If you were to look at our room you would notice that it is split down the middle for quiet and active play. In this space the kids have books, puzzles, puppets, etc. There is a large frame that holds our family pictures. We also have a fish tank, say hello to Dug! The shelves with the blue curtains were made by a friend and much of the furniture was found on FreeCycle, Craigslist, or donated.
No room is complete without a writing center. The choices on the shelves are always available. The see-through board above the supplies was made by a class parent. We had the plexiglass, the parent created the frame. We use this for painting directly on but this week it is used to display art (again, at the kids level.) I forgot to take a picture, but we have 2 large tables in front of the writing center, one for writing, the other for art, small manipulatives, etc.
ODDS AND ENDS\
A few more fun spaces to take note of:
Thoughtful Spot- Winnie the Pooh said that everyone needs a thoughtful spot. We do not use time out, however this is a designated space for the Greenies to go to if they need a spot to be alone. Sometimes I go in there myself! This is located under our stairs to the loft.
Famous Art Display
Area of Wonder- Always something new and thought provoking!
Window Seat- another quiet gathering space. If you could see out the window you would see our class garden space.
Media table- sensory experiences galore! Dry, wet, and in between.
I hope you enjoyed the tour of my classroom! Come and visit!