“An environment which speaks sees and reflects the child as an active and productive person. An environment which is silent seems void of life with no real sense of who plays there.” Loris Malaguzzi
When you think of your learning spaces think about how children learn. Children that are actively engaged are learning through play.
As we talked about our learning spaces as the third teacher the choices we make about our environment create a link directly to the play and learning in the classroom.
Now on to today’s order of business, improving learning spaces.
In order for us to improve on our learning spaces we first need to reflect on how children are using our learning spaces.
I’m almost embarrassed to let you see this picture but this was the starting point of my classroom transformation.
Identifying the problem
In the art studio we had minimal storage for art supplies, children had a hard time finding items that they wanted to use, so they would get discouraged and avoid the area all together. Also we had a lack of space for children to use material uninterrupted. So since art is such a valuable tool for children to anchor their learning through we knew that this area needed to be fixed pronto.
To created three different zones in our art studio that will allow children the opportunity to work with several art mediums all at the same time.
To rework furniture allowing for more storage in the area.
Here is what we did.
We placed a small rectangle table on the far wall of the studio and hung a shelf above that to hold clay tools and supplies.
Here two children can work together sculpting and creations with clay.
We placed a large rectangle table in the middle of the studio so that children could create with a wide range of art mediums at the same time. Allowing the children to work together and still have room to create.
We placed another small rectangle table next to sink and dry rack that is used for painting projects. Children are encouraged to prepare their own paint trays for painting. Once they have finished their painting project they wash up the paint tray and paint brushes themselves.
Across from the table is two sections of storage shelves that houses a large variety of art supplies. All supplies are accessible at all times for the children to create with.
Now embrace the space that you have and work toward creating a dynamic space that reflects the people that live and play in it. You can’t create your perfect classroom in a day or a week, but you can create a perfect learning space one learning space at a time.
Lets work together to create spaces that are worthy of miracles for our children.
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I'm Tami Sanders creator of Learning and Teaching with Preschoolers, a blog to help teachers create magical moments for the young.
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