I was provided the book Inspiring Spaces for Young Children from the Early Learning Consultant in my school division. I love that it’s picture heavy && full of inspiring quotes and useful information. I was able to reflect on our current space and put into effect many of the ideas for authentication of each space within our room.
I am excited to share our inspiring space with you! This is the general layout of our classroom.
Block Play Area (&& Whole Group)
Our block play area is also our “whole group” area, which provides a lot of space for building and constructing. This area of the classroom is the focal point and first view as you enter the classroom- lit by windows and strings of light, it is a warm and welcoming space. The stairs at the front of the room make the SMARTboard accessible for students, but also provides an interesting area for block play. The EXTREMELY large alphabet rug in neutral colours creates a soft place for construction & muffles the sounds of falling structures. The colours in the rug are reflected throughout the classroom.
Home Living (&& Library Area)
Our home centre is located in the classroom loft. It contains authentic furniture & I love that the built in cabinets are at the perfect height for the books. Students love to sit at the kitchen table or on the couch to enjoy the books. Our home centre has family photos, lamp lighting, and genuine items for cooking and taking care of the babies.
Tucked away under our loft is a place for quiet reflection. With soft pillows && low lighting children are encouraged to use this area when they need a place to chill. Positioned away from main traffic areas this is the perfect calming space. As a Bonus: it also provides some storage underneath the stairs and inside the cabinets. This area used to be used entirely for storage, however once organized more efficiently it become a usable student space.
In front of our window we have a nature inquiry area. We have student collections sorted and on display, as well as some tools such as plastic pipettes and magnifying glasses. Students can appreciate && explore a variety of plants and natural objects.
The art areas of our classroom consist of individual arts, collaborative arts, & modelling clay. All of these areas are conveniently located by our classroom sink. With materials placed at “child-level”, students are able to independently access what they need and develop responsibility and self-determination.
By using the easels or standing at counter-height, students are able to use a variety of materials such as pastels, paints, crayons (this is where I house my broken crayons, to develop fine motor grasps), pencil crayons, a variety of papers & canvases. Our current collaborative arts area is a beading invitation set up next to the easel.
The communication area contains a variety of writing tools, letter stamps && tiles, wikki sticks, markers, pencils, pens, etc. It is located near the shelf where we house our writing books, duotangs, as well as shared “teacher” items (such as staplers, hole punches, etc).