A quality preschool environment must be clean, safe, inviting and intellectually stimulating.
When children arrive in our classrooms, they enter a prepared environment in which learning materials are organized and displayed in ways that make children want to come in and get started. Teachers rotate learning materials frequently so there is always something new to discover. Children can see themselves in the environment from the examples of their work posted on the walls to the photographs of their families posted on our Family Boards. A variety of real materials and photographs provide intellectual stimulation. Our classroom environments are filled with literacy, math and science concepts from the materials on the shelves to the images on the walls such as graphs, charts, vocabulary words, photographs, teacher writing and children’s work. A great variety of children’s books fill each classroom. Real items from nature appeal to the children’s senses and creativity.
Preschool classrooms should be purposefully arranged and organized to promote meaningful learning.
Our classrooms are organized and arranged into Learning Centers. Different areas are designated for Blocks & Building, Math & Manipulatives, Library, Science & Sensory, Dramatic Play, Writing, Music and Art. Children have many opportunities to choose their own materials or work with friends. Teachers interact with children in the learning centers and work with children one-on-one or with small groups to meet our curriculum goals. Children have access to a variety of art mediums to create original works of art. Children are encouraged to help take care of their classrooms from wiping the tables after snack to helping sweep up after a learning activity.
Early childhood curriculum should extend to the outdoors.
Children need the opportunity to run, jump and stretch their muscles. Our outdoor environment provides opportunities for gross motor play as well as art easels, sensory and water tables, a dramatic play house, a roomy sandbox and gardening bins for seasonal planting activities. Teachers plan for our outdoor curriculum just as they do for our indoor learning activities. Materials and activities related to learning concepts are rotated frequently for variety and the outdoors becomes an extension of our classrooms.