Using Integrated Software Across the
According to Helen West in her article for Teacher
Spaces for Learning: Designing Learning Space
An effective early childhood learning environment :
Engages children in stimulating tasks
Enables children to explore and problem-solve creatively and
Creates spaces providing opportunities for children to interact
with each other
Helps them to take responsibility for their own learning
Gives them access to a cognitively challenging curriculum
which connects to their lives and experiences
The room should be arranged in a way that
allows for easy movement from area to area.
The areas and their materials should be
stimulating and inviting.
Noisy areas should be separated from quiet
Start with the three zones, active zone, quiet
zone and messy zone. Under each zone, make a
list of the areas/stations which would go under
Active Zone Quiet Zone Messy Zone
Block play Book Corner Art
Indoor Active play Computer Discovery
Music/Movement Table Toys Sand/Water
When designing an early childhood robotics
learning environment, the following stations are
also included into the classroom layout:
programming stations, building stations, design
and art stations, floor space and walls.
These stations would be listed under the active
Programming stations need a sufficient amount
of room on a desk or table for a
computer, infrared tower and the robotic
construction being programmed.
Posters of the programming icons and white
boards are also good for helping the children to
write their programs.
A projector connected to a computer is a good
tool to demonstrate programming tips with the
A locked cabinet is a good idea to have in any
classroom, to store expensive items, such as
digital cameras and their accessories.
Building stations are made up of tables that should be
next to computer stations.
Building can be done with a variety of materials such
as, Legos, pipe cleaners, cardboard, tape, etc.
These items should be stored in bins with labels.
Other items which should be stored on shelves out of
reach of the children are: batteries, flashlight, extra
pieces and tools.
Empty bins are also good for storing projects that are
still being worked on.
Posters of basic construction tips should be hung on
the walls to assist children when they are building.
Children should have ample table space and
drawing supplies to make entries into their
Other art and recyclable materials are good to
have on hand for the children to use in the
Scissors, glue and tape are always a must have
for any class, including a robotics learning
Floors without carpet are a great area for testing
robotic constructions, because there are no
traction problems as with carpeted floors.
Other flat, smooth surfaces such as a wood
board or cement can be used, inside or outside,
A minimum of six feet of floor space is suggested
to test moving constructions.
Walls serve as three very important functions in
robotics learning environments:
documentation, memory and teaching.
Posters of photographs can be hung to show the
process of making robotics.
Memory walls can be created by placing pictures
of completed projects with a short description
on the wall before the creation is disassembled.
Walls also display posters of programming icons
and diagrams of the building steps to teach to
Early childhood learning environments should
have stimulating tasks which encourage children
to work with each other to solve problems. A
robotics learning environment does that, and is
not hard to incorporate into a classroom. Most
early childhood classrooms have building and art
materials, computers, floor and wall space. The
only additional things needed are the infrared
towers and robotics kit and programs.
The following websites are helpful for designing
an early childhood (robotics) learning