In order to understand how the physical setting contributes to the learning experience that occur in a High Scope classroom we need to know the ingredients of Active LearningMaterials that interest the children are essential for active learning. This would include a wide variety of materials that children can explore, transform and combine.The materials are arranged to promote manipulation-that is the children’s direct use of the materials. To enable for each children to manipulate materials freely, the setting has enough materials for each child and plenty of work and play space.Choice for children ideas that governs the arrangement of the setting. Space should be divided into well-defined areas that are visible and accessible (within reach) Children should be encouraged to use the materials in a variety of ways. To encourage Child and Language Thought the interest areas should include open-ended materials that engage children and inspire them to learn and communicate in both verbal and non verbal ways. To encourage written language the setting needs to be Print Rich including as many books and other print materials as well as tools that the children can use to make their own written materials. Finally children’s play or work is enriched by adult scaffolding. This means having the opportunity to watch and comfortably to join in children’s play. This gives a child a sense of security and control. Materials to be stored in the same location so they can find and return them with ease.
Highscope curriculum organizes space so that children have as many chances for active participatory learning and as much control as possible. The following guidelines helps influence their choices as they arrange and equip early learning class.In order for the space to be inviting to children it must be comfortable and welcoming.
To create comfortable play surfaces use a variety of materials including throw rugs, carpets, easy chairs, cushions, pillows, bean bags, drapes or curtains.
There are no hard and fast rules for how many areas a classroom has to have. As a general rule it is better to have fewer areas with materials that can be used in many different ways. For example: their may be no need for a separate math area when children can sort and match small blocks or count and compare sets of plastic animals in the Toy area.
The house are supports both individual and cooperative play. Many children spend time here busy at work –imitating cooking sequences they see at home. Children are involved in exploring roles, visiting the dentist or doctor, having a birthday party, wedding, going shopping etc.Housekeeping should extend into block area.
High scope the learning environment
High Scope Curriculum
The Learning Environment : Arranging &
Equipping Spaces for Active Learners
Presented by Jean Smith Site
Pearl Lakewood Learn It
Environments for Children and Active Learning
• Child Language
• Adult Scaffolding
Adults using High Scope Curriculum promote active learning by
establishing settings that
1. Engage Children in a wide range of play, alone and with others
including exploring, building, pretending, painting and drawing and
playing simple games.
2. Find, use and return materials of particular interest to them as they
pursue their own plans and intentions.
3. Feel safe, valued, adventurous and competent
General Guidelines for Organizing Space and
• 1.The space is inviting to children.
• The space is divided into well defined areas and labeled areas of interest.
• 3. The space incorporates place for group activities, eating, napping, and storing
• 4. Interest areas arrange to promote visibility and easy movement between areas.
• 5. Interest areas are flexible enough to accommodate children’s changing interest.
• 6. Materials are plentiful and open-ended to support a wide range of play
• 7. Materials reflect children’s family life.
• 8. The storage and labeling of materials promotes the find-use-return cycle.
• 9. Purposeful Sound-Unnecessary background noise interferes with children’s
development while the sound of an early learning center should be that of
children, busy at work as it promotes their development.
The Space is Inviting to Children
1. Softness-Create comfortable play surfaces include carpets, throw rugs, easy chairs, bean bags and
soft stuffed animals or toys.
2. Rounded Corners-Large potted plants, pillows, hanging plants help round off corners of the room.
3. Pleasing Colors and Textures-Examine your environment is it soothing or exciting?
4. Natural materials and Light- Natural light helps soften the environment
5. Cozy places-A loft, nook, or window seat with pillows and books give a child a place to pause, be by
themselves, observe and take things in without having to respond socially. It also offers a child a
break from ongoing activities.
The Space is divided into well defined and labeled
interest areas to encourage different types of play.
Learning Centers Well defined Space
• Block Area
• Sensory Table
• Art Area
• Toy Area
• Science Area-Is all around you. Plants in classroom, Magnifying Glasses, Magnets etc.
• Math Area
• Book and Writing Area
• Woodwork Area
• Music and Movement Area
• Computer Area
• Outdoor Area/Large Motor Area
Book and Cozy Area
Comes in different size
and with different
Share your ideas!
Easel Board Area
Large Group and Small Group
Large Group Area Small Group Area
Block Area Materials
• Large hallow blocks
• Unit Blocks
• Small Blocks
• Cardboard Blocks
• Foam Blocks
• Blocks made from milk cartons
• Pieces of Carpet
• Sheets, Blankets, tents, tarps
• Packing Boxes
• Boards, Sticks, Tree Stump Rounds,
• Tubes (cardboard, metal or plastic)
Block Area Materials to Take Apart & Put Together
• Large Tinkertoys
• Interlocking Blocks and Boards
• Clip on wheels and Blocks
• Interlocking Train Tracks
• Plastic Plumbing Pipes
Block Area Materials-Fill and Empty
• Boxes, Cartons, Baskets, Crates, Picnic Baskets,
• Dump Trucks, Pick Up Trucks
• Small vehicles, people, animals
• Doll House furniture
• Empty sewing spools
• Stones, Pea gravel
Block Area Materials-Pretend Play
• Cars and trucks scaled to blocks or mat
• Construction and farm vehicles
• Planes, Boats, Helicopters, Trains and Buses
• Multicultural dollhouse people/community helpers
• Wooden, rubber or plastic animals familiar to children
• Steering Wheel
• See page 192 for more materials
Block Area Reference Photos
• Photos of children’s homes, neighborhoods
• Photos and drawing of children’s block structures
• Collect photos of Block creations for children’s portfolio
• Supports both individual and cooperative play
• Imitation of daily family activities
• Pretend Play
• Exploring and Imitating
• Dressing Up
• Role Playing
• Should extend into Block Area
• Use of real materials is encourages as these are things familiar in their
environment and it encourages their pretend play as they imitate what
they see at home.
• Make this area homelike
• Use of pegboards to hang to pots and pans, tracing their outlines as
they hang and labeling them
• For most children this is an area to explore different types of art
• Use of materials to make things-
pictures, books, weavings, menus, etc.
• Free art exploration with a variety of materials
• Sink near by the Art Area/Easel for quick clean up-if not accessible
consider adding buckets or dishpans.
• Work Surfaces with plenty of space
• Provide drying space or drying rack
• Display Art-At child’s level, on backs of shelves, on bulletin board, in hallway
• Keep samples of children’s free art exploration for portfolio
• Use of a variety of materials-different types of paper, painting and printing
materials, fasteners, stickers, stamps, modeling materials, & collage materials
• Recycle paper scraps instead of throwing away
• Staplers, scissors, paint brushes in different sizes
• See Page 199 for more details
Art Area-Big Projects
• Provide large appliance boxes and Styrofoam packing pieces for
children to paint and use as props. Ex: houses, mailbox, airplane
• Clear a table top for fingerprint painting
• Class murals
• Works in progress art – Stone Soup Display
• Collect or copy children’s art for their portfolios
• Art Show for Display
Art Area Gallery
• Bring in masks, weavings, quilts, sculptures, baskets, pots an
mobiles, wind catchers for children to examine close up
• Hang paintings, prints and photos at children’s level
• Include pairs of art-Ex: print postcards in the toy area for children to
view or match up
• Invite local artist to share with children
• Observe with children natural outdoor art-
shadows, clouds, rocks, leaves, flowers, birds, nests, insects
Book and Writing Area
• Children look and “read books” from memory and picture cues, listen
to stories and make up and write their own stories.
• Should be a cozy spot where they can look at books, magazines
alone, with peers or adult.
• Books should be in all learning areas-Give some examples
• Include a variety of books with illustrations, use of multicultural and
intergenerational books, picture books, alphabet and number
books, books in the language that is familiar to your
students, stories/pics showing people of all ages, races and physical
Ideas for buying and sharing books
• Books can be found for sale at your local library at a nominal cost.
Downtown Cleveland Library has a weekly book sale for nominal cost.
Lakewood Library has 2 book fairs a year
• County Library-Leap Prop Boxes
• Create your own Story/Game Prop Box for children to take home and
participate with family members. Include a notebook for writing
reflections or posting pics and return to school to share
• Have a Scholastic Book fair to get free books
Summary Guidelines and Strategies
• Organize Space-include softness, rounded corners, pleasing colors
and textures, use of natural materials and light, purposeful sound
• Space divided into well defined area
• Basic Areas include-Blocks, Housekeeping, Sensory, Book and
Writing areas, Music & Movement, Circle Time (Planning
Time, discussion of day’s activities, calendar, timeline pics)
• Space incorporates places for group activities, eating, napping, and
storing children’s belongings
Establishing Interest Areas
• Ease of visibility
• Block Area and Housekeeping close to each other
• Art Area close to water
• Book and toy areas are located away from rigorous play areas
• Sensory table close to water
• Music and Movement close to noisier activities or
at Large Group Time
• Areas flexible enough to accommodate practical considerations and children’s
• Areas can be brought into room or rotated if lacking space
• The storage and labeling of materials promotes the find-use-return cycle.
• Labeling to include photo & word on shelf and container
• Labels make sense to children and they can be made from-the materials
themselves, photos, photo copies, pictures from catalog, Line drawings, tracings
• Similar things stored together
• Children to be able to see into and handle containers with ease
• Plentiful materials-Sorting and small building
materials, books, magazines/catalog, games, storytelling props, puppets
• Ask parents for donation of art supplies, magazines, catalogs, envelopes, writing
tools, books etc.
Questions and Comments
• Plan Do Review
• Works in Progress