Outside Environment- (soft) grass, sand, wood chips. (Hard) by the picnic table on the other side of the playground there is a slab of cement.Indoors Environment- (soft) carpets in the play areas, there are some mats for children to use on the other side of the room. These mats are usually used for rest time. (Hard) hard floors.Suggestions- In this classroom there is no comfortable child sized furniture, bean-bag chairs, blankets available for the children. My suggestion would be to have these items available for children to use at any point in time (soft). The outdoor area has all the things mentioned in the book for soft and hard. The outdoor area has grass, sand, woodchips (soft) and the cement slab under the picnic table, and also the parking lot which is right behind this picture (hard).
Intrusion- (picture on the left) children are allowed to use the step stool if they are too short to see out of the window. The window has a clear view of the back parking lot, where most parents and visitors part when at the school. (Picture on the right) This is where visitors or parents come into the room and wait/sign in.Seclusion- There is no designed place for children to go to be alone at this point. This classroom is made up out of two classrooms. The children generally stay on this side for most of the day. The other side in my opinion could be opened up and managed better. There is plenty of space in the classrooms to make a space designated for children to go if they need to be alone. I suggested putting up a curtain for hanging from the ceiling and a bean bag chair, or mat, so children can go an relax if they need to. It’s a working progress.
The children in this classroom are ages 3-5 years. The floor plan is open and children are able to move around freely. However there is no equipment in this classroom that allows children to climb on or over. The outdoors play area promotes such things, but not the inside area. I would suggest an areas around the room that have things such as climbing blocks, balancing beams, and miscellaneous things for children to be able to climb over, crawl under, ect.
Open Dimension- The shelves are low and toys are available for children to access. Each area is divided by a shelves that are all waist high. The room is open from the waist up, and closed from the waist down. (Right Picture)Closed Dimension- (Left Picture) Storage areas are closed so children don’t have access to them. The shelves on the right hand side, by the step stool, all have doors that are closed with supplies and things that are stored behind them- not accessible to children.
It’s hard to see in this picture because the area is cleaned up and put away, but when children are in this area they have access to all three tables, water, sand, and sensory. I have seen children slide the tables together and combine the materials. The sensory table has leaves, acorns, chest nuts, apples, and toy animals in it; the sand table has digging materials, treasure, and treasure chests; the water table has scooping cups to scoop up water. I have seen a few children take a few things out of the sensory table and put them into the sand table, or water table. Sometimes the teachers will say something, but for the most part they usually let the children do what they are doing.
Jenn's physical environment at our lady of the lake ppt for group care for infants and toddlers
Scale- All the furniture(chairs, tables, shelves, bathroom sink, toilet, paper towel machine) are child-sized. The set up in this classroom promotes the feeling of “being big” in the classroom for young children. Aesthetics- One of the walls in the classroom (the biggest wall) is made up of all windows. The windows are always open, except for rest time, allowing natural light to light up the room. The walls in the classroom are all white, or neutral, and the play areas are appealing and age appropriate, with colorful rugs, open shelves, and toys everywhere that are accessible to children. Acoustics- There are 26 3-5 year old children in one room, so the noise level can be pretty high. The teachers do the best they can to try and minimize the noise level, but given the amount of children and their age, it’s quite hard to keep the noise at a constant low. The spaces are divided, and the children are usually broken down into smaller groups for each area, which seems to help with the noise level. Order- Each area is divided by low shelves, and pathways are clear from one area to the next. The floor plan is pretty simple and open, so children have no obstacles from going from one play area to another. Teachers are able to see the whole room at one time because the shelves are at waist height.
The head teacher in this classroom has only been at this site for two years, coming into this classroom there was only tables and worksheets available. She’s still changing things, and adding things all the time. There are 26 3-5 year olds in this classroom on some days, with 3 adults. (can make it a bit challenging at times with noise level) Some of the staff and other adults don’t understand the importance of early childhood education and feel as though in that room they are basically babysitters, not getting the much needed support from other adults in the building. (Not too many of them like the “change”)