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Ready for School? Setting Up Your Classroom for Success

08 Aug 2018 by Mary-Margaret Gardiner

Summer is in full swing, but there are plans in the works for us all as we look forward to the new school year. Whether you work in a public school, private school, or a child care facility, it’s time to make some plans to get your classrooms ready!

While we focus on the all-important interpersonal interactions that build relationships with our children, we need to think carefully and intentionally about how the classroom set up allows us the time to interact. We need to plan our days so that our kids have consistency, know the routine, and find themselves exploring with their natural curiosity with their teacher as a partner in their developmental journey.

Arranging Your Classroom

Let’s take a look at a few things to consider. Remember, your classroom sends a message to children.

A child wants to know: “Do I belong here?” “Am I safe here?” “Is it okay to ask for help?” “Is this a place where my concerns and needs are noted and responded to?” “Will there be fun things to do?” “Will I make friends?” 

A classroom that has inviting spaces, interesting and accessible materials and provides TIME to explore sets the stage for all those wonderful teachable moments that make our day! A classroom that has a predictable flow, a warm and nurturing place where a child can choose how and where they play, or maybe has a place to find some quiet space does much to create opportunities to connect with their classmates and their teacher. 

Classroom Setup Checklist

I've compiled a quick checklist you can use while arranging your classroom this fall. If you want to learn even more about effective classroom setups, check out our upcoming webinar at the bottom of this post.

Room arrangement

  • Are the areas of the room clearly defined?
  • Can the teacher see all of the children at all times?
  • Is the room warm and inviting?

Materials

  • Are the materials interesting to the children?
  • Do they encourage open-ended play?
  • Are there sufficient materials for the children's play?
  • Do the materials promote different types of skills? 

Schedule

  • Is the schedule predictable?
  • Is it posted so all children can see it? (ideally with pictures)
  • Is there a balance of teacher and child-led activities?
  • Does the schedule take into account the developmental need of the children? 

If you need help planning your classroom setup, join us for our free webinar on August 15, Ready for School? Setting Up Your Classroom for Success. We'll discuss how the materials teachers select, the arrangement of a class room, and a daily schedule work together to provide a foundation for great instruction that promotes social and academic outcomes for children.

Watch the webinar