Environment as the third teacher: Inspiring set-ups I've seen work with littles
- Spaces that offer a variety of seating (floor sitting, low sitting, chairs, standing, and reaching areas)
- Organizing the spaces by material type: Nature area, Social-dramatic play area, light area, Building area, Art and literacy area. Intentionally organizing materials in each area. During free play put out a provocation in each area. Modify spaces as needed based on observation
- Keep spaces transparent, materials and areas should be in view from all areas of the classroom
- Experiment with the placement of the meeting space (circle time rug) and see how it impacts the movement of the kiddos
- Incorporate books in every atelier (area) of the classroom. Put nature books in the nature area, cookbooks by the play kitchen, vehicle books by the cars, house and castle books by the building blocks, light and color books by the light table, early readers by the literacy area, art books by the art area, and so on.
- Integrate writing opportunities in every area: Clipboards in the building space, Chalkboards, and chalk in the kitchen area, Notecards for labeling at the literacy center, paper on the wall for a collaborative mural in the art area, light transparencies, and markers at the light area.
Inspiring Provocation Ideas:
Butcher Paper taped to the Floor, can be used for...
- collaborative projects
- researching and constructing a city
Organizing the Spaces by Color (just a few examples)
- All blue materials in the building space (blue cars, blue strips of paper, blue tape, blue tissue paper, blocks wrapped in blue paper)
- All Orange materials in the kitchen or play area (oranges, carrots, other orange foods, orange recycled materials such as plastic lids, painted sticks, and bowls)
- All Green in the nature area