Sunday, June 3, 2018

Working as a Team to Create a Great Learning Environment for Next Year

There were some things about the arrangement of our room that had been bugging me for a while.  toward the end of each year, I start thinking about how the room could be better for next year!  I decided to have the kids help out this time and see what thought they had about it.

We looked at our room critically and figured out what areas needed improvement.  Some problems we noticed were: 1) They needed more room for building in the block area and a way for them to share their creations so everyone could see them.  2)The Dramatic Play area was too small and crowded. 3) I wanted a table in the art studio corner.  4) We needed a place to put our larger "works in progress."

We brainstormed some solutions and got to work!  I put everything into the middle of the room while they were at specials. I went ahead and made the math area as those shelves are too heavy for them to help with. Here is what they came back too.  They were very excited to get started!

The kids came in and emptied everything off of the block shelves and in the home living furniture,

and then we got to work.

Here is our new room arrangement!  A gift for next year's kindergartners from this year's class.
We put our Math Area in the smaller space where Dramatic Play used to be.  They take the trays off the shelves and take them to the nearest table or our meeting area so this area did not need to be large.  Our space under the table is our quiet area where kids go voluntarily to regulate their emotions or talk and problem solve with a friend.  It is also a space to go when they just want some quiet time or time alone.  It is more private here in this area now.

Our Reading Area which consists of our library and literacy stations flows together better than it did before.  The library and station area before were divided into two areas. Now they can use both areas together.  The small cabinet that was in art will now be a small table for literacy invitations.

We added the coffee table that used to be in the literacy to our Art Studio Corner.  It was here before and I moved it, but regretted it.  A nice sized area for Art Invitations or Observational Drawings/paintings was desperately needed here!

Our Dramatic Play Area has much more space!  They came up to me asking me if they could have the magnetic hooks.  I asked what for and they wanted them to hang up the costumes used in this area!  How brilliant!  I would never have thought of that! The Blocks are nearby and could also be used creatively in this space!

Our building and engineering area is always a very popular area.  We moved it right next to our meeting area so that when they want to share their structures or show how their machines work, we can all see from where we are naturally gathered.

We did not solve the problem of where to put "works in progress!"  This has been a problem I have been trying to solve for years!  Other than that, I love the flow of the room. It is more open and everything is easily accessible.  They played in our new environment to test it out and decided that it was a success and worked very well!!

This is the first time that I have involved the kids in getting the environment ready for next years kids.  They had such great insight as to what to do!  I may do this at the end of every year!

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