Our classroom design By Z. Mersky and I. Roca

Chadwick Int. Early Years

Mission - At the village school, we aim to ignite a lifelong love of learning, build a supportive community, and challenge children to grow intellectually and personally.

IBPYP framework, with a reggio influenced early years programme, we recognize the importance of respecting the unique differences of our youngest learners

Classrooms promote a natural sense of inquiry so when they enter a classroom they are invited to play and engage with a variety of materials, objects and experiences.

Light

“Creating good lighting is not just a matter of having ‘enough’ lighting . . . . Good lighting is ultimately a matter of achieving a desired look and feel. Light can shape our moods. It can soothe the mind and invigorate the body. Light, in all its manifestations, has the power to not only illustrate what we see, but influence how we see it, even to make it beautiful” (Karre, 2003, p. 5).

Natural lightning

  • Lots of windows from at least two directions
  • Reduces glare.
  • Can observe nature and the environment.
  • Feels as if they are apart of the community outside the classroom as well
  • Students can also see in when entering the room which can ease transition and build anticipation
  • It has been proven that natural lightning can improve achievement by 20%

Non natural lightning

  • Should have a wide variety of different types of lighting (i.e. different lamps, dimmers etc.)
  • Allows for having different areas to have different “feels”. Can have dark areas, students can control the lighting for those areas etc.
  • Different lighting in different areas can draw students to a certain area as well

Color

  • It has been found that the effect of colour is based on culture not biology
  • Generally, bright colours can be over stimulating however and can take away from the materials laid out and work done by the children. Neutral/natural colours are recommended
  • When not overstimulated by bright colours students can experiment with colours more willingingly and easily and can add a “second skin” to their environment

Display

  • Space has to be a sort of aquarium that mirrors the ideas, values, attititudes, and culture of the people who live within it.- Loris Malaguzzi
  • Neutral backdrop
  • Display should be at child level
  • Uncluttered, clean and organized containers. (Clear containers, woven baskets, wooden trays etc.)

Co-created with children

  • Ask students where they think different areas should be and what the rules for those areas should be.
  • Get students to help create the areas with you
  • Allows students to feel more comfortable in those environments
  • Students know where everything is and take ownership over these areas
  • Constantly ask students their opinions of the classroom to ensure there are no missed opportunities

Areas

  • Need a wide variety of unique areas that children can explore
  • Need defined areas throughout the classroom that are inviting and where resources are easily accessible
  • Some important areas: Reading, creation station, building area, writing area, quiet space, role play area etc.
  • Areas need to be constantly changing but very gradually so students aren’t surprised

Materials

  • Make them want to stay
  • Try new things
  • Create wonder
  • Respond interests
  • Encourage exploration
  • Example of materials: Natural materials (sticks, pinecones, stones, leaves) Real tools (Scarves, buttons, kitchen utensils, tea sets, boxes)

Every resource is purposeful.

Seating

  • Students should have choice not only where they sit/work but how the sit/work
  • Being able to stand, sit in a chair, sit on the ground at a table or with a clipboard
  • Meets the needs of all types of learners
  • Tables, like the classroom, should not be really bright and overstimulating
  • Using natural materials for chairs and tables

Environment

Early childhood environments should be inviting and cultivate children’s curiosity, wonder and imagination. - Curtis and Carter

"Children are miracles. Believing that every child is a miracle can transform the way we design for children’s care. When we invite a miracle into our lives, we prepare ourselves and the environment around us. We may set out flowers or special offerings. We may cleanse ourselves, the space, or our thoughts of everything but the love inside us. We make it our job to create, with reverence and gratitude, a space that is worthy of a miracle! Action follows through. We can choose to change. We can choose to design spaces for miracles, not minimums." - Anita Rui Olds (2001, p. 13)

Created By
Ivana Roca
Appreciate

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