SET-UP FOR A CENTERS-BASED EARLY ELEMENTARY CLASSROOM
- If you have a center based classroom, as is my kindergarten class, I suggest first listing all of your centers on a piece of paper.
- Next, draw a sketch of the outline of your room on another sheet. Like redecorating a room in your own house, cut out little squares, label them and place them in your paper classroom. This way you won’t forget anything, and it won’t take any time to rearrange your room.
- Take note of things that block other things…does your room flow, can you see the children from all of the angles?
Believe me, I am not at all artistic. This can be done very simplistically…not to scale or anything elaborate like that. Try to use all sides of furniture as possibilities; for example, I turned an old bookshelf around to use the front shelf part as part of my home center and am corking the back of it to use as a makeshift, child accessible bulletin board that will act as the back wall of my writing center!
Just like in a house, see where outlets are to use for computers and listening centers. This year, I will incorporate my listening center with my library. I am using my old love seat from home to act as the connecting piece of furniture to use in my new “quiet space” in my classroom.
Check where sinks are (if you have them) or floor space rather than carpet space is. Put your paint tables and sand and water tables where water is accessible for quick clean ups! Have your circle time space and your block center on or near carpeted space so that it will curb the noise!
By: BARBARA SHILLING
ASSOCIATED HEBREW SCHOOLS
THORNHILL, ONTARIO, CANADA