I can’t stress enough the importance of a quality classroom environment. It is the first question I ask teachers when they are having struggles with students behaviorally or when their classroom is not functioning.
“What changes can you make in your classroom environment to help students/staff/families be more successful?”
It seems like such a simple question….but it is often this question that leads to other questions…and then to change.
Anyone who has taught with me begins to either love or dread my questions….A simple question like, “Why are the children not playing in the block area?” Can lead to a drastic rearranging of the entire classroom. But it is questions like this that we MUST ask ourselves as educators.
If you are constantly telling your students to stop climbing up the bookcase to grab their favorite book, you might consider moving the favorite book to the bottom shelf.
The classroom environment should feel welcoming and inviting, but also it should promote success within your students. For most, this is their first school experience, we want it to be positive. As the school year goes on, and we begin to increase the level of independence in the classroom, we can begin to make changes in the environment that raise the expectation level.
This is the power the classroom environment holds….use it! It truly is the third teacher. The teachers within our program do an incredible job of setting up environments that support the interests and developmental needs of their students. By observing their students they are able to create an environment that can promote a learning community where all children can thrive and grow.
Below are some of the unique moments within our classrooms that our teachers have worked hard to create:
During the month of October the students in The Bridge classroom noticed the leaves changing colors on the trees outside….and so began the non-stop questions!
Their interest evolved into a month of exploring the season of Fall, specifically trees, their leaves, and the different fruits produced. Leading us into learning about apples and ending with an exploration of pumpkins.
Following the children’s interest allowed us to dig deeper into the different seasons we experience every year! We explored the different types of leaves and produce that grow locally in Southern Oregon.
Check out how we incorporated many areas of learning as this curriculum naturally emerged…..