A new year, a new classroom!

Our classroom Art Studio - the hub of our classroom.

Our classroom Art Studio – the hub of our classroom.

Currently stocked with beach related natural materials from my summer adventures. A lot of students have been inspired to share their own summer beach experiences while visiting this centre.

The Science and Nature Centre. Currently stocked with beach related natural materials from my summer adventures. A lot of students have been inspired to share their own summer beach experiences while visiting this centre.

Where our students try their hand at playing teacher. Also a cozy spot to curl up with a book.

The Teacher Centre. Where our students try their hand at playing teacher. Also a cozy spot to curl up with a book.

A magical place to creatively experiment with water.

Buddha Boards! A magical place to creatively experiment with water.

Math Centre

Math materials have been chosen purposely to encourage counting and sorting.

Math materials have been chosen purposely to encourage counting and sorting.

Natural materials appear in the math centre too. The numbered blocks are coasters I found at Winners!

Natural materials appear in the math centre too. The numbered blocks are coasters I found at Winners!

Labeled bins contain building materials for our Math Science Investigations building program.

Math Centre. Labeled bins contain building materials for our Math Science Investigations building program.

An important centre at the beginning of the year. The familiar homey objects here often create a cozy atmosphere in the classroom.

The Drama/House Centre. An important centre at the beginning of the year. The familiar homey objects here help to create a cozy atmosphere in the classroom.

House Centre

We chose to put out familiar sand tools and continue our extension of summer experiences with sand castle molds. All the materials are placed on a mat so children know where to put them when they are finished.

The Sand Centre. We chose to put out familiar sand tools and continue our extension of summer experiences with sand castle molds. All the materials are placed on a mat so children know where to put them when they are finished.

I opted for a large variety of materials here - scoops, cups of various shapes and sizes, squirters and pumps as well as whimsical objects like boats and rubber duckies.

The Water Centre. I opted for a large variety of materials here – scoops, cups of various shapes and sizes, squirters and pumps as well as whimsical objects like boats and rubber duckies.

Playdough Centre

Big Blocks

Small Building Centre

Writing Centre

Meeting Area

Teacher Area

No More Teacher Desk!

*Update: I get a lot of requests for wide-angle shots of my classroom which show what it looks like mid-year (after the children’s learning has taken over!). Here are a few pictures from the middle of the year so you can get a feel for the actual set up and space in our room:

DSC03265 DSC03263 DSC03264

 

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8 thoughts on “A new year, a new classroom!

    • Hi Lisa!
      Thanks for your question! Here’s a description from the box: “Channel your inner zen with the original buddha board. The white board mounts onto a black tray that holds water. Use the brush and the water to paint, and watch your strokes magically turn black. As the water evaporates, the board becomes white again.”
      You’ll notice in the picture that I set up this provocation with some examples of traditional zen paintings. I also placed a camera at the centre for children to snap a photo of their painting before it disappears. The children have begun to make some observations about how using a lot of water means the board takes longer to dry, less water and it disappears faster. I think there are some questions to explore there. I think it would also be useful to swap out the zen paintings for numbers or letters, names of classmates, etc. to encourage writing.

      Hope this helps!
      Alexis

  1. Hi, Ms Mcdonell,
    I recently attended a training on Project approach based learning and Reggio style. I would love to do the same for my preschool classroom, but I am having trouble getting started. I do not have the luxury of having an open and spacious layout as many of the photos I have seen that incorporate the Reggio style. My classroom is rather narrow and long. I like the way you have incorporated the elements of the Reggio style in your classroom. Is there a way for you to post a full length picture of your classroom? It appears you may be having to work with existing elements in your room that I have to work with, such as chalkboards, brick walls, etc.
    patti

    • Hi Patti!
      Thanks for stopping by my blog. Attending training sessions are always SO inspiring, but also sometimes a little daunting, aren’t they? I have been asked to do a full length shot before, but unfortunately haven’t had the chance to do one yet. However, I have visited a number of Reggio-inspired spaces of all shapes and sizes. If I had one piece of advice it would be to work on the “feeling” of your classroom by incorporating neutral tones and cozy decor. Because I inherited dark green chalk boards on two of my walls and bright yellow walls on the other side I brought in beige fabric with some yellow and green accents as well as some green, yellow, and cream pillows and area rugs (all purchased inexpensively from IKEA). I know other teachers who covered their bright walls/cupboards with brown craft paper. My tables are all neutral, as are my chairs. The rest is really down to furniture arrangement and interesting materials for provocation. What isn’t evident from my photos is how close together all my centres really are – my space is not large. However, I tried to create distinct areas by using shelving/mirrors for dividers or carpets to indicate centre boundaries. I hope this helps. I’ll try to get some full length shots of my classroom up on the blog soon!

  2. Hi I would love to see more wide angle shots of your space….especially at this time of year when things start to pile up. How do you “embrace the mess?”
    Thanks!
    Anna Maria
    A fellow teacher on the reggio journey

    • Hi Anna Maria,

      I get a request for wide angle shots a LOT! I’ve added some pictures to my original post on the classroom layout. You can see them here: https://thecuriouskindergarten.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/a-new-year-a-new-classroom/
      I “embrace the mess” by focusing on the children’s learning and documenting our learning journey. My partner and I try and take time to clean and clear out the things we are no longer using as often as we can, but it is a challenge given how busy things are in a kindergarten class! My main priority is making sure the space is well organized and the materials are accessible to the staff and the students. You are always going to get things accumulating in piles! I just try not to worry about it! 🙂

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