Setting up a classroom can be very exciting – especially for new teachers setting up their very first classroom. For a teacher who has been in it for years it, may be second nature to arrange the room in a way that suits both your and your students’ needs. Yet for others, it can be a flat-out drag.
Here are a few things to consider when setting up a classroom for preschoolers:
- Hawk Eyes– Be sure to arrange the room so that you can supervise every single child at all times.You can make special nooks for reading or where a child can go if they need some space but be sure you can see over or through any dividers or bookshelves.After all, as a teacher, having eyes in the back of your head is part of the job description.
- Traffic Flow That Makes Sense – All areas of the room should be able to easily access an emergency exit.There should be a flow to the classroom that allows for fluid movement in high traffic areas.Try to avoid situations where the students will be tripping over upturned carpet edges and banging their tiny hips on table ledges every time they line up.
- Calm, Stimulating Atmosphere – Try to allow as much natural sunlight into the room as long as the glare from the sun doesn’t interfere.Adding comfy pillows, carpets, lamps and house plants will give the room a homey feel that will help comfort the children.Decorate the room with the children’s work.Try to avoid adding too much to the room as this might over-stimulate the children.
- Kid-Sized World – The tables and chairs should be kid-sized.You can find tiny rocking chairs and other items at yard sales to help the room fit the needs of the youngsters. Display the children’s artwork at their eye-level so they can see it.You can display the information for parents at a higher level.Also, be sure to have enough adult-sized chairs for the adults who work in the room to keep your backs from aching.
- Breather Room – Create a special space for students that need a little alone time or space away from the other students or for those who get over-stimulated easily. This area should be comfy and perhaps a little darker than the rest of the room if possible. Use your judgment of when to allow or suggest a child goes to this area. One way to create this space is to place some pillows under a table that is in a quieter area of the room. You can then attach crepe paper hanging down around the table, or some other item to safely give the child a sense of privacy.
Keep these tips in mind when considering classroom setup for preschool, to help create an environment that will support learning and fun.
This post is part of the series: Preschool Classroom Set-up Guide
It begins with practical tips and guidelines on what to consider and include in the room and then offers several theme-based decorating ideas.
- Classroom Setup Guide for Preschool Teachers
- Components of a Preschool Classroom
- Changing of the Seasons Preschool Classroom Theme
- A Preschool Ocean Theme for the Classroom: Look What the Tide Brought In!
- What’s the Buzz?-A Preschool Insect Theme for the Classroom