Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Classroom Layout & Curriculum

I hate not having photos to show, but today we were busy moving and shaking things up around here. We are trying to put our room back together for the new school year. Trying to make it a Toddler and Preschool friendly place has been interesting. Not hard, per se. I think it will be similar to last year, having our playroom be our school room. Using the wood floor part as our Messy area and Science/Math/Nature area. Using the rugged area as our blocks, dramatic play, literacy/writing areas. It worked well last year and I think it will be good this year too.

We also need an infant area. Now, he will follow us where ever we may be, but I like to have a spot for us to play in when the preschoolers are napping. That will be in the living room. I think it is coming together. I will take some photos tomorrow and post them.

I have been hemming and hawing about a curriculum to use this year. I have always tweaked whatever curriculum I use to go with the interests of the kids. We really use more of an Emergent Learning Curriculum. I just have to be flexible with whatever I use. I love to have a direction to start with, but then if the kids take it in a different direction, that's great. I guess I feel like I need to have a reason to put a Pendulum out for the kids to experiment with. That if I put it on a table during a Animal theme, I am doing something wrong. Like, "How do I work this in to what we are doing??" Where as if I start out with an Animal theme and the kids get hooked on monkeys... I feel ok with getting the Pendulum out to show how the monkey swing from tree to tree, and let it sky rocket from there. I want to get over that though, and just be able to put it out and see where it takes the kids. Maybe, just maybe, they will find a connection that I didn't even know existed. AHHH... Emergent Learning at it's best.

Ok, so I haven't decided on which curriculum to use, but which ever I do decide on, I will use it as a guide, not as a concrete schedule. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions... please let me know. Thanks!!!


  1. Sometime you need to just let an activity or experience happen for the sheer sake of it being an awesome experience...not because it fits neatly into the theme package. I know from my own experience, that's easier said than done. I'm actually working on this myself. I would like to present themes more in the props and books and discussions, but let art and other activities take on their own life. I've come to discover that the kids will get more out of just playing with the pendulum than to limit it to being a swinging monkey. I, personally, need to use a theme as a springboard...but I'm trying to not let it be so limiting.

  2. I am trying to work on this too. This year I decided to go with a broad Science/Nature unit that we explore all month. Our learning will be centered around the ton of library books I will be checking out to go with each unit.I tried to come up with 1 process art activity per week that goes with the overall unit. Shorter weekly themes tend to be so rushed and the kids dont have time to really delve in. Then I thought we would have some special days scattered throughout such as Fire Safety Day, Dr. Seuss Day, Dental Health Day etc... We will see how it goes.