Presentation on theme: "Environment as the Third Teacher: Designing Intentional Spaces for Young Children By Cheryl Anderson, QCCI Training & Professional Development Coordinator."— Presentation transcript:
1Environment as the Third Teacher: Designing Intentional Spaces for Young Children By Cheryl Anderson, QCCI Training & Professional Development CoordinatorOctober 22, 2103
2What is the environment? Indoor and outdoor spacePhysical design of equipment, furnishings, and materialsDaily schedule
3Why is the environment important to children, staff and families? “Our environments have a great influence on how we feel and how we behave.”Margie Carter and Deb Curtis
4WHAT MEMORIES DO WE WANT OUR CHILDREN TO HAVE OF THIS SPACE? This is your second home (consider the elements within your own home that offer you comfort, security and a sense of belonging)Offers children the opportunity for choices, exploration, relaxation, investigation & discoveryEngages families by creating connectionsReflects our beliefs about children and what they deserveSupports their development, interactions, and their interestsWHAT MEMORIES DO WE WANT OUR CHILDREN TO HAVE OF THIS SPACE?
5What is the role of the Early Childhood Educator? To be intentional in the design of the environment both inside and outsideTo reflect the children, staff and families in the design of the environmentTo supply materials and activities that reflect the strengths/needs and interests of the children and deepen their explorationsTo provide children with relevant, real, hands-on materialsTo provide long uninterrupted periods of time for children to explore their environmentTo be playful!
6What elements contribute to a well-designed & inviting environment? Room arrangementStorage & arrangement of materialsAestheticsNatural elementsAuthentic materialsHonoring children’s lives & experiencesIndoor and outdoor space consideration
8Room Arrangement Provide variety of learning areas When placing learning areas, consider their function and their mood – consider how to define spaceBe aware of space needs for different learning areas – is there enough room for children to engage with materials?Provide enough materials for each area (need enough materials to have deep exploration for group of children)Be aware of how children flow through areas – do pathways/walkways interfere with children’s play?Be aware of possible barriers to play (create an inclusive play environment for all!)Is the lighting appropriate for the space?Rules around space (can materials be moved from area to area to extend play?
10Storage and Arrangement of Materials What materials do we provide?Open-ended versus close-ended? Loose parts?Representational materials?How often do we rotate them?How do we make materials available to children?Do we organize our shelves with a place for all materials – children lose interest in their space when it is overwhelmed with items placed without purposeCreate a system for children to retrieve and return objects (use containers that are transparent or made of natural materials and identified by word, picture, object or combination)Do we present materials by creating invitations?
11Invitations are a collection of interesting and carefully combined materials aesthetically presented. These invitations may be used to: . Respond to/enhance an emerging interest . Introduce children to a new concept . Help children learn new skills
15AestheticsConsider the elements of light , sound, “visual clutter”, texture, and colourImplement a variety of lighting sources (floor lamps, table lamps, light table, overhead projector, chandeliers, lights with dimmers, flashlights, prisms or glass balls at windows)Sound – be aware of how sound can affect children – create various listening experiences“Visual clutter” – what do we have on our walls? Be intentional with displays.Texture – need to provide children with different textures (infuse recycled textures)Colour – can be powerful in both positive and negative waysUse neutral colours on walls and add accent colours with decorative elements (pillows, rugs, children’s artwork, curtains, materials)
17Natural ElementsYour space should be filled with natural or living things – what things?Learning tool + they enhance space with beautyLose the plastic – plastic gives off 35X more energy than woodChildren need concrete, real objects (real nature not plastic)Natural elements can be used in playEXERCISE: Photo StudyLook at the photos provided and share how natural elements or loose parts are being used in children’s play.
19Authentic MaterialsTerm “authentic” refers to an object that is commonly seen or used in an adult spaceAllows children’s play experiences to mirror real lifeWhat authentic materials could be added to each of the following learning centres?Dramatic PlayBlock AreaScience Area
21Honouring Children’s Lives and Experiences How do we personalize the space for children? How do we make it theirs?How do we make connections between home and child care?How do we recognize the uniqueness of our children and families?What is the image of the learner conveyed by the materials/things displayed?Are the children’s ideas, work & words honoured by displays?Do commercial materials contribute to children’s learning?
30Indoor and Outdoor Space Should be an extension of each otherMaterials and activities can be the sameGroups to engage in Photo Study and ask yourselves:What engages me as I look at the photos?What elements could I add to my existing space?