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Charity Preston's picture
Charity Preston, M.A., is a national presenter, consultant and author. She has completed studies in gifted training, cooperative learning and differentiation, as well as a master's degree in...
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Setting Up a Preschool Classroom

Preschool classroom layouts tend to be much different than traditional elementary school desk arrangements. Spaces are needed, of course, for teacher-led time. But, children of this age are not developmentally ready to sit for long periods of time. They learn through play and interacting with other children. For this reason, preschool rooms need a wide variety of places for the children to explore.

One space that is of particular interest to preschoolers is the dramatic play area. In this area, there could be dress-up costumes or maybe a kitchen setup complete with plastic food. Children love to pretend and when they are interacting with one another, they learn spatial relationships and social skills. Sharing is an important lesson to practice and perfect in the preschool classroom for these young students.

Another area the students love is the fine and large motor skills play space. Building items, such as blocks might be located here. Or a table that contains sand or water. When children come to this part of the classroom, they will be working on fine-tuning their own body movements. Grasping items, jumping, or stacking can all be practiced in this area of the preschool classroom layout.

When most people think of a classroom, rows of desks are one of the first things that come to mind. In a preschool classroom, desks are not feasible as children of this age are not able to sit in a chair for any length of time. The alternative is to have an area in the classroom where students sit in the floor around the teacher as she introduces a story, puppets, or maybe letters or numbers. The basis for this space in the preschool classroom layout is for students to grow cognitively. It also showcases social skills like active listening. While the space is mainly clear, it might have a soft carpet or pillows on the floor.

It is important to know that not all children should be in each area at the same time. No more than five students (preferably less), should be actively engaged in any one space of the classroom. By limiting how many children can play in the space, it allows for more freedom of choice in choosing materials and working with others. By knowing the differences of preschool classroom layouts as opposed to traditional classrooms, teachers can more readily cater to the development needs of these young children.

Charity Preston - The Organized Classroom