The child-centered classroom: shelves

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As a general rule, when I set up classrooms, I find that it is most helpful to make sure that shelves face the area that you want the children to play…

For example, if I have a shelf with art supplies on it (an art center) then I will set the shelf up near a table or facing the table that the items on the shelf should be played with.

When it comes to selecting shelves (or building them) I like to make sure they are sturdy, a good height for children, and can free stand in the middle of a room.

With good, sturdy, freestanding shelves – I am able to place the shelves strategically throughout the room. Shelves can be used to…

  • Divide up the room into small areas (centers)
  • Provide natural and easy to identify boundaries of play
  • Make the room look interesting, inviting, and organized
  • Cut down on the amount of open or unused space in the middle of the room

What I ultimately want to do is create an environment, using the furniture in the room, that makes sense to young children. I want the children to be able to put away their own toys or activities and to choose freely from the items on the shelves.

Once I have my baskets and shelves all figured out – then I am ready to start selecting the materials to go on each shelf…


Remember…

The classroom environment is a partner in the teaching process!

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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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