Thursday, August 28, 2014

Welcome to a New Year of Kindergarten: A Tour of Important Areas of Our Room

After a long hiatus from blogging, I am back!  First I want to welcome all the new parents to our blog! Because there will not be much in the way of worksheets coming home to show you what we do each day, this will be the place where you can see the amazing things and the learning that goes on here in Kindergarten! I want to start out by showing you some areas in our room and explaining to you why they are so important for your child's learning experience. 

Here is a glance at our environment! I have worked to create a calming environment that provides experiences that encourage the children to learn, no matter where they go in our room! The walls are mostly bare waiting for the kids creations!


Materials are shared in the middle of the tables. Colors are separated to allow for more deliberate choice of colors when drawing, documenting and writing. 


Materials for art, science and projects were categorized by my students last year and are displayed where we can grab them when needed!


Here is the library with some friendship art created by past classes. These will be taken down to create room for their own art here and displayed permmenantly in the hallway to preserve some of this rooms history!


The writing area is ready for them to start recording their stories on paper! They will also use writing here in many authentic ways such as letter writing, creating cards, lists, writing books, documentation of what they notice, and so much more!



Our "Look Closer" table for now is filled with some random items to get an idea of where their interests lie and to start conversations. Kids can document what they see, think, wonder and notice. As time goes on, this table may have more specific items relating to an inquiry the kids are involved in, or items brought in by the kids that they want to get a closer look at.  



We have a Studio of the Arts Area in our room!  The arts are so important in developing motor skills, language development, decision making, visual learning, inventiveness, and creativity! All of these are important skills needed in the 21st Century! The easil is an area where we explore many different medias that can be use for art such as paint, pastels, watercolor, stamping, weaving, and much more!


This is the clay area. We are starting out with Playdough. I can't wait to see what type of sculptures they will create! For now I laid out some rolling pins to roll the dough and make imprints.  Many kids love using sculptures to document things they have learned during inquiries! It is a great way to develope their finger muscles!


Music is also an art! I set out some items for them to explore sound with and see what they notice and what they can create! I will add paper and clipboards for them to document what they wonder, see, notice and learn!


This is our loose parts area. I set out a few items to get their creative juices flowing! This area helps kids create plans, problem solve and use fine motor skills.  Many math and literacy skills end up happening at this station naturally!


This is an area to explore measurement!



Here is an area to explore patterns.


These are our math shelves with manipulatives and math trays. 


These are our Literacy shelves with trays filled with literacy experiences. 


This is our Engineering Area. Here they come up with plans, collaborate, problem solve, create, design, test their designs and build. So many 21st Century Skills are learned here!  Block play also encourages children to start making predictions and comparisons. They will also experiment with cause and effect, stability and balance. They will learn about gravity and force and motion!


Also available in the Engineering Area are Legos, K'nex, pattern blocks, rocks and natural blocks that I made from a Cedar tree that fell in my backyard.


Our Homeliving Area is where the kids practice real life situations. Here they will use many math and literacy skills as they create jobs and life situations.  A lot of important social skills are learned here also!  Sharing, taking turns, cooperating, impulse control, and dealling with disappointment. They will problem solve, negotiate, organize and plan. This area will change according to interests, inquiries and projects that will go on in our room!


I am excited to see how our room will change as the students make this room theirs through the year! Next week, I will show you what the first week of kindergarten looks like in our room!





18 comments:

  1. Thank you for al the great ideas.

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  2. This looks so amazing. I love all deliberate placement on materials. Well thought through.

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  3. As gorgeous as ever, Darla. The children in your class are so lucky (",)

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    1. Thank you Rachel! That means so much to me coming from you!

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  4. I recently found your blog and have loved reading your views/ideas on inquiry! You have many inspiring ideas! I'm looking forward to reading future posts! :)

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    1. Thank you so much Sauve!
      Sincerely,
      Darla Myers

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  5. Where did you get some of those beautiful rocks/minerals on your "look closer" table?

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    1. Most of them I got at rock shops or out in Colorado when we have visited! I'm a total rock nerd! I love collecting them! Some of the Geodes we found in rivers in Indiana! You break them and they have beautiful white, yellow or orange crystals in them! Yes, I go rock hunting in rivers! Lol!

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  6. Beautiful classroom and ideas! Thanks for sharing :)

    I wondered where you found those plastic "candy" jar containers? I am always looking for clear plastic containers to store toys, manipulatives, art items and sensory items....

    Thanks so much,

    Emily

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    1. Hi Emily!
      I got them from Lakeshore! I'm sure you can get them online from them also.
      Sincerely,
      Darla

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  7. I love your classroom. I'm currently researching Kindergarten options for my daughter and I would love to find a class like this. Are you in a public school?

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    1. Yes, I am in a public classroom! I am trying so hard to show that you can teach this way in the public school systems! If you look for a reggio inspired class or a play-based classroom, or a project/inquiry based classroom they should be pretty similar to my program, but everyone is different. Good luck in finding the best class for your daughter!
      Sincerely,
      Darla Myers

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  8. I noticed your decor is very neutral in color. I imagine this is on purpose and I like it. Can you tell me your thoughts on this?

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    1. Hi Caryn! You are right, the neutral decor is very purposeful. I want all of the color in my room to come from the children. When the decor is more neutral, the children's work and art really pop! Everyone's eye is drawn to what the children have done!
      Sincerely,
      Darla

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  9. Thank you for such a well written article. It’s full of insightful information and entertaining descriptions. Your point of view is the best among many. loft conversions cambridgeshire

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  10. What a beautiful classroom! Thanks for sharing your ideas!
    Glenda

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