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Monday, July 30, 2012
Pre-School Classroom Organization

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By Heather Andrews

Structure is important for pre-school age children. Setting up your classroom so it flows, is easy to keep organized and to provide visual structure can be challenging. Follow these simple tips for organizing your classroom to keep your students on schedule and to keep the mess to a minimum.

  1. Seating - Provide different types of seating for classroom learning and for reading or activity time. Having a fun themed table or comfy chairs for pre-school reading and activities helps children to identify that this area and these luxuries are only used for special activities.

  2. Group Area- Include an open group area (preferably a carpeted space) in your classroom. This area should be reserved for when the pre-school students meet as a group when the teacher has announcements, reads to the class or leads a group game.

  3. Activity Tables - Set up tables for arts & crafts or playtime where multiple students can participate on an activity together or work on their own artwork in a group setting. This enables the pre-school students time to develop social skills while working on other motor or creativity skills. To really inspire teamwork, try activity tables such as the Musical Slices of Fun Table or the Magnetic Sea Life Table.

  4. Stations - Set up stations with different materials for the classroom. A station for each subject (math, science, language arts, etc) is idea. Each station should have worksheets, puzzles, instructions for an activity or other items related to what the pre-school students are learning. The students can take the materials back to their individual seating, or an activity table or to other free space.

  5. Library - The classroom library should have a selection or reading materials that remains organized. Try using a book display stand that enables all of the books to show a portion of the cover. This helps multiple students select their book of interest without having to sort through and touch all of them.

  6. Supplies - A small supply closet or area is usually necessary in the classroom too. This area should be well labeled with the contents of any bins or cabinets and should be off limits to students unless they have permission. When you are getting ready to set up for an activity, select one or multiple students to get specified items and bring them to the activity centers. The same students should be responsible for helping to direct the other students when it is time to clean up.

  7. Teacher Area -It is important not to forget the area you will need that should be off limits to students. Typically this includes the teacher’s desk and storage shelves or cabinets.

As part of your classroom structure, be sure your pre-school students know which areas are for fun and creativity, which are for learning and which are off-limits. Schedule activities in different sections of the classroom throughout the day and engage students in the setup and cleanup of activities. Your team of pre-schoolers will feel as though they have traveled to different rooms and have been a part of maintaining the daily structure.




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