Friday, January 4, 2013

My Centre, My Schedule

I’ve received emails asking about my room and the flow of the schedule.
Today I went in to finish prepping for next week so I'll show you what the
families will find on Monday after returning from our two week holiday.

      jan 4 001
This is what you see when you first enter.
I have very high ceilings and even though there is a curtain rod that runs
around the whole room I can’t hang anything from it because the room
has a movement sensor alarm.

jan 4 002 jan 4 003
My StrongStart runs every morning beginning at 8:30.
Families sign in together.
Parents sign the attendance form and the children find their picture on the
cabinet and taking it to the white board (in the left hand picture)
answer the day's question.

Then they are free to explore and play at all the areas in the room.
       jan 4 004
The first table they see holds provocations about our main focus.
For the next couple of weeks it will be winter, snow, snowflakes.
They can match the shaped lights on the left side of the table or use the
magnifying glass to find two snowflakes that look alike on the light table.

      jan 4 007
The art corner offers easels, collage material and a focus craft.

Free discovery play time runs from 8:30 – 10:10.

Here are the rest of the areas (play areas may not be side by side in the room).
jan 4 006 jan 4 012
              Play tray table and blocks with cars corner.
jan 4 008 jan 4 019
                      Sensory table and the sand table.
jan 4 011  jan 4 014
                Explore, create and narrate your play and our climber.
 jan 4 013  jan 4 017
            Sensory table that can be used for puzzles and the house area.
jan 4 009 jan 4 010
                  Dramatic play area which is a vet clinic at the moment.

At 10:10 we clean up and have story time.
The grown ups read with their child then I lead them in songs and stories together.
jan 4 015  jan 4 016
                  10:30 we head to the gym until 11.
march 6 029  feb 23 021
Then back in the classroom it is open play till 11:40, when we clean up,
stack the chairs and finish by 12 with a second circle time.

You may be wondering what about snack??
     jan 4 005
                   It is available all morning.

We used to have a set time for snack but changed it for several reasons.

1.  With 30 or more children at a time it is difficult to find the space to sit everyone.
2. By removing a set snack time we removed two transitions in our morning, allowing more time for play.
3.  By allowing the children to choose when they are hungry we are letting them listen to their body’s needs.

Also because this is a drop in program families can arrive at any time in the morning.  Some may sleep in and have just finished eating when they arrive or the opposite they awoke early and it has been several hours since they had breakfast.  So it meets the needs of the family that attend.

Other early childhood educators have argued that by not having the group snack it takes away from the social time that happens during eating.  My answer to that is – there are rarely a time when a child is eating alone.  There is always an adult with them or a friend will join them.  Casual conversations, focusing on manners and passing food, etc is still happening.

I hope you enjoyed my tour.  See you soon.