As we open our Pre-K classrooms to visitors from all over New York City, we are cognizant that the classroom itself is an organic, living, space that enhances our teaching and learning. Centers and materials are readily available and accessible for all students to use and explore. My 3-,4-, and 5 -year-old learners build confidence, social-emotional, and language skills as they explore their classroom environment and hands-on learning experiences.
I am always amazed at their transformation from the beginning of the school year as quiet and reserved little beings, to the end of the school year as happy, curious, eager, problem solving explorers!
They understand that school is a safe place for learning, where their curiosities are nurtured,and they seek answers to their own questions.
I think back to how creative my students are when I saw a cardboard box as a diaper holder for our Babies unit, my students envisioned a baby car seat instead and went right to work in transforming their vision into reality. For our Transportation unit, a student donated a cardboard space shuttle and when it broke apart from overuse, my students re-purposed the cardboard into two boats! Unbelievable!
In our busy Pre-K classroom, students explore the sand, water, train, blocks, drama, and music centers. We eat, nap, and play in our room all day. A welcome addition to our room would be comfortable bean bag chairs where students can take a break. We would place them in the cozy corner where they could find a book to browse through and a soft toy to hug. We expect so much of our young learners who may be experiencing school for the very first time. Having bean bag chairs to relax with would build mindfulness and just finding a quiet thinking space is a worthy oasis in any classroom. Students that are not as verbal or still developing social skills would greatly benefit from finding a space of their own throughout the day.
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