I teach 32 preschoolers every day. Preschool is usually their first exposure to school and I want to make it a positive experience. Students come to school in the morning or in the afternoon for 3 hours at a time. I want my students to be reading at the end of the year. My students come from a very economically diverse background. A lot of my students are learning English as their second language. They speak Somali, Vietnamese, Spanish, and Chinese. I have a lot of different cultures represented in my classroom. My biggest challenge is accommodating these different languages. Many students come to preschool not speaking or knowing any English.
This year I have been doing a lot of reading about creating an environment that promotes learning. The research has been pointing to facilitating an environment with natural objects and materials. I then put rocks, acorns, flowers, sand and dirt in my classroom. I was shocked by how many kids were interested in playing with these materials. They were building and creating structures that were way more advanced than before. I want to create more of these experiences and one way I can do that is adding baskets to my areas. I have seen preschoolers gravitate toward materials when they are displayed in baskets. Items that they do not play with often, become more appealing and interesting when they are stored in a basket.
Creating a natural environment will give my preschoolers real world experiences when it comes to learning.
I want them to see their learning at school as an extension to their learning at home and outside. Adding baskets to my room is just one of the steps in creating a natural environment. I am hoping to continue adding more natural items and materials into my classroom soon. I am excited to see how their learning grows because of the way their materials are displayed.
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