Young children are affected by their surroundings. The use of space, furnishings, materials, the daily schedule, and how adults communicate rules and expectations are all important features that influence the teaching and learning process. The learning environment is a critical factor and can be intentionally prepared to help support healthy development.
Videos and Other Resources
Helping children know what to expect throughout the day is an important part of the classroom environment. In this video from the Teaching Strategies series, a preschool teacher describes how she uses a visual schedule on a daily basis. Young children can refer to the pictures on the schedule independently to see what comes next, which can help them to regulate their own behavior. A visual schedule can be especially helpful for children who struggle with transitions or changes to the daily routine.
In ensuring that a learning environment supports children’s social and emotional well-being, adults need to make sure that children know what to expect and understand what is expected of them. In this video, teachers, family child care providers, and experts discuss how to determine developmentally appropriate rules for children, and share strategies they use for communicating rules and expectations to children. Strategies for involving young children in creating classroom rules are also shared.
Classroom arrangement has a powerful effect on children’s behavior. This segment of the "Guiding Young Children's Behavior" series looks at three ideas teachers can use to arrange classrooms to guide children’s behavior. The segment also explores how rearranging the classroom can address behavior problems.
This segment of the "Guiding Young Children's Behavior" series looks at how both materials and the daily schedule can affect children’s behavior, and discusses how and why creating balance in the classroom promotes a positive and productive learning environment. Early childhood professionals can influence children’s behavior by keeping a few key principles in mind when carefully selecting classroom materials and designing the daily schedule.
In this video, a preschool teacher gives a tour of her classroom and discusses her plans and motivations for redesigning the room. After the redesign, she reflects on how the changes have improved her classroom. She also describes some of the challenges to her initial plans and gives advice to teachers who are thinking of redesigning their own classroom spaces.
In this video, a toddler teacher discusses her decision to rearrange her toddler classroom. She reflects on how creating a new music center and defining individual centers with the help of furniture has had a positive impact on classroom behavior, and gives advice to teachers who are thinking of redesigning their own classroom spaces.