Eastern Connecticut State University
Center for
Early Childhood Education
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Guiding Young Children's Behavior

Segment 3: Selecting Classroom Materials and Planning the Schedule


This segment 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.   


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Questions to Answer After Viewing Videos

  • Think about the materials in your classroom. Which materials are open-ended and self-expressive? Which are problem-solving materials? What kinds of materials do you need to add to ensure you have a balance?

  • Think about the last three art activities you did in your classroom. Which were open-ended and which were product-oriented?

  • What quiet materials do you have available in your classroom? What active materials do you have? What additional quiet or active materials would you like to add to support children’s behavior?

  • Based on the ideas presented, what would an ideal schedule look like for supporting positive behaviors? What changes could you make now in your own classroom schedule?  

  • Think about your current schedule. Is there enough free choice and play? Is there a good balance of teacher-guided activities and active play? What changes could you make to further support children’s positive behaviors?

Additional Resources on Selecting Classroom Materials and Planning the Schedule

  • Creange, R., & Hayes, K. (2001). Classroom routies that really work for Pre-K and Kindergarten: Dozens of other routines that set the stage for children's literacy & help them feel at home in the classroom. Washington, D.C.: Teaching Strategies.
  • Gartrell, D. (2010). A guidance approach for the encouraging classroom. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
  • Isbell, C.; Exelby, B.; Exelby, G.; & Isbell, R. (2001). Early learning environments that work. Silver Spring, MD: Gryphon House.
  • McGee, G. (1991). Use of classroom materials to promote preschool engagement. Teaching Exceptional Children, 23(4), 44-47.

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