It’s important to consider how to organize and improve your materials. As you watch this video, Organizing the Space for Engagement, think about what the teacher might do to improve the space for play and learning. Describe the problem you see, and then make a suggestion for improvement.
Video Clip: Discovery Area
- Too many materials; it feels overwhelming
- No clear learning goals for the materials
- Materials are not all related to one another or children’s interests (farm tongs and star fish)
- No labels
- No storage area
- Offer a smaller selection of materials. It’s great to have a selection of natural materials, but this many might be distracting.
- Establish learning goals first and select materials and establish spaces to achieve them.
- Offer materials that connect to one another and/or the children’s current interests.
- Provide a shelf for storage and label the materials.
Video Clip: Toys and Games Area
- No labels on shelves
- No clear instructions or modeling about how to use the materials
- Too wide a variety of materials in one area (this encourages the children to grab everything and bring it to the table)
- Label the shelves so children know where materials belong.
- Teach children how to use the materials.
- Preset an idea on the table for the children to begin exploring.
- Provide ideas or teach how to play with materials.