Learning Environments

Lessons

  • 1

    Learning Environments: An Introduction

    Research tells us that children and youth learn best in environments where they feel safe and free to explore and learn, and where they have secure relationships with caring and responsive adults. A well-arranged environment can help you best support the development of children and youth. This lesson highlights the importance of the environment and provides an overview of what to consider when creating and maintaining developmentally appropriate learning environments for school-age children and youth.

    This lesson is estimated to take 30 minutes to complete.
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  • 2

    The Indoor Environment: Designing and Organizing

    Just like adults, children get frustrated when they cannot easily move through an environment or find what they need. It is our job as school-age staff members to make sure the indoor environment is thoughtfully designed and materials for play are well organized. This lesson highlights how to design your indoor environment for group activities, privacy, storage, and display, with attention to all learners. It provides an introduction to design elements that promote a sense of comfort and invite exploration and engagement. This lesson also examines how to organize materials for independence, easy use, and learning.

    This lesson is estimated to take 75 minutes to complete.
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  • 3

    The Outdoor Environment: Designing for Learning

    Learning occurs both indoors and out. An outdoor environment should be a place to run, play, and learn. This lesson will focus on designing safe outdoor spaces to promote learning, engagement, and active play.

    This lesson is estimated to take 75 minutes to complete.
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  • 4

    The Environment: Materials

    To make a learning environment as effective as possible, you must pair your design with great materials. Whether they are in a full-day summer program or a before- and after-school program, school-age children need developmentally appropriate materials and environments to help them learn, engage, and have fun. This lesson will help you ensure that a variety of developmentally appropriate materials is available. You will read about how to choose materials based on cultural relevance, children’s interests, and learning goals.

    This lesson is estimated to take 75 minutes to complete.
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  • 5

    The Environment: Schedules and Routines

    The routines and activities that make up your program’s schedule are essential elements that make your learning environment what it is. How you design your schedule and space to support effective routines helps promote children’s and youth’s development and learning. This lesson will focus on constructing a schedule that is flexible but meets children’s need for routine and play.

    This lesson is estimated to take 75 minutes to complete.
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