The child-centered classroom: shelves

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on December 13, 2010

in Centers, Classroom Setup

As a general rule, when I set up classrooms, I find that it is most helpful to make sure that shelves face the area that you want the children to play…

For example, if I have a shelf with art supplies on it (an art center) then I will set the shelf up near a table or facing the table that the items on the shelf should be played with.

When it comes to selecting shelves (or building them) I like to make sure they are sturdy, a good height for children, and can free stand in the middle of a room.

With good, sturdy, freestanding shelves – I am able to place the shelves strategically throughout the room. Shelves can be used to…

  • Divide up the room into small areas (centers)
  • Provide natural and easy to identify boundaries of play
  • Make the room look interesting, inviting, and organized
  • Cut down on the amount of open or unused space in the middle of the room

What I ultimately want to do is create an environment, using the furniture in the room, that makes sense to young children. I want the children to be able to put away their own toys or activities and to choose freely from the items on the shelves.

Once I have my baskets and shelves all figured out – then I am ready to start selecting the materials to go on each shelf…


Remember…

The classroom environment is a partner in the teaching process!

This article is being shared with you by Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool - Promoting excellence in early childhood education at home and in the preschool classroom!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

1 Sherry and Donna December 14, 2010 at 1:16 am

We love to use our shelving to create inviting nooks and inviting play spaces too. Another irresistible post Deborah!
Donna :) :)

2 Deborah J. Stewart December 14, 2010 at 6:37 am

:) It is fun to create the play spaces!

3 Scott December 14, 2010 at 2:52 pm

I’m enjoying this series. Thanks, Deborah.

4 Deborah J. Stewart December 14, 2010 at 9:42 pm

I always enjoy having you come visit me Scott:)

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