After a strange year in year 1 I am back working in Reception! Although it’s an exciting journey, redesigning a classroom is hard work! I am so grateful for the hard work of both my amazing Mum and new teaching assistant! I had all of the images and ideas in my head but I knew without team work it would be almost impossible to get done in such little time. Just over 4 days of work on rainy days and preparation and planning based on good Early Years practise has lead me to the stage I am at now with my classroom prep. It is not finished yet but I am feeling so much happier and I am excited to continue to build on the environment throughout the year.
So let’s start with the before photo….
I remember walking into the classroom not wanting to even think about it or look. How was I going to turn this into a classroom? What furniture do I have? Resources? It was all a bit of a blur but a good rest is definitely needed at the beginning of the holiday so that’s exactly what I did! Behind the scenes I relaxed and continued to read my favourite Early Years book, ‘Can I go and play now?’
The construction area!
Promoting open ended play is so important to me. Children are so creative, more creative than adults so why not encourage this through play? I aim to use recycled materials such as go kart tyres, reels and sticks to promote building and construction. I also found some amazing QR code posters linked to a range of books. I will be adding lots of freebies on my next blog this week so keep a look out!
The curiosity cube and small world area….
Curiosity cubes are a great way of children asking questions, promoting awe and wonder and developing communication and language skills. This cube will be changed weekly and I will allow children to draw and explain what they think is inside.
The small world area links so nicely into imagination. It is going to be filled with opened scrap resources and will encourage children to create their own stories and re-tell their favourite stories too. After sitting in this area I really thought – I want to play in here! So fingers crossed the children like it too.
The message centre
This area is inspired by the author Gregg Bottrill. Meeting and chatting to Gregg certainly encouraged further ideas for the Early Years. The message centre promotes symbols and encourages children to freely write and draw. I have added different size paper, booklets, post it notes, phase 1 logo sheets, sound mats and I will also be adding stamps a range of writing books. I will continue to blog the progress so watch this space!
Snack & Chat
Isn’t it lovely when you can catch up with your friend over a cup of tea and a snack? I wanted to promote children’s independence skills. I want this area to encourage children to decide when they are hungry and thirsty but also to have the confidence to ask their friends to join them too. I have placed the ‘take a look’ shelf which will be full of the children’s work near the snack area so they can also proudly discuss their work too.
Personally, having a million bits of text and displays is both a sensory overload and an additional layer of wallpaper! Before sticking something up I always ask why. Why am I placing it there? How will it benefit the children? If the answer is that it looks ‘nice’ or SLT will like it then I don’t stick it up! Working walls work so much better so I have decided to leave them blank until the children are in and they can take ownership of it.
Home corner/ Deconstructed role play area
This area is a work in progress. I am starting off with familiarity for the children. They will already be able to relate to a home corner and the kind of these I have provided. However, I am going to model how to use the deconstructed roleplay (inspired by ABC does) so that soon enough this area will be filled with open ended items and boxes for them to create their own adventure with. Watch this space for more information and progress.
Junk modelling and painting area
Children usually love this area and I am so excited to see what they produce. I have created space for their finished models too! I love the art display idea which I was inspired by groups online and I can’t wait to peg some of the children’s art work onto it.
I am hoping the B & Q paint shades will inspire children to mix colours and experiment. I really value promoting children to think critically and problem solve so fingers crossed this inspires them to do so.
Playdough / Malleable area
This area promotes fine motor skills although many activities that I can set up in provision will also promote fine motor skills. Children love play dough and I am willing to create individual pots of play dough to still allow every child to have the opportunity to use it still. The whiteboard roll is an amazing purchase and I will add some pens to also promote children’s writing skills.
I added some chalk board paint to the table to promote writing but also to cover up the awful, faded, red table too! I was a win win for the children and teacher! I will re edit this post as I am writing it at one in the morning so I apologise if I don’t make much sense!
My next blog will include FREE resources and more detail on specific areas too.
Feel free to comment or ask questions below and good luck for the next academic year.