Jonti-Craft Complete KYDZ Classroom

Jonti-Craft Complete KYDZ Classroom - Click to enlarge

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Product Description:
Jonti-Craft Complete KYDZ Classroom - Not just strong - KYDZStrong!

Jonti-Craft products are crafted with durable materials that are made to last — making it the perfect furniture for any early learning environment. The popular Baltic Birch products are made with Eleven Ply 5/8" Baltic Birch, the strongest plywood in the world. Plies are laid cross-ways to make each board super-strong and to prevent the wood from expanding and contracting in seasonal weather changes. Our Rainbow Accents® and MapleWave® products have dual-sided laminated boards that are made with MDF cores and uniquely formulated for maximum strength and longevity. The recessed backs not only give our furniture the aesthetic appeal you've come to expect, but also gives it extra stability and structural integrity. Our products also use dowel-pin construction - which is stronger than the dado joints used by other companies - to prevent weakening at the joints, where most of the stress occurs. Using this method results in a more aesthetically pleasing product and extends the product's lifetime by 50%, so your furniture can last from first steps to graduation.

Complete Pre-K, Kindergarten, First grade, Second Grade or Third Grade Classroom Set-Up Furniture by Jonti-Craft!

Setting up a brand new Lower Elementary School Classroom? Here you can stunningly furnish your classroom in one simple order!
With the most update and professionaly thought-out modern, safe and learning-condusive decorating, you will be ready to start class before you know it!

See below what each complete clasroom includes. It's perfect!

Jonti-Craft can provide you with a complete classroom layout of products from dramatic play to furniture to activity tables and chairs and much more. Whether you use these layouts as is or simply as a starting point, with Jonti-Craft’s Complete KYDZ Classroom you will experience the following advantages:
  • Consistent-looking furniture
  • Lower total delivered cost (only $755,00 anywhere in the USA 48 states - below actual cost!)
  • More effective customer relations (one call, complete support)
  • Receiving simplicity (one shipment, from one supplier, and your classroom is completely and beautifully furnished!)

    JONTI-CRAFT Complete Furnished Lower Elementary School Classroom

    Product Listing for Pre-K Room:
    (Room accommodates 24 students)
    Item # Product Name Quantity
    97001JC003 RA Teachers' Desk,48" Long w/1 Pedestal 1
    5916JC2 KYDZ Ladderback Chair Pair - 16" 1
    04180JC Classroom Organizer - 20 - With clear trays 1
    04210JC 20 Tray Mobile Cubbie - With clear trays 1
    6478JCE210 KYDZ Activity Table, Rectangle-24" x 36", Oak 1
    5912JC2 KYDZ Ladderback Chair Pair - 12" 16
    0386JC Paper Rack 1
    0294JC 4-Station Art Center 1
    2030JC The Natural Birch Kitchen - 4 Pc. Set 1
    2871JC See-Thru Sensory Table 2
    3514JC Pick-a-Book Stand, Flush Back 1
    0543JC Big Book Easel, Write-n-Wipe 1
    0539JC Media Tower 1
    0392JC Low Single Mobile Storage Unit 3
    7200JC Imagination Station, Write-n-Wipe 1
    9525JC Script-n-Skills Station-Maxi 1
    6433JCE210 KYDZ Activity Table, Round, 48" Diameter, Oak 1
    55225JC Table w/Storage - 6 - With clear paper-trays 4
    5950JC Classroom Closet - Deluxe 1
    2691JC Super-Sized Mobile Storage Unit 1
    0499JC Puppet Tree 1
    0348JC Computer Table - 60 Inch - White 1
    2687JC Neat-n-Trim Lockers - 48 Inch 3
    0217JC Mirror 1
    TOTAL Number of Pieces: 47

    Product Listing for Kindergarten Room:
    (Room accommodates 24 students)
    Item # Product Name Quantity
    97001JC008 RA Teachers' Desk, 48" Long w/1 Pedestal 1
    5912JC2 KYDZ Ladderback Chair Pair - 12" 14
    6468JCE210 KYDZ Activity Table, Round, 42" Diameter, Oak 6
    04180JC Classroom Organizer - With clear trays 1
    5950JC Classroom Closet - Deluxe 1
    3305JC Media Cart - Lockable 1
    0537JC Book Browser 1
    0543JC Big Book Easel, Write-n-Wipe 1
    2687JC Neat-n-Trim Lockers - 48 Inch 3
    09101JC Dress Up Island - Small 1
    2171JC Acrylic Mirror 1
    2030JC The Natural Birch Kitchen - 4 pc. Set 1
    0392JC Low Single Mobile Storage Unit 2
    0276JC Abel Block Set 1
    6478JCE210 KYDZ Activity Table, Rectangle-24"x36", Oak 1
    5916JC2 KYDZ Ladderback Chair Pair - 16" 1
    5745JC KYDZ Building Table - Duplo™ compatible 1
    2871JC See-Thru Sensory Table 2
    04400JC Mobile Storage Island - With clear trays 1
    0348JC Computer Table - 60 Inch - White 2
    06250JC 24 Paper-Tray Cubbie - With clear paper trays 1
    9525JC Script-n-Skills Station - Maxi 1
    3514JC Pick-a-Book Stand Flush Back 1
    0294JC 4 Station Art Center 1
    TOTAL Number of Pieces: 47

    Product Listing for First Grade Room:
    (Room accommodates 24 students)
    Item # Product Name Quantity
    97012JC003 RA Teachers' Desk w/2 Pedestals, 66" Long 1
    5916JC KYDZ Ladderback Chair - 16" 1
    04180JC Classroom Organizer - 20 - With clear trays 1
    04210JC 20 Tray Mobile Cubbie - With clear trays 1
    6468JCE210 KYDZ Activity Table,Round 42" Diameter, Oak 1
    5912JC2 KYDZ Ladderback Chair Pairs - 12" 16
    2171JC Acrylic Mirror 1
    0294JC 4-Station Art Center 1
    2030JC The Natural Birch Kitchen - 4 Pc. Set 1
    2871JC See-Thru Sand-n-Water Table 1
    3514JC Pick-a-Book Stand Flush Back 1
    0543JC Big Book Easel, Write-n-Wipe 1
    0539JC Media Tower 1
    0392JC Low Single Mobile Storage Unit 1
    7200JC Imagination Station - Write-n-Wipe 1
    9525JC Script-n-Skills Station - Maxi 1
    6453JCE210 KYDZ Activity Table, Four Leaf 48", Oak 1
    55225JC Table w/Storage - 6 - With clear paper-trays 4
    5950JC Classroom Closet - Deluxe 1
    2687JC Neat-n-Trim Lockers - 48 Inch 3
    09121JC Dress Up Island - Large 1
    04260JC 25 Tray Mobile Cubbie - With clear trays 1
    0348JC Computer Table - 60 Inch - White 1
    TOTAL Number of Pieces: 43

    Product Listing for Second Grade Room:
    (Room accommodates 24 students)
    Item # Product Name Quantity
    0380JC Jonti-Craft Red Living Room Set - 4 pc. Set 1
    2030JC The Natural Birch Kitchen - 4 Pc. Set 1
    0392JC Low Single Mobile Storage Unit 1
    7200JC Imagination Station - Write-n-Wipe 1
    0499JC Puppet Tree 1
    69510JC Mobile Storage Island - Twin - With clear trays 1
    0294JC 4 Station Art Center 1
    0640JC See-Thru Easel 1
    2871JC See-Thru Sensory Table 1
    6959JC Science Lab System, 6 pc. Set 1
    04260JC 25 Tray Mobile Cubbie - With clear trays 1
    0539JC Media Tower 1
    5950JC Classroom Closet - Deluxe 1
    0348JC Computer Table - 60 Inch - White 2
    9525JC Script-n-Skills Station - Maxi 1
    3514JC Pick-a-Book Stand Flush Back 1
    6453JCE210 KYDZ Activity Table, Four-Leaf 48" Diameter, Oak 1
    04180JC Classroom Organizer - 20 - With clear trays 1
    55225JC Table w/Storage - 6 - With clear paper-trays 4
    07710JC Coat Locker - Large Wall Mount - w/clear trays 2
    97001JC008 RA Teachers' Desk - 48 Inch - w/1 Pedestal 1
    5916JC KYDZ Ladderback Chair - 16" 1
    6468JCE210 KYDZ Activity Table, Round 42" Diameter - Oak 1
    5914JC2 KYDZ Ladderback Chair Pairs - 14" 16
    TOTAL Number of Pieces: 43

    Product Listing for Third Grade Room:
    (Room accommodates 24 students)
    Item # Product Name Quantity
    97001JC008 RA Teachers' Desk w/1 Pedestal, 48" long 1
    5916JC KYDZ Ladderback Chair - 16" 1
    04210JC 20-Tray Mobile Cubbie - With clear trays 1
    04180JC Classroom Organizer - 20 - With clear trays 1
    6408JCE210 KYDZ Activity Table, Rectangle 30"x 60", Oak 1
    5914JC2 KYDZ Ladderback Chair Pair - 14" 15
    0294JC 4-Station Art Center 1
    2030SA The School Age Natural Birch Kitchen - 4 Pc. Set 1
    2061JC Housecleaning Set-n-Rack 1
    2871JC See-Thru Sensory Table 1
    0537JC Book Browser 1
    0380JC Jonti-Craft Red Living Room Set - 4 pc. Set 1
    2691JC Super-Sized Mobile Storage Unit 1
    7200JC Imagination Station - Write-n-Wipe 1
    09101JC Dress Up Island - Small 1
    55225JC Table w/Storage - 6 - With clear paper-trays 4
    5950JC Classroom Closet - Deluxe 1
    07710JC Coat Locker - Large Wall Mount - With clear trays 2
    3514JC Pick-a-Book Stand Flush Back 1
    0348JC Computer Table - 60 Inch - White 1
    56722JC Multi-Purpose Round Table - 30" x 22" high - Butcherblock 1
    69510JC Mobile Storage Island - Twin - With clear trays 1
    TOTAL Number of Pieces: 40

    {Shipping in the 48 states: Only $755 - way below cost!}

  • Customer Reviews

    Test Your Classroom I.Q.

    Q. Where’s the best place to put a teachers’ desk – and why?
    A. The teachers’ desk should be near the door to monitor who comes and goes for security.

    Q. What’s the smartest place to situate a reading area?
    A. Reading nooks should be placed near windows for natural light.

    Q. Can you indentify the ideal location for lockers?
    A. Lockers should be placed near the door to keep the weather (mud) from being tracked through the entire room.

    Q. What’s another use for storage units besides storage?
    A. Storage units can do double-duty as dividers to separate different areas of the room.

    Q. Why should art easels and sensory tables be near each other?
    A. Placing messy activities near each other (near a sink if possible) will help keep the room more tidy.

    Q. Can you name the best activities to place next to a dramatic play area?
    A. Keep noisy, interactive areas adjacent to each other (i.e., blocks or music near dramatic play)


    the teacher's perspective

    by Terri Jo Swim, PH.D.

    “The issue is not having space but how it is used.”
    (V. Vecchi quoted in Gandini, 1998, p. 165)


    It’s that time of year – Fall. You and the children have settled into the daily routine. The curriculum is in full swing and learning is occurring all around the room. But is it optimal learning? What aspects of your work would you need to consider in addressing this question? Is it about the curricular experiences you have planned?
    Or is it about the physical layout of the classroom? Or could it be the types of materials you have provided the children? Or, still, could it be about the relationships you have developed with the children and their families?

    Given the importance of the physical environment, this article will consider how the physical environment influences the children’s learning and development. More specifically, the focus of this article is on answering the question: How do teachers create meaningful learning environments for themselves and the children?

    This article outlines some basic premises of designing classroom environments from the teacher’s perspective and it is divided into several sections, each addressing a specific question. You should begin to answer each of these questions by reflecting on the age of the children
    in your classroom, your program’s philosophy, licensing and accreditation standards, and guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice.

    Within each section, you will be introduced to the concept of a “balance of opposites.”
    This notion involves thinking about environmental factors that are in opposition to each other, such as messy/dry or pathways/boundaries. But first, a brief discussion about why teachers need to consider the physical environment will be presented.

    The Importance of the Physical Environment
    Taking the time to reflect on the physical environment is imperative as it is considered the “third” teacher in the classroom (Gandini, 1998). In other words, the environment provides guidance to the children and adults about appropriate behavior. Consider for a moment how your behavior is influenced differently by being in a place of worship, a library, a shopping mall, or a family-dining restaurant. All of these environments send messages
    about appropriate behavior. Take, for example, the library with its special sections designated for quiet reading,
    small groups to gather and enjoy stories, computer work, and playing with puppets. The way the space and materials are arranged provides clues as to appropriate behavior. The adults responsible for managing the space seldom have to remind others of their expectations; the environment
    does it for them. Like the designer of the library environment, your careful planning can assist children with meeting your expectations for the use of the space.

    Sketch of Room
    Before we investigate how to prepare environments, you need to sketch the basic layout of your classroom including
    all attached spaces that you will use throughout the day such as a child bathroom or covered patio area. Also, indicate on your sketch the location of electrical outlets, partitions, and other permanent structures or furniture that cannot be moved (e.g., classroom sink with
    surrounding cabinets) as well as the type of floor covering. As you read this article, you will be prompted
    to add to your sketch.

    An design for preschool children can be found above.

    Learning Centers
    Given the importance of learning centers, it is assumed in this article that your classroom will be organized into them (Bredekamp & Copple,1997; Isbell & Exelby, 2001). When planning your learning environment, you will
    need to consider “how many and what learning centers you should have in your classroom?”

    The number and type of learning centers available depends heavily on the size of the classroom and the age of the children.
    In general, to maximize choice and minimize conflict over
    possessions, a rule of thumb to follow is having one third
    more work spaces than the number of children in your classroom (Marion, 2003). To illustrate, if you have 24
    school-age children, you will need (24 x 1⁄3)
    + 24 or 32 spaces for working. This might mean including three spaces at the sensory table, two at the easel, four at the art table, four at the writing/homework center, six in blocks/construction, four in dramatic play, four at the discovery center, three in the listening/library area, and two private spots.

    Real Objects Versus Open-ended Materials
    Children need a balance of novel and familiar materials in the classroom to attract and maintain their attention (see next section for a more in-depth discussion). When children
    are engaged with materials and ideas, they have less opportunity to create mischief or misbehave; thus, altering teacher supervision from guidance of behavior to
    guidance of learning.
    Throughout the early childhood period, young children are learning to use objects as tools for representing their thoughts and theories about how the world works. Therefore, providing a balance of real and open-ended materials promotes cognitive development. Making available real objects such as glass tumblers for drinks during meals, child-size shovels for digging in the garden, or
    Navajo pottery for storing paintbrushes, serves two purposes:
    1) it demonstrates respect in the children’s
    ability to care for objects, and 2) it connects
    home and school environments.
    The real objects, when in response to the children’s
    expressed interests, can facilitate thinking about a particular topic or concept.

    Open-ended materials, on the other hand,can be used by the children to expand their understanding of concepts
    and demonstrate creative uses of materials (Curtis &
    Carter, 2003). Open-ended materials include collected
    items such as fabric, cardboard, plastics, pebbles,
    shells, or egg cartons and commercially produced
    objects such as wooden blocks, animal and people
    figurines, or connecting manipulatives. Open-ended
    materials can spark, support, and enhance learning and
    development in any learning center of the classroom. Neatly
    arranging them in baskets or other containers and displaying them on a shelf at the children’s
    height will make them easily accessible to
    the children (Curtis & Carter, 2003; Isbell
    & Exelby, 2001).

    Independence Versus Dependence
    A primary goal for adults is that children become independent, self-regulated learners. In order for this to occur, teachers must carefully plan the physical environment with this in mind (Marion, 2003). As mentioned above, arranging open-ended materials neatly in baskets and
    displaying them on child-size shelves promotes cognitive development. This practice also promotes social and emotional development because the children can independently select the materials they need for their
    work and they can more easily clean up before they leave the learning area.
    Moreover, modifying the bathroom so that all necessary hand washing supplies can be reached independently facilitates the children’s use of them.

    Reflection Questions: What learning centers are you considering or have you already selected for your particular group of children?
    How will you explain your choices to the children, families, and your colleagues?

    Make a list of the titles or labels for the centers
    on the back of your sketch.

    Use of Space
    An important question to begin your work is “how do I want the children to use this space?” Teachers create environments to promote learning in all of the content areas (e.g., mathematics, sciences, and social
    studies) and all areas of development.
    Therefore, a basic understanding of child development and learning theories will guide your thinking about how to use your classroom space (Herr & Swim, 2002; Swim, 2004).

    Messy Versus Dry
    Designing space for daily opportunities of exploring messy materials is a must (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997). These experiences are particularly significant, for the environment is often considered the "third teacher" in
    a classroom of young children because they build cognitive structures or schemas (i.e., tightly organized set of ideas about a specific object or situation) through sensorimotor and hands-on, minds-on experiences. Some
    typical messy centers include water and/or sensory tables, painting easel, and art. Water play, for example, provides
    opportunities for learning about quantity, building vocabulary, and negotiating the sharing of materials.
    What does a teacher need to consider when managing messy experiences in a classroom setting? First, placing messy
    experiences over vinyl or linoleum flooring allows for ease of clean up when spills occur. Second, placing these experiences near a water source can permit ease of clean
    up as well as aid in refilling or adding a new element to an experience. For example, if a sensory table is filled with dry sand, children can transfer water from the source
    using pitchers thus transforming the properties of the sand. Third, if a material such as dirt is placed in the sensory table, placing a hand broom and dustpan nearby prompts children to maintain a safe environment.
    If you do not have floor covering that is
    conducive to messy activities, you will need to be creative in order to provide such valuable learning experiences. Placing newspaper, towels, or a shower curtain
    under a sensory table or easel can resolve this issue. Another way to address this challenge is to plan daily experiences outside with messy materials.

    Noisy Versus Quiet
    Some classroom experiences seem to naturally be noisier than others.
    Cooperating and negotiating requires children to interact with one another and, sometimes, interactions can become
    heated. However, a teacher’s goal should be to facilitate such interactions so that the children gain necessary perspective-taking and problem-solving skills,
    not to stop the interactions or prevent them in the first
    place (Marion, 2003).
    To manage the environment and facilitate learning, teachers can place noisy areas close together (Bergen, Reid, & Torelli, 2001). Some noisy centers include dramatic play, music and movement, and project work space. Placing these centers adjacent toone another serves two purposes. First, the higher noise levels will be concentrated in a particular section of the room. This
    allows children to concentrate better in the quiet areas because there are fewer distractions close by. Second, placing areas together that need more teacher
    supervision and support (e.g., assisting children with problem solving) permits the adult to engage in these interactions without constantly being pulled between
    noisy centers that were placed in different parts of the room.
    Quiet centers consist of the library and listening centers, and private spaces. For your and the children’s mental health, you must provide areas for children to be
    alone. These private spaces allow the children to regroup, “charge their batteries,” and gather their thoughts before rejoining others (Honig, 2002, p.
    37). Play in other centers, such as manipulatives or science/discovery, fluctuate between quiet and noisy
    depending on the type of materials provided and the children’s levels of engagement, thus, making them more
    difficult to classify. These areas can be used to transition between the noisy and quiet centers.
    When deciding where to place learning centers, teachers also need to consider the needs of the different types of centers.
    To illustrate, the music and movement center needs an electrical outlet for a tape or CD player, shelves for musical instruments, baskets for scarves or strips
    of fabric, mirrors for observing motions, and space for creative movement and dance. Due to limited resources, teachers often need to maximize the use of
    equipment and materials that they do have (Isbell & Exelby, 2001). Locating the music and movement center near the dramatic play area is one way to do this
    because these centers can share the mirror and basket of fabric.

    Reflection Question: How did you or will you arrange the learning centers you selected for your classroom? Write the names of the centers on your sketch
    in the location where you are placing them.

    Calm, Safe Learning Environment
    Another question that you will encounter in your work is “How can I create a calm, safe environment that provides
    stimulating learning experiences?” In this section, we will focus attention on the last
    part of this question: “stimulating learning experiences.”

    Novel Versus Familiar
    Teachers and children deserve to be
    surrounded by beautiful objects and
    materials that are displayed in an aesthetically
    pleasing fashion. Some of these
    objects should be part of the environment
    on a regular basis while others can be
    included to spark interest (Curtis & Carter,
    2003). For example, hanging a framed
    print of Monet’s sunflowers on the wall
    near the easel will create a beautiful
    environment for preschool children.
    However, surprising the children with a
    display of Pueblo Indian pottery will spark
    different interest in the easel.
    Classroom space should be varied so
    that children have the opportunity to
    explore different perspectives (Bergen,
    Reid, & Torelli, 2001; Curtis & Carter,
    2003; Herr & Swim, 2002). To illustrate,
    having the ability to change one’s physical
    location by climbing up the stairs to a loft
    and looking down on a teacher provides a
    child with a new view of their world.
    Another way that teachers can vary the
    space and provoke thinking is through
    providing a new display or object to
    explore and discuss. When the flooring of
    the room has two or more variations, this
    provides a natural occurrence of hard versus
    soft and warm versus cold. Sitting an
    infant on the vinyl or linoleum flooring on
    hot summer day will feel cool to the touch,
    thus providing them an opportunity to
    experience their environment in a new or
    different manner.
    Another way to conceptualize the familiar
    is to create spaces that parallel those
    found in home environments. Placing a
    couch, rocking chair, and end table with a
    light, for example, in the entryway mimics
    a living room in a home. Doing this not
    only adds warmth and comfort to the
    learning environment but it also helps to
    create a sense of security at school: our
    home away from home (Honig, 2002;
    Bergen, Reid, & Torelli, 2001).
    Pathways Versus Boundaries
    As you are planning your classroom
    layout, you need to consider how you will
    designate your learning centers. Having
    visible boundaries for learning centers
    provides children with a clear message for
    the use of materials in a particular area.
    For ease of supervision, use a variety of
    dividers such as short shelving units,
    bookcases, transparent fabrics, and sheets
    of decorated acrylic.
    Transparency, or the ability to see
    between centers in the classroom,
    facilitates children’s play because they can
    make connections between materials in
    different centers around the room. Thus,
    even though we are designing clear
    learning centers, we should be flexible in allowing the children to move materials
    that they need from one center to another.
    When planning the boundaries for a learning
    center, you must carefully consider
    how much space to devote to this area.
    The noisier areas described above often
    require more space than quieter areas (also
    described above). This is due to the fact
    that these areas tend to elicit more
    associate and cooperative play, which
    require two or more children at a time.
    A teacher also needs to consider
    how to utilize open space.
    Because we need
    spaces that
    can easily accommodate
    all of the children and
    adults in the room at one time, we
    often set aside this space. However,
    when the entire group is not using the
    space, it can be perceived by children as a
    place for “rough and tumble” play
    (Marion, 2003). Sharing this location with
    the music and movement area is logical
    given the space needs of each center.
    Pathways into and out of the room as
    well as between centers need to be
    carefully considered. When children
    arrive for the day, they should be able to
    gradually enter the classroom and transition
    from home to school. Having to walk
    to the opposite side of the classroom to
    store their belongings in their cubby can
    be stressful, especially if they must pass by
    noisy centers. When considering
    movement between centers,
    walking through one center to get
    to another can cause children to
    be distracted. Do you, for example,
    want the children to walk
    through the block/construction
    area to get to the music center? It
    would quickly become evident
    from the children’s behavior that
    such an arrangement does not

    Reflection Question: Add to your
    sketch boundaries for your learning
    centers. What types of structures will
    you use or are you using to
    physically divide the space? Mark
    also the pathways of how the children
    might move between them.

    Basic Needs
    As you are considering the
    educational needs of the
    children, you must also dedicate
    space for meeting the children’s
    basic needs. The question
    becomes, “How do I plan the
    environment to meet the basic
    needs of the children?”

    Eating Versus Toileting
    Some infant and toddler
    classrooms separate the changing
    table and food preparation counter with a
    small sink. Although this may optimize the
    use of counter space on built-in cabinets, it
    could jeopardize both the adults’ and the
    children’s health. For hygienic purposes,
    then, it is imperative that the eating and
    toileting areas are separated. Although this
    is relatively simple in a preschool,
    kindergarten, or school-age classroom, it
    may be more difficult for an infant and
    toddler classroom because the typical
    restroom just does not have enough space
    for toilets, sinks, and a changing table.
    The need to continually supervise the
    children is an issue facing infant and
    toddler teachers (Bergen, Reid, & Torelli,
    2001). Diapering requires a significant
    amount of teacher time during a day. Thus,
    for ease of supervision, changing tables
    are often placed in the classroom. Where
    in the class should they be located?
    Placing the changing table next to a water
    source promotes good hand washing
    practices. You should also position it away
    from a wall so that your back is not to the
    rest of the children when you are changing
    a diaper.

    The food area can require a number of
    small appliances such as a minirefrigerator
    or microwave (per licensing
    regulations); therefore, cabinet space near
    electrical outlets is very important. For
    toddlers and older children, space for
    eating can be shared with other areas of
    the classroom. For example, the tables that
    are used for art can be cleaned and
    sanitized when it is snack or mealtime. For
    teachers of infants, other issues must be
    addressed when planning the environment.
    Depending upon your state
    regulations, you may or may not need a
    separate high chair for each infant.
    Moreover, finding storage space when it is
    not meal times must be given careful
    Sleep and Comfort Versus Play
    Children and adults need locations to store
    “How do I plan the
    environment to meet the
    basic needs of the children?”
    special items and belongings from home
    (Curtis & Carter, 2003). This not only
    reaffirms the importance of both environments
    but it also facilitates learning to
    respect your and others’ belongings.
    Switching between environments can be
    stressful for people of all ages. Therefore,
    plan for comfortable places for children to
    make the transition from home to school,
    snuggle, relax, and enjoy reunions with
    family members (Curtis & Carter, 2003;
    Honig, 2002). Couches and rocking
    chairs, for example, located in a variety of
    classroom areas provide an excellent
    avenue for this.
    All children need time throughout the
    day to rest and rejuvenate. The environment
    should be managed to create a calm
    relaxing environment during nap or rest
    time. Closing blinds on the windows,
    plugging in a night light, playing soft
    instrumental music, and providing
    comfort items for each child (e.g.,
    blankets, favorite stuffed animals) might
    assist with shifting from play to sleep. You
    should also organize the environment to
    address the needs of children who require
    less sleep during the day. For example,
    creating baskets with books, paper and
    pencils, or other quiet toys that can be used
    by a child lying on a cot or sitting at a table
    can meet these children’s need.
    Reflection Question: How have I
    included on my sketch ample space for
    meeting the basic needs of the
    children? Where will I store necessary
    equipment (e.g., cots or high chairs) when
    they are not in use?
    On-going Reflection
    of Physical Environment
    Figure 1 provides an example of a
    classroom that has been designed for
    preschool children. Although it would be
    easy to consider this example “finished”
    or “complete,” it is not. How often do you
    consider the primary question of this
    article, “How do teachers create
    meaningful learning environments for
    themselves and the children?” If you
    cannot recall the last time you reflected on
    this question, then you may be thinking
    about your environment in a static or
    fixed manner. In other words, you may
    not be thinking about all the ways that
    physical environment impacts the
    children’s learning and vice versa. Early
    childhood professionals should regularly
    revisit this question because the answer is
    constantly evolving.
    Teachers must continually assess and
    respond to the changing developmental
    needs and interests of the young children
    (Gandini, 2001). For example, with a
    group of young infants, a teacher will
    provide safe areas for exploring toys and
    manipulatives. As the children acquire
    gross motor skills, areas and structures for
    creeping, crawling, and cruising should
    be made available. Moreover, when the
    preschool children are
    investigating railroads, centers and
    materials will reflect this interest. As this
    interest evolves into traveling, the number
    and types of centers available as well
    as the materials available in the classroom
    will need to be altered.
    This article was designed to help you plan
    a classroom environment that meets the
    social, emotional, physical, and cognitive
    needs of developing children. If you are
    new to the profession, I hope that you
    have a deeper understanding of the
    impact physical environments have on
    behavior and learning. If you are a
    “seasoned pro,” I hope that this article
    prompted you to reflect on your existing
    classroom environment. If you are
    considering making changes to your
    classroom for an already-established
    group of children, please think about how
    people typically respond to changes in
    the physical environment. Changes seem
    to be more tolerable for everyone when
    they are made a little at a time. Thus, as
    you reflect on your physical environment,
    you will want to ponder which
    changes to make first, second, and so on.
    In conclusion, if you want the children
    to run across the room, then placing your
    centers around the perimeter of the
    classroom leaving a large open space in the
    middle tells children that this is acceptable.
    If you prefer that children wander in and out
    of learning centers without becoming
    engaged, then provide undefined spaces for
    each learning center and/or unclear
    pathways between them. If, on the other
    hand, you desire the children to work
    cooperatively on block constructions, then
    offer a raised platform for building in a
    space that easily accommodates small
    groups of children.
    Terri Jo Swim, Ph.D., is an Assistant
    Professor of early childhood education
    and child development at Indiana
    University Purdue University Fort Wayne
    (IPFW) in Fort Wayne, IN. She is also the
    co-author with Judy Herr of the awardwinning
    books Creative Resources for
    Infant & Toddlers from Thomson Delmar
    Learning ( Her
    research interests include infant-toddler
    and preschool curriculum, Reggio Emilia,
    and teacher education.
    Bergen, D., Reid, R., & Torelli, L. (2001).
    Educating and caring for very young
    children: The infant/toddler curriculum.
    NY: Teachers College Press.
    Bredekamp, S., & Copple, C. (1997).
    (Eds.). Developmentally appropriate
    practice in early childhood programs
    (rev. ed.). Washington, DC: NAEYC.
    Curtis, D., & Carter, M. (2003). Designs for
    living and learning: Transforming early
    childhood environments. St. Paul, MN:
    Redleaf Press.
    Gandini, L. (2001). Reggio Emilia:
    Experiencing life in an infant-toddler
    center. In L. Gandini and C. Edwards,
    Bambini: The Italian approach to
    infant/toddler care. NY: Teachers
    College Press.
    Gandini, L. (1998). Educational and
    caring spaces. In C. Edwards, L.
    Gandini, & G. Forman, The hundred
    languages of children: The Reggio
    Emilia approach – advanced reflections
    (2nd ed.). Westport, CT: Ablex
    Herr, J., & Swim, T.J. (2002). Creative
    resources for infants and toddlers (2nd
    ed.). NY: Delmar Learning.
    Honig, A.S. (2002). Secure relationships:
    Nurturing infant/toddler attachment in
    early care settings. Washington, DC:
    Isbell, R., & Exelby, B. (2001). Early
    learning environments that work.
    Beltsville, MD: Gryphon House.
    Marion, M. (2003). Guidance of young
    children (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River,
    NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.
    Swim, T.J. (2004). Theories of child
    development: Building blocks of
    developmentally appropriate practices.
    Earlychildhood NEWS, 16 (2), 36-45.

    The Child Development Associates (CDA) competencies that can be used for this article are:
    • To establish and maintain a safe, healthy learning environment.
    • To ensure a well-run, purposeful program responsive to participant needs.
    For more information on the CDA competency requirements, contact the Council for Early Childhood
    Recognition at (800) 424-4310.
    This article helps meet the following Certified Childcare Professionals (CCP) professional ability areas:
    • The ability to establish and maintain a safe, healthy, and nurturing learning environment.
    • The ability to establish and maintain a well-run and purposeful early childhood educational environment for children.
    For more information on the CCP certification, contact the National Child Care Association at (800) 543-7161.
    Reprinted with permission from Earlychildhood NEWS, November/December 2004
    (Volume 16, Issue 6) Pages 34-42

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