Managing the Physical Space for Early Childhood Learning

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  • 0:03 Classroom Physical Space
  • 0:57 Safety & Functionality
  • 2:17 Classroom Aesthetics
  • 3:32 Seating Strategies
  • 4:29 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Nate Sullivan

Nate Sullivan holds a M.A. in History and a M.Ed. He is an adjunct history professor, middle school history teacher, and freelance writer.

In this lesson, we'll learn strategies for managing physical space in the context of early childhood learning. We'll learn about the importance of safety, functionality, and aesthetics. We'll also look at how seating arrangements can be configured.

Classroom Physical Space

Imagine you're a kindergarten teacher and you have a room full of young students. It's craft time and two of the children begin fighting over a glue stick. They soon become a distraction to other surrounding children, who then begin to feed off of this negative interaction. Pandemonium quickly breaks out.

This same scenario has happened a number of times in recent weeks. You decide to permanently move the two children to opposite sides of the room, and that immediately makes a world of difference. Your classroom as a whole becomes much more peaceful and manageable.

Managing a classroom of young children can be particularly challenging, but there are practical steps you can take to make it a positive learning environment. As a classroom instructor, you have the unique ability to strategically design and manage physical space. By doing this effectively, you help ensure the needs of all students are being met, including those with exceptionalities.

Safety & Functionality

Safety and functionality are essential components in setting up and managing a physical classroom space. Be sure that sharp objects and hazardous substances (such as cleaning products) are put out of reach. Be sure that your classroom space lines up with your local fire and safety regulations. If you work with infants and toddlers, it's wise to ensure that all electrical outlets are covered with child safety plug-ins. Remember, you're responsible for these young lives - they're in your care. Because of this, you should constantly assess the safety of the physical space you are managing.

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