Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Creating Quality Learning Environment

Chapter 6 / Planning and Administering Early Childhood Program

Aloha Everyone!

Quality Learning Environment, “WOW!” Reading this chapter, I didn’t realize this is important for our students. Planning a new or renovated facility we need to consider structure building, zoning laws regulations, flexibility is essential for indoor and outdoor environment, safety for children and staffs, and arrangements of space and materials (pg. 123 & 124). Entry and exit area is also important to think about, this will leave an impression to the parents and children who arrive and leave the classroom (pg. 125).

Arrangement of a classroom will also meet a program goal. We need to think about colors, lighting, sound, floors, ceilings, walls, storage, display area, and arranging and furnishing classroom (pg. 126 - 130). I like the floor plans that this chapter offered figure 6.1 – infant floor plan, figure 6.2 – toddler floor plan, figure 6.3 – large indoor block center/area, figure 6.4 – art center, figure 6.5 – cooking center, figure 6.6 – constructive toy center, figure 6.7 – emerging literacy and book center, figure 6.8 – floor plan for 3 years old, figure 6.9 – floor plan for 4 years old, and figure 6.10 floor plan for school age care. This is an awesome arrangement for early childhood, pre-school and elementary classrooms. In my case, I will definitely use these floor plans (pg. 139 – 151).


Evaluating Your Leadership Strengths / October 14, 2009

This article evaluating your leadership strengths is a must for administrators and teachers. I go through a supervision meeting with my supervisor once a month and in this meeting we talk about my weakness and strength. But to evaluate myself is a challenge, because I think I’m “perfect!” Ha! Ha! Ha! I’m joking ;-D I need feedbacks from other teachers that I work with, this helps me stay focus on my goals for my students.

Peter F. Drucker said: “Most people think they know what they are good at. They are usually wrong. More often, people know what they are not good at—and even then more people are wrong than right. And yet, a person can perform only from strength. One cannot build performance on weaknesses, let alone on something one cannot do at all.”

This is true in my case, at the end of every week I take time to think about that past week and see if I could have done it better. I always ask for help from experience teachers if I can’t find any solution to my problem in school. That is one of my strength I’m not afraid to ask for “HELP!”


  1. Hey...Yes i also did not know that there is so much to think about having your program. Its the small details that can make a difference. Although, what about funding. If you don't have the funding you'll go to donation and what ever there is available out there to help your program. Therefore sometimes the color of the building might not look what you expect it to be, but it will do. I havent thought about it about the furniher where to put things so that it would not be too crowded or create a running space.

  2. Hi Gary,
    The environment can be a third teacher in the classroom -- you seem to aware of the power of how environment can influence your teaching and relationships. How might an administrator support a teacher in creating spaces which inspire and move past a display case of GLOs and standards?

    In your own work as an elementary teacher, what do you think limits our current classrooms? I have visited several elementary rooms and am struck by no matter how remote the classroom is, it looks just like the classroom in Honolulu or even New York City. When do teachers become engaged in the aesthetics of creating a beautiful space? Is it part of teacher education? What is the role of the administrator?


  3. You know that was a good point that Jeanne pointed out - that some classrooms seldom consider the aesthetics. I could only imagine that these classrooms do not encourage creativity, imagine, self-expression, or even spontaneity. I am always happy to put up children's colorful art work and to provide them with a lot of open-ended materials in which to express themselves with. So, I was curious how you designed your classoom.

  4. In regards to Jeanne's comment on the asthetics of your classroom, try adding your "special touches", meaning, some homemade stuff to the classroom. I've made lots of stuff (sewn) such as little curtains, the imagination corner with lots of things children can feel comfy. You know, if you can't really sew, BOXES are the best tools to bring into your classroom and create with. Children love them also. We've made lots of things out of various sizes, including houses, fire stations, vehicles, stoves, etc., it's endless and great art projects that the children can get involved in! Good luck in creating your classroom....

  5. Hey Gary!

    When designing the environment, I like to "bend down" and view the classroom from a child's perspective. This helps me to visualize how the children see things in the classroom. As early educators, I think it is critical to consider the asthetics of your classroom. Like Jan mentioned, addition "special touches" can be meaningful and budget-friendly. Some examples include: using plants, asking for donations from families, creating things from recycled materials, etc.


  6. True aesthetics do create a classroom environment. Some classrooms are so inviting a comfortable while others make you feel uncomfortable and ready to leave. Colors and textures help to add feeling. Child's art work can contain both of these things.
    I love the idea of asking for help. I always say, "why reinvent the wheel". Some of my friends have wonderful ideas that I would have never thought about on my own. Keep up the good work!

  7. I am with almost all the comments! I love having the "homey" feeling in classrooms and in schools in general. Children ultimately need to feel safe and secure and comfortable in thier surroundings. From a childs point of view, this means incorporating thier favorite things and pieces of home into the environment.