This year at the NAEYC Annual Conference I had the delight of meeting Sandra Duncan. It was exciting because I love her book Inspiring Spaces for Young Children.

Sandra is such an inspiration!  I asked her to inspire us at my 2017 Winter Conference.

She said she wanted to share an amazing perspective shift in her session. Here's a sneak preview!

Ready?!   You may think we use containers in our classrooms to hold things, to tote things . . . you know. . . contain all of those loose parts.

But Sandra challenges that notion. She asserts that is not the true purpose of containers.


Hum.  So what is the purpose of classroom containers?


Sandra asserts the purpose of a container is to attract children to its contents!

Do you hear what I hear?   I am so hearing “the third teacher” being put to work.


Think about it.

What if you looked at each container in your classroom and asked yourself:

“Is this container an invitation to explore?  create?  construct?”

“What does this container invite?”


In the Winter Conference, Sandra will share her 4-step framework to containers that are invitations.  She brings this perspective alive with oodles of amazing photos that demonstrate how a container can call children to it's contents.  This is not only a practical application of the third teacher – it is transformational!

Join us at the 2017 Winter Conference!

And in the meantime. . .

Take this action step!   Survey your classroom containers.  Which ones invite?  Which ones are just holders and totes?