“The environment should act as an aquarium which reflects the ideas, ethics, attitudes, and culture of the people who live in it. This is what we are working towards.” Loris Malaguzzi
With the new school year fast approaching for many, setting up the classroom environment is one of the first steps in our preparation for the new school year. When we set the space to support and facilitate children’s interests – we set in motion the magic and wonder of the third teacher.
Over the next few weeks – we are going to take a peek into several teacher’s preliminary steps in preparing the environment.
This week, we are looking into Sidney Webb’s classroom, a PreK teacher from Rosa Parks Elementary in Tulsa, OK. It is important to know that Sidney will pull the details together in this room once the children come and put their imprint on it.
I love how the natural elements create such a calm and welcoming canvas. Note the hanging branch from a bush.
Light & Shadow Center
Notice the materials that surround the light table. I love how she has provided enough to see what captures the children’s interest. Magnifying glasses to take a deeper look at creations on the table. Brilliant!
Fabulous clear container that calls me to go play!
Translucent pattern blocks displayed in a 3-section dip container.
Magnetic Tiles in the light area for building!
Light Table Loose Parts: Sensory bottles, translucent 3-D shapes, party store drink stirrers, party store shot glasses
Storage containers: plastic drinking glasses,
Adding a pallet and wooden spool to expand the possibilities of building.
A rug to give boundaries to the building space plus baskets for storing materials and resources.
Gray plastic spools for building and constructing.
A wooden crate as a shelf! No need to spend a fortune on unique shelving and look at how inviting it is for children! Also take note of those loose part wood cookies that she cut for FREE!
Sidney used mason jars and jam jars to display the rainbow of colors for crayons, markers and colored pencils. Note the breathing space around each jar.
Sorting by colors is a great way to stay organized and teach organizing… No worksheets needed to teach color matching
Paint displayed in an old soda crate.
A sectioned gift basket to display different sizes of clipboards. A mason jar display to give access to different writing tools. Love the accessibility to clipboards for writing around the room.
Love this classroom- so inviting and inspiring!
I love the rooom. Where would one get those gray spools?
A colleague had them donated. We think they are paper spools.
Go to Lowes or Home Depot and see if they have empty spools. They are required to throw them away almost immediately, but they don’t mind giving them away either.
At our school, the filament for the 3D printers comes on spools similar to the ones in the photo. The technology department saves them for me.
In spite of the setting the students will still have some space to move around. I like it, thanks for sharing.
I love loose parts! In my Reggio inspired classroom last year, I kept a whole classroom shelf just for loose parts to use in the block area! I loved watching my kids creativity!
Fantastic ideas for setting up the beautiful environment!
Thanks for the ebook!
Love loose parts and natural materials in our preschool classroom.
This is adorable. I have 5th graders, but I think I’ll try this natural set up in the future.
Wow Thankyou for your fantastic inspirational look into wonderful spaces.
An inviting and engaging environment. I’ve been looking for a place to find wood cookies, I thought the tree trimming companies would be willing to help, but so far, I haven’t found one.
Now is a great time to get tree cookies at Christmas tree lots!
What a great idea! Thanks for the tip!
Would love to read Sally’s take on Loose Parts.
Beautiful ways to have the students create their own classroom. Lots of centers to keep them curious and creative. All the natural items are wonderful.
Its so useful for teacher,tks a lot!
I love spare parts. I will be so helpful seeing what else I can put together for spare parts investigations.
A wonderful example of a simplistic environment using real life and resources that are meaningful.
Thank you so much. A wonderful resource.
I love this room, just want to explore!
Thank you for the book and glimpse into a lovely and inspiring classroom!
I love the idea of lava lamps! But don’t they get hot?
I love these st ups and the spare parts play is amazing
HI I loved you book on Loose parts, I however was hoping a chapter on ‘how to introduce loose parts to preschoolers’. Can you guide?
Great suggestion! Introducing loose parts is super important! I will see what we can do!
Inspiring environments and ideas…thank you for sharing and inspiring us!
Beautiful, intentional and completely inviting. I wish my tiny room could support a similar set up, but I think I can take some ideas and adapt them . Thanks for the inspiration!
Sidney, u always, always amaze me. Your environments are so inviting, thoughtful, and calling. Love the intentionality in every detail. Thank u so much for all those u continue to inspire….
Very inspiring! I loved the set up. Great ideas!!!
Thank you for sharing with us this beautiful classroom!
It is wonderful to see so many intriguing loose parts arranged invitingly. I wish that I could see the responses and interactions of the children when they play and explore in this beautiful and welcoming environment.
Such a calming and inviting environment!
I have had my pencil crayons and crayons sorted like yours last year on the art shelf with other supplies and found the children never used them. They preffered to grab the whole container of mixed markers and bring to a table, or use the other markers that were sitting on a lazy Suzan on the table sorted by colour, but easy to access. How do you encourage the children to use yours? They look so much more inviting and organized your way.
Wow, my art room was our regular room we just took out crayons and scissors. This is beautiful. How inspired those kiddos must be to be in there. Gorgeous, thanks for sharing. I’m gathering ideas for my daughter. This one is the winner.
Doesn’t Sidney have a beautiful space? The environment can inspire children in the most wonderful ways. Small changes can make a significant difference!
I love your photos of a most inspiring classroom. I am trying to download the e book but am having difficulties. I put in my email address and click download but nothing happens. Is it still available? Marsha
Hi Marsha, yes, it still is. You should have received the ebook by email after you signed up. Please check your spam folder and if you still haven’t received it, please send an email to email@example.com so we can help you out! Thank you!