Transforming your third teacher (room) is something that can be as simple as focusing on just one area in your room and can change how your children interact instantly with each other and the materials!
The Third Teacher is a powerful teacher when remembering that setting up a room is not just about setting it up to be “pretty or cute” but to create a space that welcomes children to play, create, and interact with THEIR space.
The OU students in Tulsa, OK paired up with some fabulous teachers in Oklahoma to transform their spaces. I was so inspired myself to see the transformation! There are so many incredible details that they added and changed to the rooms, but today I want to share just a glimpse into some of the areas in these transformed rooms.
Notice the simple movement of several items, especially the book shelf that provides such an array of books right at their level. The addition of fabric and lights defines the area while providing a cozy and comfort environment for group and reading. Decluttering the whiteboard honors this age of children and makes it more useful. What a lovely space she had before and now it is taken to another level!
One of my favorite things I love about this particular transformation is the movement of tables from long rows to put together and placed in different parts of the room. The centers become the primary focus versus the tables. It call children to come play and explore! The fabric hung that defines different spaces is such a beautiful element.
Notice the expansion of this construction area! Love! Providing a bigger and more robust construction area leads to a deeper exploration and building time. The addition of loose parts will enhance their constructions and creativity. The spool in the middle gives the children height to build on and around.
Such a great idea to repurpose a doll house into an area for documentation and books. When something isn’t working in your classroom for a period of time, simply moving it to another area, repurposing it, or calling attention to it may shift how children interact with this. This is simply lovely and inviting.
Notice how they moved Loose Part materials on top of the shelf with defined baskets and organized the colors and writing materials below. LOVE the paint swatches to help children match the colors back when they’re finished. Making them more independent when cleaning and working on those matching skills.
Thanks again to these fabulous teachers and OU students for sharing their incredible transformations. What inspired you most about what you saw? Share below in the comments and share your space!
BONUS! Want to go a bit deeper in planning not only the Third Teacher but planning your day to day in a Reggio Inspired mindset? Click Here to download a Reggio Inspired Planning Form to help you brainstorm and reflect each day!
This classroom is lovely. I don’t understand how all the drapes and hanging wood pieces clear inspection from the fire department. I cannot hang things from the ceiling due to safety rules.
Yes, each district is different, but we adhere to the guidelines from our fire inspector.
We would never be in compliance with that either! Such a shame that there isn’t more flexibility.
I had the same issue. Risk management came and made me take down everything I had hanging from the ceiling.
This is just amazing. So creative and different. Perfect for every child’s interest. Every corner isthoughfully decorated. I loved the Peace Talk corner and yes how they used a tree trunk as crayon holder.
Thank you so much i like it and begin my transformation in my klassrum.
Wonderful news! I can’t wait to see how the Third Teacher works her magic in your classroom!
I’m so inspired! I love the use of natural lighting and floor lamps to give the room a cozier feel! Fluorescent lights seem cold to me, so the change here is so drastic. I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on how to utilize the Third Teacher to create a welcoming, engaging, and safe environment for my preschool students. Lighting definitely came up as an important factor, and I was so surprised to find that there is actually scientific research showing better test scores from students in classrooms with more natural daylight! Thank you so much for sharing. I will definitely be taking some ideas for my classroom!
I love the ideas, but has do you get around hanging drapes. I would love to do some if these ideas. Please enlighten me.
Nicole,thank you for this post. Its very inspiring.
I am just so incredibly inspired and just cannot wait to begin the transformation!
I love the idea of a “third teacher.” So important!
Also, I’m having a problem downloading the Loose Parts.
I just attended the online conference which was wonderful and would love to have the Loose Parts material. Help!
Hi Joan, I’m so glad you love the idea of the third teacher and we loved having you as part of the conference! I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble downloading the Loose Parts ebook. Could you please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help you? Many thanks! – Sally
I agree with all the comments about fire inspections. I an concerned about the spaces because my 18 mos. to 3yr.plds move about safely when the spces are more open. I have also noted that they play and interact with each other and the material when there are less items available. With more parts it is more dump baskets, throw vs. sitting and interacting with others and the materials.
While the space looks nice, I think it is too cluttered. Most children get into a real play flow when there are less items available – they stop hopping from one item to the next which also fosters imagination and concentration…
Thank you for your explicit explanation about why the ‘after’ pictures look so much better. This is an area I struggle with so I appreciate the ideas. I am going to try out the ideas with loose parts and colour swatches.
Thanks, Sally for sending the link to me.
As a childminder I am always on the look out for new ideas. I loved everything!!!. I will be incorporating many of your ideas at my setting. Thank you.