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What makes an excellent reception classroom?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by rachel8572, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. I have just finished my NQT year in reception and am teaching reception again next year. I have been thinking a lot recently about how I can improve my classroom and make sure that the children get the most out of the learning environment.
    What do you think makes an excellent reception classroom?
    Due to the size of my classroom I find it difficult to separate it into 6 labelled areas and have to use the tables for some areas, e.g. the maths area.
    Do you have 6 clearly labelled areas in your early years classrooms of do you sometimes move the areas around slightly?
    I have my role play, writing area, book area, listening area, sand, water, creative, malleable all in the same place, however i find it difficult to have a maths area or a music area as the space is so limited. Therefore I tend to put different maths activities out on one of the tables and sometimes take the instruments outside during outdoor play. Is this ok or should instruments be out at all times in a labelled music area?
    For construction I usually use the carpet area after carpet sessions as this is near where the resources are, and again is the only free space in the classroom. Most of my areas are labelled clearly with pictures and a sign, apart from the construction area and music area as these areas are used for other things as well. Would you say that all areas need to be clearly labelled or is it ok to use the free space available as and when you can? I am just wondering about next year and whether I need to find some available space to make a sign for these three areas,
    Please tell me your views on the perfect reception classroom and what you think it should look like....
    I love my classroom to look bright, attractive and fun to be in but am just concerned about the areas of learning and whether I need a space for these three areas and whether I need to reconsider the layout or whether I am ok to use the space as and when I need it for different activities x
     
  2. I have just finished my NQT year in reception and am teaching reception again next year. I have been thinking a lot recently about how I can improve my classroom and make sure that the children get the most out of the learning environment.
    What do you think makes an excellent reception classroom?
    Due to the size of my classroom I find it difficult to separate it into 6 labelled areas and have to use the tables for some areas, e.g. the maths area.
    Do you have 6 clearly labelled areas in your early years classrooms of do you sometimes move the areas around slightly?
    I have my role play, writing area, book area, listening area, sand, water, creative, malleable all in the same place, however i find it difficult to have a maths area or a music area as the space is so limited. Therefore I tend to put different maths activities out on one of the tables and sometimes take the instruments outside during outdoor play. Is this ok or should instruments be out at all times in a labelled music area?
    For construction I usually use the carpet area after carpet sessions as this is near where the resources are, and again is the only free space in the classroom. Most of my areas are labelled clearly with pictures and a sign, apart from the construction area and music area as these areas are used for other things as well. Would you say that all areas need to be clearly labelled or is it ok to use the free space available as and when you can? I am just wondering about next year and whether I need to find some available space to make a sign for these three areas,
    Please tell me your views on the perfect reception classroom and what you think it should look like....
    I love my classroom to look bright, attractive and fun to be in but am just concerned about the areas of learning and whether I need a space for these three areas and whether I need to reconsider the layout or whether I am ok to use the space as and when I need it for different activities x
     
  3. Rachel relax! Whoever told you there is a perfecct reception classroom? I have been teaching reception aged kids on and off for many years and still feel insecure about whether I've got it right/perfect. What is right is what's good for you considering resources (including classroom space) and managing balanced learning opportunities. PLUS you need the confidence to verbalise that what you are doing is sound practice .. and that comes from within you.
    Sounds to me that you are doing a good job being aware that some things can't be constantly available but can be made available in other spaces eg outside. it's awareness and commitment and self reflection that helps to create a great learning environment. Believe me when you stop doing this and think you've got the answer/perfection it's time to leave!
     
  4. I am an nqt starting in reception and I have been in many reception classes in my training and am so glad I can eventually do what I like with my class!!
    I have got the areas labelled as best as I can, however the teacher before did not have any labels at all so I think it just depends. I have the same issue as you in terms of space so yes use your outdoor as much as you can and then the carpet for other areas if necessary.
    These are the areas I have
    -numeracy area (with a table top interactive display
    -writing table
    -listening/disco area
    -topic table (change depending on topic-books and other appropiate resources)
    -construction table
    -reading corner (rug and mini chairs and obviosuly books)
    -role play corner
    my sand and water trays are outside
    I think as long as ot is organised and child friendly (lables with pics etc) then you will be fine. Also once the children are in it you can see what is working and what is not-can always change things as you go along. Good luck!
     
  5. I had a similiar quandry(sp?) this week as I have been moving around due to being given more space(yes thats right more!!) and decided to have an 'Exploration' are which I have put construction all construction into -duplo/mobilo/cogs and wheels etc/ along with junk modelling and all that they need for that plus KUW bits - magnets/magnifying glasses/natural v man made sorting etc to get them started in september . In the same room I have a writing and maths area in the hope that the resources are used in all areas by the children - does that make sense?

    I decided I couldnt get all the areas looking 'right' and conducive to child initiated learning any other way

    as previous posts say - there is not perfect reception classroom -go with your space and resources
     
  6. apols for bad grammer - been moving role play area round today and brain is mush!
     
  7. A happy class a smiley teacher and having lots of fun, relax, just aim for it to be fun and happy and the class will be an excellent one
     
  8. Thanks guys. I think I was worrying about 'perfection' too much. You are all right, what is most important is that the children feel safe, happy and enjoy coming to school, especially in the first term back when they are settling in xx
     

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