How to Utilize Limited Space in a Preschool

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Whether you’re setting up a new classroom or trying to rearrange your current preschool, the size of your room plays an important role in how you organize your various learning centers and areas.Mobile Storage Unit for Preschool

But what if you have a small classroom? What if each learning center can’t have its own area? How do you utilize limited space?

With Worthington Direct’s quality furniture, designed specifically with young children in mind, you can take a small space and have endless opportunities for child development, imagination and learning.

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Montessori Classroom Methods

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Worthington Direct specializes in school furniture that can be used for a broad range of school facilities.  Whether a public, private or Montessori school, Worthington Direct will have the student desks, classroom chairs, computer furniture and early childhood furniture that is best for any given curriculum.  Visit www.worthingtondirect.com today for great deals on top brand school, church and early childhood furniture

You may have driven past one in your area, or heard the name when looking for a school for your child, and wondered, "What is Montessori?"  Take some time to read about what a Montessori school is and how it differs from most traditional schools.  You might find that it offers the type of education you wish to find for your child.

In 1907, the first woman to become a physician in Italy developed a revolutionary method of teaching children.  Dr. Maria Montessori developed the Montessori Method which today is used in thousands of schools all over the world.  Through her research in psychiatry and education and work with different types of children, Montessori concluded that children are capable of teaching themselves if given the proper environment.

The Montessori Method differs in many ways from the structure of mainstream schools.  Rather than a teacher whose role is to bestow knowledge upon the children, the teacher serves as the facilitator between the environment and the developing child.  The teacher helps the child maintain his concentration and the environment so that each pupil is able to explore and create.

The method operates under the assumption that children learn differently from adults and even differently from each other.  A sense of individuality is encouraged in the way that the children are allowed to learn.  A child is able to learn at his own pace and continue engaging in an activity for as long as he desires. 

Subject areas such as cooking, cleaning and gardening are just a few of the many practical areas that are studied at a Montessori school.   According to the International Montessori Index, a child is not interested in pretend cooking when he can do the real thing.   At any point during the day the traditional subjects, Math, Science, Language, History, Science, Music etc. are studied as well.  

4 In 1 Birch Kitchen Activity Center by Jonti-Craft

 Iron and Ironing Board by Jonti-CraftDress Up Cart and Coat Tree by Jonti-CraftBlock Sets by the Children's FactorySee-Thru Sand-n-Water Table by Jonti-Craft4 Station Art Center by Jonti-Craft

 The method aims to cultivate individuals who are well adjusted, have a strong sense of themselves, and a well developed character rather than children that are simply full of facts and figures.  Along with linguistic or logical-mathematical styles of learning, the Montessori Method recognizes that spatial, interpersonal and intuitive forms of learning are just a few modes that are just as essential.

The experience of learning and developing is paramount to the end goal of having a traditionally educated child.  Rather than passive activities such as listening to a lecture or just reading, Montessori students are taught to use all of their five senses in their learning environment.  A child is encouraged to appreciate the world around him and explore the unique potential and abilities that he alone possesses.

Montessori schools are primarily focused on younger children.  Different aged children are in the same classroom and are broken up into age ranges:  3-6, 6-12.  Children learn from each other and through individual lessons with the teacher as well as on their own.  The method supports the idea that at different developmental stages children are more equipped to learn different things.  The very youngest children are encouraged to develop their language skills and use their senses.  In contrast to middle-school aged children, who are taught to use their imagination, learn to make informed choices, develop sustained concentration. 

There are special teacher training programs for Montessori teachers as well as Montessori designed materials and even classroom furniture.  There are not tests or grades; the Montessori materials tend to be self-correcting.   Teachers observe children’s development in order to be cognizant of areas that the child may be struggling with.    

321 desk by Smith System

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Plant a Garden in the Schoolyard

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Make Gardening Child Friendly

To make gardening easier and more appealing to young children, be sure to offer them child-size tools. A three-year-old will become frustrated in trying to manage an adult-size watering can. Watch his confidence and interest in gardening soar when he’s given a watering can just his size. This same idea applies to gardening gloves, trowels, and wheelbarrows, too.

In addition to offering appropriate tools, you’ll want to plan gardening activities that are appropriate to the children’s age and developmental skills. Three and four-year-olds love digging in the dirt, putting plants and seeds in the ground, and watering growing plants. Visit Worthington Direct ( www.worthingtondirect.com ) to see our quality selection of indoor/outdoor sand and water tables. School-age children, on the other hand, will enjoy planning what will go into the garden and harvesting the fruits, vegetables, and flowers. They can also help in maintaining the garden by removing weeds. As you engage in these activities, remember that gardening is a wonderful opportunity to incorporate science and math skills. Children will need to measure the rows, learn about composting, and make sure plants have the proper sun and nutrients. Further incorporate lessons from science class by having the students collect their own bug specimens with the new Science Lab System offered by Worthington Direct.

Choose Plants That Grow Easily

To make your school garden successful, you will want to choose seeds that are easy for young children to plant. Pumpkins, green beans, sunflowers, and peas are nice big seeds appropriate for preschoolers.

Quick growing vegetables and flowers also make appropriate choices in school gardens. Young children like to see results quickly. They’ll ask if they can pick the vegetables and fruits the day after planting! Radishes, peas, green beans, lettuce, baby carrots, and sunflowers all make excellent choices because they grow very quickly. For quick results in the flowerbed, purchase seedlings from a nursery. Flats of flowers and veggies produce results children can see right away.

Pick a Theme

If you really want your children to get into gardening, pick a theme for your garden. Try one of the following suggestions or come up your own. The possibilities are endless!

  • Pizza Garden – Everything you need to make a pizza can be grown in a garden: Roma tomatoes, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, oregano, basil, green onions, parsley, and chives.
  • Scented Herb Garden – Basil, lemon thyme, mint, scented geraniums, dill, and lavender make a wonderfully scented garden.
  • Petting Zoo – This garden will include plants that are fun to touch, such as Sea Pink, Lamb’s Ear, and mint.
  • Peter Rabbit’s Garden – Beets, radishes, mint, lemon balm, lavender, chamomile, hyssop, sage, rosemary, and strawberries are all featured plants in the classic story.
  • Fourth of July Garden – Show your patriotic spirit with a garden filled with red, white, and blue flowers.
  • Animal Garden – This type of garden features with animal names: pussy willow, dogwood, cowslip, horse daisy, tiger lily, Lamb’s Ear, spider plant, snapdragon, and catnip.
  • Sensory Garden – Plant a garden that includes things that involve all five senses: Lamb’s Ear for touch, lavender for scent, basil for taste, poppy for eyes (bright colors), and snapdragons for the ear to hear. Conclusion No matter what you and your children decide to grow, it’s the fun and excitement of making something special that you’ll enjoy the most. Whether you plant cherry tomatoes in window box or prize-winning marigolds in a flower bed – the learning you share with the children will blossom into something that will endure after the last plant has been picked. continue reading

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