A conducive learning environment
should enhance children’s development through their learning process and play.
The physical environment in a pre-school set up plays an important role towards
children’s behaviour, feelings and actions. For instance, with appropriate
furniture and playing materials display in classrooms, children tend to be more
calm and organized. Poorly designed classrooms could lead to negative
behaviours or interactions among children. To have a manipulative area next to
the library or reading area is not a wise choice as children who are trying to
seek silence and calm while trying to read a book may get frustrated with the
noise level created from the manipulative area. Due to this poor arrangements
and set up, the classroom can get chaotic and possibly will cause disruptions.

Children should be
provided with appropriate and sufficient materials that allow them to make
decisions while manipulating and exploring those materials. As mentioned in
Piaget’s cognitive development theory, children should be given opportunities
to be engaged in various types of purposeful play such as water and sand play
that incorporates sensorial experience for children as they are constructors of
their own knowledge (Santrock, 2011). Hence, opportunities for child-oriented
learning should be present although teacher-directed activities would still be
made available in our pre-school education. Moreover, the benefits of play help
children to develop connections with many areas of learning and experience (Rae

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Teachers should also
consider the environments for children to be exploring or carrying out any interactions
with their peers to be safe as social interactions play a fundamental role in a
child’s cognitive development. By creating more opportunities for children’s
interactions, teachers actually help to develop children’s socioemotional
skills since they are learning to work together with others and improve on
their social skills.

As an educator,
activities and experiences planned should not only be age-appropriate but has
to be influenced by the planning and teaching approach based on DAP and iTEACH
principles. By observing children in big or small groups, it actually provides
opportunities for teachers to assess the children’s development apart from
having the proper developmental checklist. Henceforth, it leads teachers to
document children’s capabilities in portfolios so that it can be presented and
shared with parents. Teachers would conduct the Parents Teachers Meet
occasionally and would be able to address any areas of concerns. Outcomes from these
observations and assessments would then help teachers in planning for the next
activities or steps for children to move forward. After which, strategies or
ideas planned would eventually be required to be evaluated for effectiveness to
ensure that children are provided with quality experiences.


Routine and Daily

A daily routine is very
important in the preschool classrooms as it helps children having a clear
understanding or expectations of what to expect. As young children’s brain is
still undergoing major developments, having regular planned routines may help
them in organizing their lives. They may not be able to understand the concept
of time yet but with daily routines and schedules, the child would be able to
understand after certain period of time in the day what is supposed to take
place. Over the time, it helps the child in gaining self-confidence and
independence. They will take pride in knowing what they are supposed to do
hence may be able to take charge of themselves. Simple daily routines like
washing hands before and after meals, brushing teeth after food, returning the
utensils to its appropriate places after eating and etc, if had been practised
regularly would be beneficial to  the
child in going through their daily activities. They need not have to be told or
be reminded as they already have a better understanding, therefore they feel
more secure. If they have done similar activities in a similar environment /
classrooms, children will also be able to foster responsibility as it appears
as a regular task for the child.

Failure to adopt any
daily routines or schedules in the classrooms may lead to some unhappy and
chaotic transitions throughout the day. Children may not be able to stay
focused and the feeling of being secured may not be able to establish therefore
may lead to stress for these young children (Education.com, 2013).

By sticking to a
routine or daily schedule, a child is being educated in managing his/her time
at a very young age. As much as it is important in making the young child feel
secure, independent and confident, it helps also to develop the sense of being
responsible in organising his/ her life as they grow up. (1205 words)


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