Areas of Interest

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First of all I think it is important to define what we consider to be an important learning environment before we establish what learning centers are placed within our classroom, and the age range that will be attending. The learning environment should always meet the children's developmental needs. It should make all children including ones with special needs -feel secure, comfortable and a place where they belong. The interest areas should allow the children choices to explore, make things, experiment, and pursue their interests. The choices should include"quiet zone" areas for reading, art activities, and games. Areas should also be set for block building, dramatic play, woodwork, sand and water (discovery table) for active engagements. All the interest areas should accommodate a few children at a time, in a well defined space, so that children can focus on their work, and the play can be more complex. Interest areas work in a good way when the materials you use are attractive, inviting, and relevant to the children's culture and experiences. The areas should not be overwhelming or frustrating to the child, but it should challenge their thinking. Interest areas should be labeled, and all things should have a designated home, so children can share in clean up time. My interest areas are catered towards pre- school to kindergarten. I found it difficult to choose just 3 areas of interest, but I decided that I would use a block area, dramatic play and a discovery area in my setting. What do children learn in the block area?

I chose the block area because children learn best when they are encouraged to explore, interact, create and play. The block area provides many opportunities for children to make their own constructions with materials that are open ended. Children can be energetic and active in the block area. Children use their imagination and invent anything they choose. Children want to be able to test things out for themselves without being told what to...
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