In preparation for this project, research was conducted to learn how children (ages 3-4) learn in a preschool setting. A local preschool tour provided great insight into how a preschool classroom functions and the different needs that students and teachers have.
The first iceberg model synthesizes research to choose the most important design elements that have an impact on students’ success in the classroom. The second model lists the different learning opportunities that preschool children need each day to effectively learn.
A story board was created to outline what a school day looks like from a child’s perspective. This storyboard starts with the child’s arrival at school and getting to the classroom, then explores what a typical day might look like with different activities, and ends with the student’s routine to pack up and leave the preschool.
This floor plan features three classrooms, a large storage room, staff rooms and offices, and a waiting area for drop-off and pick-up.
This classroom gives an example of the furniture layout for each classroom. Different areas of the room promote learning, and dividing the room into small areas helps children feel more comfortable in the large space. Children’s bathrooms are included in each room; this encourages children to use the bathroom more frequently because they feel they are not missing out on the classroom activities by leaving to go to the bathroom. This prevents accidents and also allows for appropriate adult supervision when needed.
Children learn by doing. Dramatic play time helps them learn by acting out situations they see occurring in daily life. These dramatic play areas can be set up each week to complement the lesson plan. One week they may be playing house, another week they learn about farm animals, and then the next they set up a post office or grocery store.
Children at this age rely on pictures to help guide their reading. Choosing book displays with the cover facing out encourages them to read because they can see the pictures on the cover. Books can be set out to coordinate with the weekly lesson plan as well.
A class pet is a fun addition for students. A simple storage area to store pet supplies is provided.
Building with these large blocks teaches children many important motor skills.
Sensory tables allow children to play with messier materials, like water, clay, or sand. The tactile experience is important and helps them to understand the world around them.
By the exterior door to each classroom are cubbies for each student to store their belongings.
Having an open arts and crafts area encourages children to express their creativity. An art station stocked with colored paper, pencils, crayons, markers, scissors, glue, stickers, ribbons, and more is within easy reach for children to choose what they want to use.