Happy Tuesday, y'all! Welcome back for another Tell all Tuesday, hosted by Teach Talk Inspire and My Day in K. This week's topic: My Dream Classroom.
Now, when someone says "dream," I am a go big or go home kind of dreamer. So, if we're talking my absolute dream classroom, I'd have to start here:
This is a school in Japan and it's one big open space. Kids can explore all over the place and move as they need to. Trees grow through the building and children are able to climb them without all the adults panicking. There are some safety nets, but children are allowed to explore and take risks while building gross motor skills and core strength.
I love the natural wood and earthy feel of the classrooms. The classrooms are open air and children are free to roam.
One article states: "So, as kindergarteners, they're bound to run off in a huff or out of excitement once in awhile. Don't you have to contain them? According to the principal, no, you do not. 'If the boy in the corner doesn't want to stay in the room, let him go. He'll come back eventually…because it's a circle.' They leave and they come back, it's a natural process."
Because of the design of the school and the school's philosophy, they produce very athletic and active kids compared to other kindergartens. Their students run an average of 2.5 miles a day. The picture below shoes one child's path in just 20 minutes.
Now, I'm not moving to Japan any time soon, but I LOVE the freedom and child-centernednes of this school. How does this apply to our traditional American classrooms? I know this style is way outside the box, but there are some practical ways we can utilize these concepts in our classrooms. We can start by letting them have some fresh air, a little freedom to make choices and coach them in handling the consequences, and give them room to practice gross motor skills. We can use natural materials in our rooms such as wicker baskets instead of plastic tubs. We can hang their work with simple strings instead of fancy clips. And we can eliminate a lot of the flash and bling which is distracting for littles, and focus instead on creating a calming, natural environment.
Maybe I'm weird, but this would be my dream classroom. I may not be able to make this happen state-side, but I can use some of the elements from this school in my own classroom.
Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to check out some of the other dream rooms.