Physical Environment

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Physical Environment by Mind Map: Physical Environment

1. General rules for well-designed space

1.1. Age- Appropriate

1.2. Versatile

1.3. Active learning

1.4. Safety

1.5. Flexible

1.6. Aesthetics

1.7. Mobility

1.8. Well-defined

2. Principles of effective organization

2.1. Display space (e.g. wall, hanging, back of shelves)

2.2. Traffic flow/ patterns / Pathways (clear flow)

2.3. Separation of areas (noisy/quiet)

2.4. Extension of play over time (more than a day)

2.5. Separation of spaces (boundaries)

2.6. Messy areas (e.g. art area near a water source)

2.7. Specialized areas (individualised space, etc)

2.8. Storage (e.g. shelves, containers, labelling, etc.)

2.9. Visibility (supervision of children)

2.10. Size of space (e.g. Super units – using multiple varieties of materials)

3. Design considerations of learning environment

3.1. Desired outcomes

3.1.1. Homelike environment

3.1.2. Aesthetically pleasing design

3.2. To achieve the desired outcomes, the following are considered:

3.2.1. Design elements Natural items Softness Texture Colour Lighting Focal points

3.2.2. Design palettes Ceilings Walls Floors / Different surface levels

3.3. Special Design Considerations

3.3.1. Improving Air Quality

3.3.2. Reducing Pesticides

3.3.3. Decreasing crowding/ density

3.3.4. Limiting Noise

4. Learning centres

4.1. Definition

4.1.1. Well-defined interest area that provides children with a wide range of materials and opportunities to engage in hands-on learning across the curriculum” (Stuber, 2007)

4.2. Criteria

4.2.1. Goals based on children’s backgrounds, interests, development and national standards

4.2.2. Interesting and interactive materials

4.2.3. Materials are safe and healthy

4.2.4. Developmentally appropriate

4.2.5. Materials are authentic, durable and aesthetic

4.2.6. Materials are culturally relevant

4.2.7. Reflect the philosophy of the programme

4.2.8. Display materials in an inviting and aesthetically pleasing way

4.2.9. Independent use

4.3. Types

4.3.1. Noisy/ Active Learning Areas

4.3.2. Quiet/ Less active Learning Areas

4.3.3. Neutral Learning Areas (Depending on the activities)

4.4. Task cards

4.4.1. Used to describe activities in the learning centres

4.4.2. Help teachers/assistant teacher/relief teacher to explain to children the task involved

4.4.3. Could be in pictorial form/ mixture of words and pictures for children to follow the steps in a task

5. Creating outdoor environments

5.1. Benefits

5.1.1. Reducing obesity and increasing physical fitness

5.1.2. Enhancing motor, social, cognitive development

5.1.3. Developing an appreciation of nature

5.1.4. Protecting children’s right to play outdoors

5.2. Criteria

5.2.1. Provide safe playground

5.2.2. Protect children’s health

5.2.3. Provide a variety of activity areas

5.2.4. Use effective playground design

6. Maximising learning space

6.1. Placing centres that are linked closer together

6.2. Use the large group area for more than one purpose

6.3. Create mobile storage units

6.4. Keep storage units with common materials for more than one centre in a central location

6.5. Stackable drawers or open containers on crate or wheels

6.6. Increase usable space

6.7. Use vertical space whenever possible