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Make-up of my 'silent' teacher

Make-up of my silent teacher-Shilpa Potnis

Posted by Ms.Shilpa Potnis Wednesday, 09 August 2017

The 'silent' teacher in my classroom at all times is my Learning Environment. This teacher is very special to me and I have to take utmost care of this.

The biggest aspect and the most important one is the readiness of the environment! This means getting the classroom space organized. Just keeping things in place and making it look neat and tidy is not the end of the story, for the preschool teacher, the story must begin now….

Ask yourselves a question – "Is my class stimulating to the young minds?" "What is it that my children are going to learn from the environment without my inputs?" – This is what I call the Learning Environment; otherwise it is just any 'environment'! This learning environment is the other teacher in my class which is present forever – the silent teacher who performs the role of a facilitator. This teacher is going to help me, assist me and also guide me throughout the day.

The 'silent' teacher has many arms and legs. The display boards, learning centers, the educational equipments, charts, books, art material, worksheets, teaching aids, attendance sheet/ cards, aprons are to name a few!

Let us begin with the layout of the display boards. These must reflect the content that the children are going to be learning in an attractive, child friendly way. This must be made interactive such that the children propel towards them and can independently interact.

Points to keep in mind while doing the display boards:

  • Put colourful borders
  • Put a base colour paper – that may change as and when required
  • Neatly written name of the topic (in a font that children are familiar with!), preferably in black on white paper
  • Before getting started randomly, a good idea would be to draw the layout on a piece of paper and then get started by collecting required material
  • If putting charts/ flash cards, place them straight for children to read and not at some fancy angle!
  • When putting cut outs, ideally mount these on thick paper (so that they last long!) of the same shape
  • Instead of using big fancy board pins, use simple pins as the focus is your cut out and not the pin
  • Give a connect between all pictures, e.g. if the topic is animals, background can be of a jungle and cut outs of animals placed there
  • For older children, always label the various cutouts as these then become 'sight' words and children interact beyond just looking at the pictures!
  • Drawing a Mind Map is also an excellent idea as this shows the connect between various aspects and aids in better retention for children

Display Boards in a classroom can be segregated into following categories:

  1. Content display board. This must have a label specifying the content, e.g. animals/trees, etc and all relevant pictures with labels.
  2. Art work display board. This works as a window to children's creative mind and must be arranged artistically with art work of all children. Talk about the art display to any visitor to the class. This will boost the children's confidence! Remember, art work of all children must be up there and not only 'select' few!!
  3. Literacy/ Numeracy display board. This must have the sight words and all the other literacy and numeracy concepts that the children shall be learning for a particular period of time. This gets changed as and when the required.
  4. Display board for class rules, class schedule, appreciation chart (if any!)
  5. Display of name chart. This must have pictures of all children with their names and birthday dates mentioned.

Moving on, in my next blog, I shall focus on the Learning Centers in a Preschool classroom and utility of each in the teaching - learning process!