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Environments that Speak to Us

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ITEM #: 4400312

What's In This Kit?
This training kit helps teachers understand the impact of the environment on children and on learning. The arrangement of the environment affects the behavior of its inhabitants. Children's participation and involvement with activities depends upon how well the environment meets their needs.

This training kit contains the following components:
  • Expected training outcomes and learning objectives
  • Training tips and strategies
  • Training benchmarks
  • Preparation and implementation steps
  • Handouts
  • The article "Environments that Speak to Us" by Michelle Pratt
  • References and Resources
  • Training Certificate for Learner Certificate of Attendance and Participation
  • Training Certificate for Trainer Award Certificate

Who's the Target Audience?
The target audiences for this training kit are beginning, intermediate, and advanced Learners who are working with young children (3 through 5 years).

Teacher Skill Level
beginning intermediate advanced
Children's Age Level
infants toddlers preschoolers school-agers birth to 8

Kit Timeline:
Preparation time for this kit is estimated at 1.5 hours. Implementation and actual training time is 3.0 hours, which includes 1.5 hours of face-to-face training and 1.5 hours of independent study and an applied activity project.

Training Outcomes:

By the end of this training, Learners will be able to:
  • analyze 3 key areas of the environment: physical environment, interactional environment, and temporal environment.
  • assess their classroom environments for color, texture, organization, and aesthetics to determine areas for change or improvement.
  • evaluate resources needed to make changes to their classrooms.
  • plan and implement changes based on classroom assessment.

These training outcomes address the following American Standards:

  • National Association for the Education of Young Children's (NAEYC) Standards and Accreditation Performance Criteria (2005). More information on NAEYC's learning standards can be found at www.naeyc.org.

    • Teachers organize space and select materials in all content and developmental areas to stimulate a) exploration, experimentation, discovery, and b) conceptual learning. (3.A. 04)
      Teachers work to prevent challenging or disruptive behaviors through a) environmental design, b) schedules that meet the needs and abilities of children. (3.A.05)
      a) Teachers create classroom displays that help children reflect on and extend their learning; b) they ensure that children's recent works predominate in classroom displays (e.g., art, emergent writing, graphic representation, and three-dimensional creations) and that c) some displays are at children's eye level. (3.A.06)
      Teaching staff and children work together to arrange classroom materials in predictable ways so children know where to find things and where to put them away. (3.A.07)
      The arrangement of the classroom encourages


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