I visited the preschool classroom of Arizona Western College CDLL. The classroom consisted of twenty -two children, Three through five year olds. The type of program at CDLL is a part of the college program, students and parents are free to go to observe at any time.
When I walked into the preschool classroom of AWC CDLL, the children had just woken up from a nap. The students were putting back their blankets and finding an activity to play with before the day comes to an end. Some of the children were putting puzzles together, others were playing the game “let’s go fishing,” and others were cutting fun shapes out of construction paper and playing with slime. They participated in these for about thirty minutes while the teacher was preparing for the evening “circle time.” The free activity play time is similar to the play I observed at the sidewinders classroom in the same preschool. Even though the students were permitted to do an activity of their choice, they were still asked to use their inside voices.
The classroom environment of the traditional preschool seemed to stimulate learning due to the abundance of activities available to the students. During the evening play time the children were given the opportunity to explore many different things, like dramatic play area, and the art area, and putting puzzles together. The physical classroom environment had artwork done by the students on the walls as decoration. There also were ocean seasonal decorations on the wall to brighten up the room as well with fishes, balls, sun, octopus, fish puppets, ocean waves, etc. The preschool classroom wasn’t particularly spacious and large. The classroom was extremely tidy and organized. The toys in the kitchen area where all put away and were not scattered outside of the kitchen corner, which leads me to believe that the teacher values the space given and wants her students to know that cleaning up toys and other activities when they are done being played with is very important. The classroom also emphasized order, and since the rooms were must larger, if a student was working on an activity, such as building with blocks on the floor, they could keep their work out.
At AWC CDLL, clean up time was given, and most of the children follow the classroom’s rules. There were not very many needs to take disciplinary action; the children were very well behaved, which also reduced the need for the teacher to keep a constant eye out for troublemakers. The teacher participated and walked around during part of the evening playtime. While 4 students were playing “Let’s go fishing” she walked over to them and tried to get a few of the fish into the yellow bucket. She encouraged the children to catch some fish. The children interacted and played with each other well.
I could see that they were learning how to cooperate and share toys with one another, and they all seemed to get along quite well. Because the teacher seemed to be very positive and encouraged the children she was contributing to the students’ emotional well-being. As I walked around before circle time I asked the children about what they were doing, and they seemed to be socially and emotionally apt through their interaction with me. During the calendar circle time each child was given the opportunity to answer questions related to the calendar procedure which allows the teacher chance to assess progress and facilitate learning for children if they were unclear about the calendar question. The children at the traditional preschool displayed developing physical skills through their play with the “fish” game. The skill of the game teaches the kids Hand and Eye coordination and y its test the eyes, hand ears and patience. The cognitive skills displayed by the children were evident while I watched a few of them putting puzzles together. I could see them deciphering where each piece went and what pieces fit together to complete the picture on the puzzle.
All of the children were interacting and cooperating together throughout their play time, which demonstrates their developing social skills discussing and learning about Europe as a part of a multicultural curriculum. The teacher and the children negotiate about what concepts will be learned and talked about in the curriculum. In this way the curriculum is automatically multicultural and anti-bias because they are including all children in the classroom.