As you enter the classroom you will immediately notice a simple, clean and uncluttered
environment without the feel of an institution. The physical environment has such
enormous influence on human behavior and children take in a tremendous amount of information
through their senses and by physically doing. Therefore, we have designed and arranged
an environment so that children can focus on the task at hand, free from distractions
(visual clutter) within the environment.
A neutral-colored background, and furniture made out of natural wood provides a calming atmosphere where children can focus on the materials we want them to explore. The atmosphere is warm and aesthetically pleasing, providing a sense of security for children so they can feel comfortable to venture out and explore the environment.
Lighting is natural, as much as possible through skylights and large windows. Incandescent
lighting, when needed, keeps the classroom feeling more like a home than an institution.
Spot lighting and lamps are used in areas, which require more concentration, such
as the library, or to highlight a specific item or activity.
The classroom is large and open to provide children with adequate space to move, grow and learn. In classrooms that are too small, children behave more aggressively and have a higher incidence of illness. They are less focused, engage in more aimless wandering and interact less with others. Our indoor/outdoor program allows children to move between both environments throughout most of the session, thereby further reducing the number of children enclosed in the space. This also, keeps the noise level as low as possible.
The acoustical properties of the classroom are extremely important since noise is a major cause of stress for both adults and children. You will notice the ceiling and walls are covered with sound absorbing materials, and pillows, quilts, felt banners, carpet and other soft items added to reduce noise level. Program decisions, such as having an indoor/outdoor program help disperse children throughout the total environment reducing crowding and noise assault.
We are fortunate to live in an area where weather conditions rarely prevent outside play for children. In extensive weather conditions such as steady rain or gale force winds, children are not permitted access to the outdoor environment. Short of that, children have the option to use the outside area whether it is cold, hot, breezy or drizzly. We provide children access to extra coats, sweaters, raincoats, rain boots, etc. and encourage the children to tune in to conditions in relationship to what they are physically feeling to encourage them to begin to self-regulate. For example, if we always insist that a child put on a jacket based on how we are feeling, rather that helping them recognize how they are feeling, we have denied them the opportunity to learn self-regulation. Therefore, they will become reliant on adults to always tell them when they have a physical need, rather than recognizing it within themselves and making a decision to do something about it.
Who To Contact
- Anne Adamson
Director of Child Development Center and Early Childhood Education
Building: Hartnell College Main Campus
411 Central Ave Salinas, CA 93901
- Mayra Almodovar
- Andrea Zarate
Early Childhood Instructor
Building: J - Visual Arts
- Tammy Boates
Early Childhood Instructor