Although the purpose of the blog is to identify the thousands of moments of learning that can be observed in a play-based kindergarten program, I think it is important to devote one blog entry to our experience in setting up a new classroom for full day learning.
I had been storing all the classroom materials I had acquired over the past five years at my old school and managed to move with the help of a willing partner who owns a pick up. (very handy!) Before unloading the material I thought it would be wise to check the new space first. It was empty – completely empty! The material that had been ordered for the new room had not yet arrived. I had not materials for a drama centre, a sand or water centre, an easel or paint brushes, big blocks … I contacted my new partner Natalee who has been working in a child care centre and had just been hired as the Designated Early Childhood Educator in the Early Learning Kindergarten team. She was even more amazed to see our empty room.
Items had been ordered but most of them would not arrive prior to the first day of school. We worked hard at making the room enticing to the children since we knew that for many of our students, this was their first experience with leaving home and going into a new setting on their own and the experience had to be a positive one. We also had to make sure that we had a variety of activities available for children, even though most of our basic furniture and material was not yet delivered. It ended up being a good opportunity for us to get to know each other and to have a very authentic opportunity to talk pedagogy prior to the first day of school.