Dramatic Play Area
The Dramatic Play Area is a space rich in oral language and creativity. At this 'Investigation Station' children expand their oral language skills, develop there literacy and numeracy skills alongside their problem solving, decision making, persistence, creative and lateral thinking skills.
A dramatic play area can be set up in many different ways; some examples include a home, a supermarket, a post office, a vet clinic, a hospital, or a restaurant.
Dramatic play is one of the major strategies for promoting rich oral language for all children. The language children share is rich, purposeful and authentic. Children engage in and use a wide vocabulary and children's articulation and listening skills are continually developed through dramatic play.
Sensory Play Area
A Sensory Play Area gives the children an opportunity to practise and develop their fine motor skills and hand eye co-ordination, allowing children to tune into their sensory perception and not just their thinking and academic skills. At times the teacher may link this area directly to a literacy experience or children may take this on independently.
This area may include clay, play dough, water, mud, sand or dirt with natural materials such as pine cones, rocks or flowers.
The Collage Area provides rich opportunities for never-ending creativity, projects and experimentation with a wide range of materials, a space where the children can work together in small groups, if they choose. Children are given access to a range of collage materials which are stored and presented in an attractive manner encouraging the children to respect the area.
Some materials that may be available for the children to use are: natural materials, leaves, flowers, coloured paper, feathers, cardboard, boxes, ribbon, material, cotton wool, buttons, pebbles, shells, etc
The Writing Area is a space where many writing implements are available for the children from pencils, to textas and even pens. Children are encouraged to see writing and reading as an integral and purposeful part of their investigations. You will see signs hung in this area showing letter formation, children's names, and words the children have shown an interest in writing. There will also be a range of paper for the children to write on this could include cardboard, greeting cards, note pads, postcards, etc.
The Reading Area is a space used for relaxing, reading, researching, information sharing and storytelling. This is an inviting space for children to visit throughout their investigations. The children will see fiction and non-fiction books which are usually chosen by the teacher and children to support, continue and develop their investigations.
Computers are becoming an ever growing part of our society and with this in mind we aim to foster and develop an interest in them with the children. Computers are incorporated into children's learning and are used for creating design plans, documenting work, writing stories and researching projects.
Construction and Manipulative Equipment
The Construction and Manipulative Equipment Area can be either an inside or an outside 'investigation station.' In this space you might see blocks, Lego or timber and wood work equipment. Here children have the opportunity to develop and plan designs and ideas through creative hands-on manipulation. This station also provides the children further opportunities to develop their fine motor skills and oral language skills while working alongside each other.
Cosy Corners (Individual Spaces)
Children in their early years of development like time to work and play on their own; it helps with concentration and attendance to tasks while limiting interruptions from others. In an Australian Developmental Curriculum classroom you will see many cosy corners or individual spaces the children can work in when wanting some individual time. Cosy corners are usually set up with just one small table and one chair or cushion to sit on.
Group Time Area
The Group Time Area is a space in the classroom where the children meet together with the teacher to share ideas, reflect on their learning and participate in explicit teaching. The reporter and focus children of the morning report back to the class and the teacher will use this space to complete her tuning-in activity in the morning. This is the only area the children must participate in throughout the day.
A Painting Area where possible is set up in an outside space with 2 painting easels for the children to access encouraging either a social language experience or an individual experience for children. Painting easels assist in the development of gross and fine motor skills, bilateral coordination as well as children's oral language in describing colour and shape.
Sitting and Planning Area
Teachers find it useful to provide children with a table and chairs, or cushions and clip boards where they can sit together and plan or design before commencing their investigations. Children may use this space to write plays, draw building plans or discuss future direction for their investigation.