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At Open Space we value that each child is different. This is why our program differs based upon the age of the child. A child’s typical day changes as they move from one classroom to another.
Our classrooms are designed with our children in mind. They are divided into specific areas called learning centers. The learning centers include Art, Blocks, Language and Literacy, Science, Dramatic Play and Manipulatives. We have an open layout that allows our teachers to monitor activity from all areas as well as encourages children to move freely about. Shelves and furniture are on the child’s level so they can easily access materials to promote autonomy. They are able to retrieve materials at the appropriate time, as well as put them back when they are finished.
The materials we use are open-ended to encourage creativity and the use of their imagination. We value the process involved in creating projects rather than what the end product is. During the process of creating, children use cognitive skills to plan, observe, problem solve and think about what they made and how they made it. We encourage families and teachers to donate recycled materials such as boxes, milk and juice cartons, cardboard tubes, and left over wrapping paper. We also collect materials from nature such as leaves, twigs, rocks and shells. We try to encourage a child to use symbolism through their play, even while using symbolic materials, such as food items.