Welcome again guest blogger Jamie Smith, ISU Environmental Rating Scale Assessor.
I Spy with my Little Eye…
Display is one item assessed in all of the ERS Scales and is an important factor in your child care program. Displays not only give the children something to look at, but, as they are able, something to talk about. Careful selection of your display can lead to valuable learning experiences. Ask yourself some questions about your display to determine if it is having a valuable impact on the children.
What is displayed?
While cartoon-like pictures and posters can be cute to adults and some children, realistic pictures give children accurate representations of people and objects found in their world.
Developmentally appropriate displays provide children items to look at, explore, touch, and discuss. Posters of the alphabet, shapes, and numbers may be appropriate for preschool-aged children, but are not always for appropriate infants and toddlers. Remember to keep display relevant to the children who will be experiencing it.
Quality displays should contain pictures and posters depicting a variety of people. Not only do these displays provide children with stimulating pictures and conversations, they also provide exposure to the different types of people in our world. The people represented in displays should reflect different races, cultures, ages, abilities, and genders.
Who can see it?
Consider where your display is located and who can see it. Is it at eye level? Mobile infants, toddlers, and preschool aged children are generally capable of moving around the classroom and able to view the displays as they choose. Keep in mind that children can’t fully experience display if it is covered or partially covered. Are there some pieces of display that are hidden behind a shelf or partially covered by the easel?
Special care needs to be taken when creating displays for non-mobile infants. Consider whether or not they are able to see display while they are laying on the floor or during tummy time. Display should be throughout the room, not just in main play areas. Placing pictures or posters in the diaper changing area, on cribs, and within view of feeding areas ensures that young infants will have access to display.
How often is it changed?
With so many things to consider and do each day, display can often be forgotten. Remember to change it frequently so that it will continue to have an impact on children. Fresh display sparks exploration, new conversations and new ideas.
Are the children included in the display?
When children see their art work displayed, it not only gives them a sense of pride in their work, but also a sense of belonging. When their art work or pictures of themselves and/or their families are displayed, children understand that they are an accepted and valued part of the classroom community.
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