Learning Environment: Start Creating One with Table Signs

The U.S. Department of Education published a booklet meant to be a guide for preschool teachers, child care and family providers.  In this series we will look at what the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Early Childhood Head Start Task Force provide and supplement the sections and suggestions with additional information and some links that will help you carry out what the booklet suggests.

Learning Environment

Create one.

How can you work with the space you have in your home or small center to create a classroom?  One suggestion is to "use cupboards, screens, and tables to divide your classroom into children’s work areas."

By creating different work spaces the children have a better understanding of what they are supposed to do and when they are supposed to do it.  You can have them help you make neat labels too!  Making them an active participant in the environment you are creating for them.

Some names of the work spaces might be:

  • Library Corner
  • Games and Puzzles Table
  • Writing Table
  • Blocks Place
  • Art Studio
  • Housekeeping Room
  • Science Space

You can also find some free sign makers on the web to personalize and print the signs from your home.  For an example, check out this website http://printstationary.net/signs/.  You can print out birthday signs from here too!

If you use a website to make your signs and labels, make sure to save the website that you liked the most to print out signs (if you do it that way) because as you bring new toys, games and activities in, you are going to want the signs and labels up to date!

Adapted from: U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Early Childhood-Head Start Task Force,Teaching Our Youngest, Washington, D.C., 2002.


Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on ChildCareInfo.com is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building ChildCareInfo.com.