Creating Affirming Environments

9d068f58a2da4fc776d27fbc64cae97aThere will be a built on ramp for any person that may be confined to a wheelchair or have any other disability. Upon entering in my family childcare home, the parents will be greeted by a staff member or myself. “Children must feel safe, loved, and nurtured to develop the basic trust they need for healthy development” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p.52).  There will be a notebook for the parents to sign in and sign out before entering and exiting the facility. In the front entrance on the left side of the wall will be a bulletin board full of information such as lesson plan, daily schedule, activities, upcoming events, and any other pertinent information that the par
ents need to be aware of. The information will be written in various languages that
is presented in the family childcare home. This will help families to feel like their home language is vital. There will also be a bigger board that will display pictures of each family. Under each child’s family picture will be a small tray with their name on it and a tray with my name on it as well. These trays will be for correspondence and other documents to exchange between parents and myself.

couchThere will be a calming/safe place area that will be for the children that may have a hard time transitioning from their parent in a more content way. Sometimes parents do not have a lot of time to comfort their crying child, but the same time the parents want to know that their child is in good hands and feels comfortable leaving them in their emotional state. In this area there will be a sofa, with pillows, books, and stuffed animals. This is vital because it will serve as a way for the children to express their emotions in a more constructive way. For instance, a child may be upset and crying, the teacher/educator will not stop the child from crying, but will allow him or to express their emotions. Eventually the child will stop crying and calm down, and will join the class when they are ready (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).

There will be another room that will be set up for group or rug time. The room will be painted in a bright color with educational and learning tools posted on the walls as time This is where the students and the teachers will come together and go over their good morning songs, read stories, meet and greet, and also have small conversations. Parents will be allowed to sit in during this time if they wish to do so. In the media segment Castillo talks about the importance of circle or group time because it is an important part of their day where the children are allowed to converse with one another and the parents can participate as well and this will generate a partnersbookcaseship between the parents and educators (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011). There will be two book cases that will have books that represents different ethnicities, cultures, genders, families, and disabilities. This will allow children to see themselves and others
that are portrayed in the books. There will also be pictures of the same thing displayed in this room as well. The children will learn how to count, say their shapes and colors in Spanish as well as any other language that may be represented in the class. This will support all the children and help them to appreciate one another home languages.

There will be a large room that will serve the interest areas that will be the learning centers. The interest areas that will be represented are blocks, music, dramatic play, manipulatives, art, reading and writing, sand/water, and math/discovery. Each center will be developmentally appropriate for each group that will be in the class. All shelves and containers will be labeled and have a picture to go with it so each child knows what is what and where it belongs. The shelves will be at the appropriate height for each age group.  Block-Area-300x155In the block center will be foam blocks, wooden blocks, cardboard blocks, soft blocks, community workers, people with disabilities, and animals. In the dramatic play area will have a diverse mixture of dolls that will include race, ethnicities, gender, and religions if possible. I will include dolls that will have physical challenges that include but not limited to dolls in wheel chairs, hearing impaired or wearing leg braces (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010). Children should be exposed to the differences in people because when they become a part of the real world they will see people with disabilities and not be alarmed because they were introduced to it in their class. There will be dress up clothes that will include different community workers, different cultures, props for both genders. “Cooking tools and empty food containers from the children’s families are included, as well as plastic food from various cultures” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p. 52). In the manipulative center or table top toys will be blocks, legos and puzzles. Derman-Sparks and Edwards (2010) states “these must be separated from their packaging, which often portrays stereotypes” (p. 52). In the art center there will be a variety of art supplies ranging from different colors of construction paper, glue sticks, popsicle sticks, different types of paint (watercolor, finger, tempera), paint brushes, modeling clay play dough, to magazines, crayons, and markers. In the reading and writing center will be paper, pencils, dry erase boards, an easel, books, flash cards, letter tiles, and other appropriate materials. The sand/water will have items that will pertain to the theme for the week or month whether it is a beach theme, under the sea theme, or zoo theme. The math/discovery center will have pictures, magnifying glamusic time 013sses, money, dominos, file folder games, farm animals, dinosaurs, bear counters and so much more. In the music area will be music of various cultures,
streamers, different instruments, CD’s that represents the
children’s home language, drums, and maracas. This area is important because each child be exposed to music of and from their own culture (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010).

The educational and learning setting would also contain a strengths-based viewpoint of educating, that develops the knowledge that the children already have upon entering into the program and what thsocial justiceey are avid about. Topics such as social justice and diversity will be taught along with, conflict management and resolution, and learning how to perceive one’s own thinking. In learning about different cultures and religions family traditions, holiday traditions, and celebrations will not be the only way to learn about the different cultures and religions that are represented within in the class and those that are not in the class. In doing this, it is an excellent way for teachers to avoid the tourist curriculum. “In a tourist curriculum, instead of making diversity a normal part of the onartifactsgoing, daily curriculum, activities about “other” cultural groups occur only once in a while, to celebrate a holiday, to enjoy a special food, or to welcome a one-time guest” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p. 48).  I will also display in the
classroom a designated spot were families can bring in different items that represent their family and culture (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).

Off from the kitchen will be a room set up for the children to eat their breakfast, lunch, and snack. The children will be eating nutrifood 2tional food and the appropriate serving. Children will have the opportunity to explore and be introduced to n
ew foods from different cultures. This is a great way to get children to eat food that is different from their culture and what they are used to eating. Different pictures of foods will be
displayed around the room along with different cookware and utensils that different cultures use.

The rationality of my choice would be that I will be making the invisible visible in a sense that children and their families who rarely see their culture represented will have that opportunity in my family childcare home. Every family will be represented within the class and that will help and incorporate the feel of belonging and establishing a partnership and relationship. No one will be excluded but included. “Relationships and interactions with children and families, the visual and material environment, and the daily curriculum all come together to create the anti-bias learning community” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p. 51).


Derman-Sparks, L., & Edwards, J.O. (2010).  Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves.  Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children

Laureate Education, Inc., (2011).  Strategies for working with diverse children: Welcome to anti-bias learning community. Baltimore, MD: Author

9 thoughts on “Creating Affirming Environments

  1. Dionna,
    I like how you made accommodations for children that may have differing abilities. By planning for this you send a clear message that “everybody belongs, plays, and helps each other learn in her or his own time and way.” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p. 128). It also gives parents a warm welcome by planning for all children at your childcare center. When you put the ramp on the front of your center it helps meet the goal outlined in Chapter 10 of our required text: “All children will develop autonomy and independence as well as confidence and pride in their competences” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p. 126). I can just picture a young child feeling a sense of accomplishment because they could get themselves into your center, without assistance.
    Derman-Sparks, L., & Olsen Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).


  2. I love your presentation and I would love for my child to attend your room. The room feel acceptable and safe and secure environment. Your room makes a families want to become engage and learn new ideas. In the text, “as families develop trust that you care about and believe in their child, they come to feel that they too, belong” ( Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p. 37)


  3. Dionna,
    I love how much care and passion you put into your Family Child Care Home. I love how you incorporated family culture . As we learned in our video it is important that families feel connected (laureate-media, 2011). In my 3’s class a few years ago we had a family board that we placed in our safe place. This was a great way of helping the children clam down as they were able to see the faces of their loved ones. This provided with the feeling of being loved and safe and provided the family with a sense of being valued. I truly enjoyed your post and as I a parent I would entrust you and anyone under your guidance to care for my child.

    Laureate Education, Inc. (2011). Strategies for working with diverse children: Welcome to an Anit-Bias Learning Community. Baltimore, MD: Author


  4. Your blog was really thorough and the pictures made it visible. I like how you described you facility from the inside out. The way you valued you business and relationships with the families and the children was superb. I think that the school you describe is an anti bias environment that I would love to work for or have my own children attend. Great job and I really enjoyed it.


  5. Dionna, Thank you for this post. I enjoyed reading it. You touched on a lot of issues. For example, I like the fact that you designed an area for children with disabilities. The pictures are very bright, warm, and inviting. I love the fact that you involve the parents, you have pictures of the children and families displayed up front. This will give the children and their families a sense of belonging. I like how each area is designed to fit the individual child. Having an open relationship with the families will help create some type of environment whereas the child will have the same feelings a if the child was at home. To create a kind of consistency between what we do here, and what you do at home. That consistency is supported through ongoing communication (Laureate Education, (2011).


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