As a Jewish early childhood educator with many years of experience, there is one thing that I love to do when visiting another area or school, and that is to visit the early childhood classroom when no teachers or children are present. Just looking at the room setup gives me many clues of what goes on when the children and staff are there.
I survey the room to see how the interest areas (blocks, dramatic play, table toys, art, music, library) are set up. In each area, is there enough room for children to play, bearing in mind that play is children’s work, and play is the way children learn? I look to see if each activity area (blocks, trucks, etc.) are set away from quiet areas such as library and table toys. Is each area clearly defined, separate from the other areas? Does each area have sufficient room in which to play? Can children move easily from one area to the next easily without interfering with play?