Sunday, August 14, 2011

Classroom Library and Safe Place

Considering this is what my room looked like just a few weeks ago....

   ...I can say that this is basically my PRIDE and JOY!  I'm not even going to pretend that I am humble about it because I am not.  I LOVE the safe place that my husband and I made together.  I LOVE the barn owl stuffed animal that I put in the top.  I LOVE that I only spent $18 to make it.  I am so excited for my new little darlings to see it on the first day of school!     

I used:  branches found at the community compost pile, peacock feathers, white netting used at my wedding (purchased at IKEA in the curtain section), a barn owl stuffed animal, floral moss, pillows, screws, and pieces of ply wood.

We made a base for the branches to be screwed into through the bottom.  We figured out the angle of the branches and then cut them at that angle so that way when they were screwed in they would be at the right angle.  Hope that makes sense?!

Figuring out the angle for the branches.  After it was all screwed together I covered the base with fabric using a glue gun so that my students won't be able to get slivers even if they tried!  Ha!

I tied the white netting on just how I liked it.  Then I used the floral moss to cover up the screws and for decoration.  I added the feathers and owl for the final touches :)

The library baskets are not sorted yet.  I work at a charter school and a part of our charter is parent volunteering.  I am going to have one of my parent volunteers sort them by genre.

So you may be wondering... What is a safe place?

Well a Safe Place is something that at our school is a requirement for every classroom.  The main things that distinguish a safe place from any other spot in a classroom would be:

*  A safe is a place where students can go to when they feel the need to remove themselves from the group.

*  This is a place that is NEVER to be used as a punishment.  (You would never tell a student to go there.)

*  Students are still responsible for their learning and work.

*  It is meant to be a special place.  It can look like a  chair, couch, rug with pillows, tent, tee-pee, etc.  It's a location in the room where they can go and not be bothered.

*  It is a place where students can go to practice self regulation strategies like using a mantra to calm down.  Feather breathing, yoga, thinking happy thoughts, etc.

*  There should only be one student in the safe place at a time.

The students should have some input in making the safe place special.  So this year my students are going to write/draw about a time when they felt happy and/or safe.  Then they will crumble them up and put them in a plastic egg.  Together we will make a "birds nest" since we have an owl themed classroom this year and put all of the eggs in the nest.  The nest will be placed in the branches at the top next to the barn owl.  

Some other ideas to make your safe place special and kid included would be to have them bring pictures of their family.  Make class expectations together for the safe place.  

Do you have a safe place in your room?  Can you think of another way to have the students contribute to the safe place?

PS This is how the white netting was used at my wedding...  We were married under my favorite tree in my parents back yard.    


Miranda said...

I love this! It looks beautiful and I'm sure your little darlings are going to love it, too.

Peterson's Primary Peeps said...

Aw what a nice idea! Your wedding picture is great. Check out the giveaway at my blog

Liliris said...

Wow! I love all your photos. Your safe place looks amazing!

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