Friday, 7 September 2012

Chill Out Zone

I had been thinking about some sort of cave in my classroom, a place for kids to relax if they get upset or angry.  I was searching pintrest and found some pictures of  a carpet square and a sign over it saying, "Alaska, a place to chill out."  I liked that idea, but thought that it might be difficult for Kindergarten kids to understand... so I took it one step futher.  I took a large cupboard and turn that into our "Chill Out Zone."  Kids love penguins and understand that they live where it's cold so I took that idea and ran with it.  I covered the inside walls with a penguin scene, blue pillows to add to the cool colour scheme and then put christmas lights on the ceiling of the cupboard.
For the ceiling, I poked holes in a piece of cardboard then poked the lights through the holes.  I put the cardboard into the cupboard as if it were a shelf and then put another shelf right overtop of it to hide the wiring.  After putting it up and testing it out by crawling into the cupboard I found the lights to be a bit too bright so I draped the cardboard with blue fabric to dim the lights but you still get the overall effect of the lights. 

The kids absolutely love going into the chill out zone and I can usually hear them saying to eachother this isn't a spot for being silly, this is where we relax.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Reading Garden

I was inspired by pictures on Pinterest to rethink my classroom library.  Instead of just a bookshelf beside a wall I decided to make a library centre with a theme.  My reading garden was just a dream until I found the perfect bright green shag carpet at IKEA and from there it just blossomed.  I picked up two pink flower lights, a fence border and some pillows.  To add to the overall appearance of the garden I also covered my old ugly bookshelf with white mactac.  My old frog handing storage was perfect for holding our reading buddies and put some tissue paper flowers on the window ledge to add some more colour and it was finished.  I am so happy with the results! 

Books are changed out weekly.  All other books are organized and stored in file boxes for easy access (behind the green curtain).  I want to get to a point where I am able to put out baskets of books, but I will be taking baby steps to achieve that so books stay organized and are taken care of.

I hope my students enjoy reading in the garden as much as I enjoyed making it for them!