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 Post subject: Re: Improve your surroundings!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:45 pm 
God
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Amore please modify your thread title. "Improve your surroundings!"

I thought we were going to talk décor. Come on! Don't do me like that.

I get all excited you know.

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 Post subject: Re: Improve your surroundings!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:46 pm 
Holy Ghost
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Jersey Girl wrote:
Amore please modify your thread title. "Improve your surroundings!"

I thought we were going to talk décor. Come on! Don't do me like that.

I get all excited you know.

Well, Jersey Girl, fung shue or whatever decor you want to do counts for improving your surroundings, you’ll get points, so go ahead, put curtains up around your sunglasses, put the strobe light on and dance to “Everybody dance now!” whenever a guests comes to the door. There are countless ways to improve your surroundings- just go for it!

More practical improvements of surroundings ...
Image

Christmas or birthday gift idea!
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As someone who cute everyone’s hair in our house, this could really help our surroundings...
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 Post subject: Re: Improve your surroundings!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:50 pm 
God
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Funny you should mention Feng Shui. I Feng Shui'd my classroom for two years. Totally loved it! <3

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 Post subject: Re: Improve your surroundings!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:26 am 
Holy Ghost
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Jersey Girl wrote:
Funny you should mention Feng Shui. I Feng Shui'd my classroom for two years. Totally loved it! <3

Cool! Mind if I pick your brain? Lots of plants? How did you do it while keeping it practically organized?


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 Post subject: Re: Improve your surroundings!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:43 pm 
God
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Sure, I'll try to explain without a bunch of theory. I had early childhood classrooms for nearly 30 years, right? All I can tell you is that the teacher I exited as (I resigned almost 5 years ago) didn't resemble the teacher who started out. The only explanation I have is that when you dedicate yourself to something, a profession, at some point you find yourself at mastery level and then you transcend even that without even knowing you're doing it until feedback tells you that you're doing things that no one else around you is doing. :-)

I despised some of the conditions of my last position but loved that I had a demonstration classroom where admin ended up letting me do anything I wanted. They released me from the curriculum model at my request and I went on to create my own approaches to teaching and in this case, the environment.

If you don't know what this is, look it up, I have been a member of a Reggio Emilia association for about 25 years now. I still am. Look on Google images for pics of Reggio Emilia classrooms and you'll see what I'm talking about.

So about 5 years before I left that job, I went full on Reggio and the last two, I incorporated Feng Shui into the environment.

Keeping it organized was a breeze, the nature of Feng Shui is almost a minimalizism type approach to where you simplify and bring harmony into an environment by taking out sharp angles (poison arrows?), reduce general volume of objects, place them in harmonizing ways, plants are important as you mentioned and the environment has a peaceful effect on humans.

Starting with shelving and other types of classroom furniture. Typically the furniture in a classroom has sharp lines and are stocked with "plastic crap". Sometimes the shelving itself is colored. If you've been in an early childhood classroom, you know what I mean. Think "color bears" math manipulatives.

I already had top of the line gorgeous wood shelving units from Community Play Things. Round lines around the edges and some curved pieces. There was no plastic crap in my classroom at that point (except for animal figurines in block center or collections of insects or whatever I might have in the sensory table) because I'd removed it all and replaced it with natural and real objects due to the Reggio influence as well as using real glass containers wherever I could do so safely and when I couldn't I used clear plastic round containers for things, and almost everything was presented in baskets or simply placed on a shelf. For example, a basket of different colored rocks used as math manipulatives and science exploration.

I took the backs off all the shelving (except blocks) so you could see through them. :-) And yes, the tops of shelves might have 2-3 plants (much of them in glass containers of water to expose the roots) and there would be a basket of magnifying glasses available on a shelf below. That sort of thing. If we did seed planting, that collection would go on top of the shelve as well. Classroom fish was in a glass bowl on top of a shelf until I accidentally dumped him down the drain during a lock down where the lights were off. We incorporated his death into our daily documentation and parents sent us sympathy cards. ;-) I also had a collection of real garden snails from California in an aquarium on one shelf.

You could see through my classroom from front to back and when you got to the back of the room, through the floor to ceiling windows, you could see bird feeders suction cupped on the exterior so that when you cozied up to read you could watch the birds come to feed at the same time. ;-D

I had a "curtain" of plants hanging from the ceiling (philodendron) until the Fire Dept. made me take them down (I had always had things hanging from the ceiling, usually art) and my admin wouldn't file an appeal, so down came my natural curtain. :evil:

So basically what you're looking at is a reduction of volume (clutter), taking out the "busy-ness" of the environment, creating pathways for light, eliminating poison arrows and replacing those with curves (even round rugs). When I mentioned objects placed in harmonizing ways, I'm talking about perhaps no more than 3 objects on a shelf or top of a unit.

Hope I'm making sense, it's hard to describe in words. To all of the above examples, I added aromatherapy to my practice. When children and parents arrived in the morning, there would be soft instrumental music playing and the room smelled of cedarwood because I'd misted it prior to arrival. When children were starting to wake near the end of rest time, I misted the room with peppermint. When the lights were low at rest time, I had a lighted ficus tree in the room for a bit of mood lighting so if children woke up, they would see that little touch of light on the way to the rest room for reassurance and primarily Jeffrey Thompson recordings playing while they rested.

Before rest time, we practiced yoga. :-)

The "layers" I added to the environment, I suppose could be said to be a holistic approach by then.

Did I just write a book? I'm telling you, never ask me about my work I'll never stop!

:mrgreen:

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Stay close to the people who feel like sunlight ~ Arsu Shaikh


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