We all know how crazy busy a day can be in first grade! This year, I tried something new... I created an oasis for my little ones when they need a break to regroup or just to take a breather from the action. Heck- I need it too some days! According to the Conscious Discipline method, "The safe place provides the opportunity for children to remove themselves from the group in order to become calm, regain composure and maintain control when upset, angry or frustrated. Children may come to the safe place in order to be helpful and not hurtful to themselves and others".
Although this area speaks to the design of my classroom, it was constructed with the child's heart in mind. I struggle with the notion of calling it a "safe place", implying that the rest of the school/classroom is not safe. At the start of the year, when I was introducing the methods of stress relief, the children named the spot "The Quiet Spot". It is NOT a time-out or any other form of punishment. It is a continuation of the idea that we need to take care of our hearts and physical needs in order to be efficient learners. Children must feel safe in order to learn at their personal best. Here are some photos of our "Quiet Spot".
This is in the back corner of the room, out of the flow of traffic. I knew that it needed to be by the window so the child could look out onto the beautiful woods that surround us. I got the chair from Target. I liked the style because it seemed to "hug" you when you sit in it.
The signs are downloaded from the CD site and were placed in the area after the method of stress release was taught in our morning meetings. I also have a tin of fidgets and stress balls on the window sill. The big leaf is from IKEA.