Do you have an "alone" space for children?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by jbrinkm, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. jbrinkm

    jbrinkm Companion

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    Oct 8, 2011

    I'm trying to figure out how to implement a space in my classroom for a child to be alone if he/she needs to be. I am supposed to have it for ECERS, and I think it is a good idea. My problem is where to put it.

    I rearranged my room from scratch this year and love all of my centers. I'm using so much more space more effeciently this year and I love the placement of all of my centers. My problem is, that my centers take up all of the usable space in the room. I just cannot figure out any new space where a child could go if he or she wants to step back from the action for a while while still being visible to the teachers for supervision purposes.

    I have a 3-sided pop-up tent-thingy that I have in my library with a beanbag chair inside. I was going to use it for the "Cozy Corner" within my library, but it turns out that I don't have enough room to have the library seating/listening/writing and book racks, PLUS the cozy corner set away from the rest of the furniture. I ended up just putting the beanbag/tent seating in with the rest of the little chairs for reading/listening. It won't really work with any other center - the other centers are either too busy, too loud or too crowded. The really only open spaces now are walkways or doorways.

    The only other thing I could think of is to maybe buy one of these swiveling chairs from IKEA that has a roll-down top so a child could cocoon inside, but I'm not sure about the visibility issue and it is a little expensive (I'd have to buy it myself).

    The other possibility is that the computer area could double as an alone space but they are only allowed 20 minutes a week to actually be on the computer.

    Do you have any suggestions for me? Do you have a space like this in your class, and how does it work?
     
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  3. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 8, 2011

    But it sounds like your cozy tent place is still available, right? That is all I did at ECERS time (and we did really well) the plan was to have it available....not that it had to be far away from other places.
     
  4. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Oct 8, 2011

    Do you have any pocket charts or pocket chart stands? They make great moveable partitions that you could arrange so that it made a cozy space but was still visible.
     
  5. ash_sk8s

    ash_sk8s Companion

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    Oct 8, 2011

    I wish we did. Not as a place to send children when they're misbehaving, but as a place for a child to have an option to cool if they'd like to be alone or need to cool down. However, I know my school wouldn't go for it.
     
  6. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 8, 2011

    ash. I am surprised your school will not allow a quiet corner. Don't you teach for HS?
     
  7. ash_sk8s

    ash_sk8s Companion

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    Oct 9, 2011

    I work at The Goddard School. I think the director would view it as a "time out" sort of thing. We can't have a specific area that we send kids when they need to have a time out, just go sit somewhere. We also can't call it time out lol. So I just think they would think we'd use a quiet corner as a time out sort of thing.
     
  8. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 9, 2011

    Oh, call it a "calm" table or "calm" hut or whatever. Make sure that it is explained to the kids (and the director) that it isn't really a behavior issue (other than preventative) it is for when the child feels that they need to be alone.
     
  9. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 9, 2011

    ECERS loves us to have alone space for the kids. I usually have a table with a quiet activity for one child. Some kids like to play alone.
     
  10. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Oct 10, 2011

    When I taught preschool we did have one and called it the "quiet area." It was just a small space with some stuffed animals, pillows and books. No more than two children could be in it at once and they had to be quiet. It's a 5 star facility so I know it was put in as part of the ECERS requirement, but it's used appropriately all the time, not just once a year for observations. It's a really useful spot for kids who need down time. Good luck finding a space that'll work for you.
     
  11. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 11, 2011

    I really like the prevention of problems that this type of a center provides. I don't really like to have a "hut" with sides for all classes. Sometimes the "alone" is enough without the blocking of line of sight, but sometimes the walls of the play thing amp up the child and then the "calm" of "alone" is lost.

    Right now, my group of puppies thinks alone is punishment, the alone areas are always getting chairs drug into them.....for a buddy. Sometimes I just can't win!
     
  12. jbrinkm

    jbrinkm Companion

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    Oct 11, 2011

    Yes, I did not clarify - this would NOT be a place to send a child, but only a place where a child could choose to be alone if she wanted to get away from group pressures. If a child were really angry or frustrated, we might ask the child if she wanted to go there for a while but we would not make a child go there for misbehavior.
     
  13. forkids

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    Oct 24, 2011

    Can you shift something just a bit to make a tiny nook? Small is OK for a quiet place, even preferred - it only has to be big enough for one. All you really have to have is a pillow on the floor big enough to sit on and maybe a stuffed animal/couple of books/clipboard w/paper and pencil. Put the items in a small basket and set beside or on the pillow if space is really tight. If there's not room elsewhere, locate the things in the computer area and let it double as a quiet area. We are allowed to have the quiet place be portable as well - a hoop or a basket of quiet items with a sign that can be taken wherever a child wants when they need quiet time.
     
  14. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    Oct 28, 2011

    I've seen nice boxes set up this way as a private space for children.

    I know I need down time from the group. It is exhausting for me to constantly be with a group of adults. This type of space is very important to the well being of children.
     
  15. jbrinkm

    jbrinkm Companion

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    Nov 5, 2011

    I did it!

    I got a shelving unit for books from a teacher across the hall (she got a new one and gave her old one to me). This shelf is thinner than the other one - I have been using a "market stand" that used to be in dramatic to store books. So it cleared up just enough space on the side of the library to put my "cozy corner" behind the shelf, by the cubbies.

    I have to move the pop-up tent & beanbag chair over there after all the kids have arrived in the morning or it gets in the way of the cubbies during arrival and dismissal, but it is worth it. The kids love it! Right now it is the new "toy" in the room, so they are all wanting to be in there, but hopefully in another week or two, it will just be available for it's intended purpose.

    Thanks for all of your encouragement to keep me working on it.
     
  16. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Nov 5, 2011

    Glad it worked out!
     

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