August 19th, 2016
Spotlight of the Week: The Safe Place
I have a child who is abusing the Safe Place. She goes there and pretends to cry to stay in this special place much longer than the other students. Is it okay to set rules like time limits and the number of times per day you can use the Safe Place?
Most teachers employ "Safe Place Rules," rules for using the Safe Place. They include things like "You can go to the Safe Place on your own. If someone else is in the Safe Place, you can make your own by moving a pillow to another location in the classroom." Etc. If you decide to set a time limit on using the Safe Place, you would need to include that in the Safe Place rules, and make the rule the same for all children. Post the rules and remind the children of them often.
At the same time, I would strongly encourage you to explore this child's behavior as useful information to you. You might have to ask, "Why does she feel the need to be in the Safe Place so much?" Ultimately, there is a skill this child is missing or some problem in her life that is urging her to act out in this way. Maybe transition time or a certain subject is overwhelming. Perhaps she is having social issues or has an ill relative. Her behavior is a signal to you that she needs your help coping; she needs a new skill set. Once you know why she is crying to stay in the Safe Place, you can better determine how to help her/what skills to teach.
If a child spends a large amount of time sleeping in the Safe Place, "This is a call for help. Something is going on with this child." In 99% of cases, that "something" is anxiety, upset, a skill issue, etc.
By all means, set up your Safe Place rules so you are comfortable with the way children use the Safe Place, but please don't forget that seeing a child's behavior as a call for help rather than misbehavior is a powerful shift that will help you to teach children the coping, social, academic and other skills they are missing.
The Visual Cue Strategy
YouTube Curriculum Connection for your SmartBoard or Hatch
Differentiating Fine Motor for "The Kissing Hand"
Option 2: Draw a picture of your family (different thin markers and crayons)
Option 3: Make a bracelet for your mom or dad. (different bead sizes)
IDEA TRACKER: Ideas created BY YOU and shared WITH YOU!!
Do you and your co-teachers have an action plan in place so that you know who is doing what throughout the day? Make time for your "to do" list. It makes a difference in how your day goes.
Middletown has shared a fabulous document that can help teams set expectations and roles in the classroom. Please feel free to click on the link below for access to this document.
Weekly Lesson Plan: All About Us Week 1 and Week 2
I began my work in education the year I graduated from high school! My first "real" job was working in the New York State preschool setting, ages 2-5. While attending college for my Masters, I worked as a Kindergarten Extended Day and At-Risk Teacher helping children with the gaps that would prevent them from moving to first grade.
In 1996, I relocated to North Carolina where I taught first and second grade. While I stayed home with my wee ones, I coached grades K-5 cheerleading.
My husband and I moved here to Ohio in 2004 and soon after I began working in the schools as a substitute teacher. It allowed for the flexibility I needed as a mom of 3 children! In 2006, I began working at BCESC as a Wraparound Facilitator and was able to not only learn about the amazing programs and resources we have available to families and children in Butler County but share them with families, other educators and utilize them for my son. Help Me Grow was the service that gave my son a chance at success within the schools. Through his preschool years and beyond, I have learned so much about the IEP and differentiating for students!!
I returned to the classroom in 2011 as a Kindergarten teacher and also taught Title 1 Reading. I am extremely passionate about Early Literacy and multi-sensory instruction. Last year I was excited to put my skills to work in helping other teachers in the classroom. I love coaching and I love preschool!