Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nature Shelf Corner

What does one do with an awkward corner of the classroom?  Strategically place a beautiful shelf, and create a nature corner, of course! 
Our newly created nature shelf corner.
I've had a slight design problem ever since moving into our current space over four year ago and am so happy to have finally found a solution - sometimes, just like at home, all it takes is a little time (well, four and half years to be exact) to find out what works well in a space.  Up until this point, this corner has housed our heater, something which needs lots of space around it without any blockages.  For this reason, I always hesitated to place anything around it and instead, always had a large potted plant to fill in the space.  Well, after four years, I've had it with replacing large plants!  They never did well in this corner and I'd end up replacing it at least twice a year.  The smaller plant arrangement should fare much better here now that the heater's airflow in not directly in it's path.  The top of the heater is now home to the giant pine cone, feathers, and birch bark specimen seen in the photo above.

Finally, we have the perfect place to showcase these treasures from nature!  Some of these items have been in my storage closet (so sad, I know!) because I really had no where to put them in the classroom where they would get the attention they deserve.  Also, the kids are frequently finding special items and wanting to bring them into the classroom and I am excited that we can highlight their finds in our new nature shelf corner!  And, with Earth Day activities and lessons in use around the classroom, what better time of year to start our designated indoor nature space?!

As a side note:  I find it remarkable how everything in my classroom has a story behind it - a history so to speak...  This is a shelf which I bought secondhand many, many years ago when I was still in high school!  Funny how it has found itself in my classroom...  Also, a number of the items - the feathers, wasp's nest, sea urchin, lobster claw... are objects my own sons have found during their outdoor excursions.  I so appreciate that they want these things on the nature shelf for my students to enjoy and I love that my boys are part of my classroom even though they are not physically there during the school days.  Come to think of it, I think I could write a book about how each item in my classroom was acquired...!

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  1. Good luck with your new nature corner, it looks fantastic!

  2. Thank you, Maria. The children are loving it and I like how it opens up this corner of the room!

  3. So beautiful! I will do the same soon if I found a shelve.

  4. Thank you, Family and co. It really does add a special feel tot he classroom. Thanks for your kind comment!

  5. This is wonderful, Sasha! I love how you found a solution to your design problem ... and it's great that the objects have a special history. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LivingMontessoriNow

    1. Thanks so much, Deb! It is something I've always wanted in the classroom, so I'm glad to have found a solution!