Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some Characteristics of Space

Chapter 4 / Caring Spaces

Aloha Everyone!

It’s all about transition from inside and outside, from one point to another point, the flow in entries and pathways, and space within the classroom environment. We as teachers need to set up our classroom with our students in mind. The Chinese believes in harmony within their environment this is called Feng Shui.

Feng Shui - ”is a 5,000 year-old Chinese philosophy about understanding the laws of nature and the relationship between human being and their environment to live in harmony. Feng Shui is translated to wind and water is the study of the flow of energy in relations to nature, objects, and people. Everything around us is connected and has the potential to affect our well being. The life force ch’i is thought to be a vital force that breathes life into plants, animals, and humankind, and inflates the earth to form hills and mountains. It is important that the ch’i in living things and the atmospheric ch’i are in harmony. If we accept that and live with nature rather than against nature and incorporate beauty, warmth, gentleness, order, and other positive aspects of life into our setting, rather than disorder, ugliness, discordant noise, and symbols of indifference towards life and nature, we will live and work in an environment that is healthier for us and the environment around us.”

I totally believe in the laws of nature between human being and their environment. My grandmother is Chinese (my father’s mother) and I believe that we need to respect everything that mother nature gives out to us. So let us start with our students by making their classroom environment flowing with learning harmony. ;-D


Swine Flu Update / October 27, 2009

I’m so glad that we have a strategy plan for swine flu. This information is from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 1) Get vaccinated against the flu, 2) Stay home when sick, 3) Early childhood programs, parents, or state and local health officials may elect to require longer periods of exclusion, 4) Conduct daily health checks, 5) Separate ill children and staff, 6) Encourage hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette of both people who are well and those who have any symptoms of flu, 7) Perform routine environmental cleaning, 8) Encourage early treatment for children and staff at high risk for flu complications, and 9) Consider selective early childhood program closures. This information is so important for everyone who has contact with children.


  1. I totally agree with you about the importance of flow and space in a classroom environment. Too much space and children will be running around like wild animals or worse, wild children. Too little space and it becomes harder to maneuver around things and people tend to become unintentional bumper cars.
    I wish more families would keep their children home when they are sick. When I worked at a preschool I got sick so many times and I knew which child it was from. They would come to school with green goo coming out of their noses for days and I had the “privilege” of having a few children sneeze on me and cover me with their germy-goo.

  2. hi gary!

    As we learned in the textbook and the additional article, the learning environment speaks to children and adults. I believe, as teachers we should always pay careful attention to the ways we design our learning environment. Remember, the learning environment you create will be influenced by many things but first by the building and grounds that surround it. Also, consider an appropriate for young children will be different for different ages, but their will be also many similarities.

    As Kawai, points out many families always send their children to school when they are sick. When I was working in the classroom, I also encountered the sick children who would spread their germs. I think it is important to teach children about taking care of their bodies, getting rest, eating healthy and the importance of washing their hands.

    p.s. Did you check out the Parnell website? If not, I recommend you check it out! It's amazing:)


  3. Hi Gary,
    I wonder how the other readings could further develop your blog posting.

    You mention Feng Shui. As an elementary teacher, how is Feng Shui part of your classrooms? Do you think environment is considered as part of elementary learning and teaching? How might you disrupt current elementary classroom structures in order to rethink classrooms in terms of Feng Shui? Could this change how elementary classrooms currently function?


  4. Hi Gary,
    Yes it is especially important that we as teachers take action and do whatever possible to stay protected against the swine flu or any flu in general. It's a scary thought when you think about all the different people who come in contact at your school...children, parents, community, family, educators, etc. many people come in and out of the classroom everyday. For our safety and for the safety of others, we should definitely follow the precaution that the center for disease control has encouraged. Sanitizing daily is a must, cleaning throughly is a must, and proper hand washing and sick procedures is a must as well. One thing we started implementing more, is the washing of hands when you come into our preschool, and when you leave, on top of washing a t any other needed time. I think washing hands when you come in helps to not spread germs, and when you leave it helps you to not take germs home. It's scary being a teacher because children get sick easily and we are very exposed to it. Teachers need to be strict on their sick policy to protect others and children.