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Communication Friendly Spaces


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i have just returned from a course about communication friendly spaces provided by elizabeth jaram - it was really great and inspiring - its all about improving childrens speaking and listening skills - how to provide effective places for children to talk.

some points that have come out from this -

displays -how do your children relate and interact with them - who are they for - how could you make them more meaningful and interactive - do they trigger talk

calm space-is there an overload of colours for children trying to concentrate - are there any visually calm areas - create one and see what the difference it makes to behaviour and language

cosy space-do you have soft/chill out space-where do children go if want rest or private chat - how can you make space to support this

space for one - do you have area where children can reflect watch think - create one and see who uses it

space to support selection - offer resources to allow independent choice - do you have too much on offer-set up small area with selceted choice - how does this impact

outside- do you make most of language opportunities outside - set up a digging are - who uses it - what sort of talk goes on ther - how long do they spend there

enclosed child height space-how can you lower ceilings and use lighting to create mood and atmosphere

multi-purpose space- an area for childrens play to develop-children language will be more engaged when self-initiated play

themed space-could you set a scene for lots of imaginative language activity

space for choices-what systems could you set up to offer real choices for children - to manage materials and resources independently

whats your role in supporting children speaking and listening skills

 

it was a fantastic course -well worth the saturday out - if anyone can do this course please do - its very thought provoking

hope this isnt too long a post -just wanted everyone to know how good it was and to post some ideas that might help someone x

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Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much :o

I went on a Communication Friendly Spaces course as part of the IDP programme. Not presented by Elizabeth Jaram but the content sounds very similar. Certainly lots of food for thought xD

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Thank you for your post blondie. It was definbitely not too long - in fact very helpful. I'll be making a cosy space in our quiet room next week. We have one outside, but had not thought of doing the same indoors! Can't think why not.

We made a digging patch about a month ago and the children really love it. Hope yours works well too.

Gruffalo2

:o

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Thanks for the post - it was really thought-provoking.

The bit that I'm conflicted about is the calm colours and not too much overload. One part of me thinks this sounds like it has great theoretical basis and could have real benefits, but the other part of me loves a stimulating, colourful classroom with lots to look at etc. Has anyone 'calmed down' their classroom / nursery colour-wise and seen an impact or noticed any interesting results? Does anyone have any photos?

I'm very tempted by the idea of calm (!!!!) but I don't think it comes so naturally to me as the stimulating.

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Sounds great blondie - I love it when you attend a course/training day that leaves you feeling inspired - keep us updated about any changes you make in your setting as a result and how they work out.

 

Sunnyday

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Your course sounded fab blondie..

after visiting many reggio style nurseries and having spent some time on a study trip to Sweden we have adopted a less busy (clour wise environement). This also came after a fire inspection under the new fire regulations where nothing should be dangling in the line of pathways to the door and no material hanging. Our school and nursery used to be a cacophony of colours and we were bent double ducking under displays that dripped from the ceilings- we loved it and were gutted that the regs made us change our approach.

 

In the nursery we have gone for backing the walls with brown parcel paper to give a naturalistic look. This has saved an enormous amount of money on buying expensive display paper rolls- particularly as we dont have to change the paper everytime we do a new display (gone are the days when the staff would fight over the nicest roll of blue!)

 

We spent a few pounds on purchasing some wooden picture frames from IKEA both A3/ A4 and A5. We now use these to put photos in of the activities which the children and parents have been doing - this has lead to increased conversations about their families and experiences. We also use these frames to display work. The beauty of them is that they can be changed and hung in different places to suit the theme/ environment etc.

 

I wouldn't go back to a colourful classroom now- I dont miss the extra work load of displaying work that has little impact and use after the initial WOW. Unless they are really interactive and a tool for learning and assessment such as learning walls then I don't see who really benefits from them excpet the person who put them up!

 

We have created a quiet area with soft lighting (another IKEA buy- a floor lamp), CD played with gentle music and cushions and blankets to chill on- however, the term 'quiet area' is yet to be applied :o

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Your course sounded fab blondie..

after visiting many reggio style nurseries and having spent some time on a study trip to Sweden we have adopted a less busy (clour wise environement). This also came after a fire inspection under the new fire regulations where nothing should be dangling in the line of pathways to the door and no material hanging. Our school and nursery used to be a cacophony of colours and we were bent double ducking under displays that dripped from the ceilings- we loved it and were gutted that the regs made us change our approach.

 

In the nursery we have gone for backing the walls with brown parcel paper to give a naturalistic look. This has saved an enormous amount of money on buying expensive display paper rolls- particularly as we dont have to change the paper everytime we do a new display (gone are the days when the staff would fight over the nicest roll of blue!)

 

We spent a few pounds on purchasing some wooden picture frames from IKEA both A3/ A4 and A5. We now use these to put photos in of the activities which the children and parents have been doing - this has lead to increased conversations about their families and experiences. We also use these frames to display work. The beauty of them is that they can be changed and hung in different places to suit the theme/ environment etc.

 

I wouldn't go back to a colourful classroom now- I dont miss the extra work load of displaying work that has little impact and use after the initial WOW. Unless they are really interactive and a tool for learning and assessment such as learning walls then I don't see who really benefits from them excpet the person who put them up!

 

We have created a quiet area with soft lighting (another IKEA buy- a floor lamp), CD played with gentle music and cushions and blankets to chill on- however, the term 'quiet area' is yet to be applied xD

 

hmmmm..... lots to think about there.

Sounds really great, but can I let go of the dangles, the glitter, the clashing colours, the mayhem....? :o

Are the children behaving differently? Are they calmer or more 'focussed'? How about your role play area? Does that follow the same principles? I'm really fascinated and intrigued by this - I'd love to see some photos....!

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It is an excellent course and you can download the Teachers TV video here

 

http://www.teachers.tv/video/17831

 

I have visited the schools in Reggio and the lack of colour does not detract from the environment it really can enhance the provision but it is a huge leap away from all the advicce given over the last few years.

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Hi,

This course was our LA early years conference last September and I also thoroughly enjoyed the day - very inspiring. I thought the idea of creating a calm environment by using more natural colours was interesting but does go against many things that you are taught at college and what you feel will stimulate/inspire the children. We were asked to consider the spaces where you want children to concentrate e.g. the carpet area - are there posters/pictures/displays behind where you are sitting that can distract away from the adult? We were also asked to think about the effect of using less bright backgrounds on displays in order to highlight what is on the display.

I have created a few different cosy/quiet spaces, however, I find that they tend to be used for role-play (and they are not near the role-play areas!) which I have allowed unless there are children who are trying to have quiet-time.

 

It's certainly a very worth-while course to attend if you get the chance!

Green Hippo xx

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The bit that I'm conflicted about is the calm colours and not too much overload. One part of me thinks this sounds like it has great theoretical basis and could have real benefits, but the other part of me loves a stimulating, colourful classroom with lots to look at etc.

We have no choice but to have a calm environment - cream walls filled with sepia pictures of the village through the ages! No chance of our children getting over stimulated! :o

 

Maz

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I have just coma across this thread, great stuff!! I love CFS and did my research project on it for uni. I have asked my team to look at the booklet which is sadly very dogeared and highlighted within an inch of its life.

We recently had money to spend and so got community play things tables and chairs and some storage that was the same colour, pre-school leader backed the disply boards with the buff sugar paper and it was amazing how different the room felt, I also used to strngle myself on the alphabet that I hung up on a daily basis. Yes it makes a difference but it does challenge what 'we were taught or trained' this is discussed in the CFS toolkit, it goes against the grain of all our gut instincts of what a classroom/setting should look like.

We are now about to undergo a refurb and I am shouting CFS from teh rooftops hoping the architect will hear me :o

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  • 3 months later...

After reading this, I decided to go for more neutral background to my classroom this year. We had no buff, cream or completely neutral paper I could use, but I've used yellow for all the displays and although it looks sunny and bright in that sense, it's much more simple and minimalist and hopefully less distracting, busy and cluttered - more communication friendly!

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  • 3 years later...

Hi everybody,

 

I am doing a focus group on whether practitioners find communication friendly spaces successful and their views on these. I was wandering if anybody had any really good questions i may be able to use.

 

Thank you in advance Claire

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Hello Linzi99.

 

I, also, loved the CFS training, and made lots of positive changes to my little Childminder setting after it.

 

Do introduce yourself to the moderators and other members though and they will step up to welcome you in droves. On the Forum Index, scroll down until you find 'Introduce Yourself'.

 

Happy posting,

 

Honey

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Thanks for the post - it was really thought-provoking.

The bit that I'm conflicted about is the calm colours and not too much overload. One part of me thinks this sounds like it has great theoretical basis and could have real benefits, but the other part of me loves a stimulating, colourful classroom with lots to look at etc. Has anyone 'calmed down' their classroom / nursery colour-wise and seen an impact or noticed any interesting results? Does anyone have any photos?

I'm very tempted by the idea of calm (!!!!) but I don't think it comes so naturally to me as the stimulating.

Thanks for the post - it was really thought-provoking.

The bit that I'm conflicted about is the calm colours and not too much overload. One part of me thinks this sounds like it has great theoretical basis and could have real benefits, but the other part of me loves a stimulating, colourful classroom with lots to look at etc. Has anyone 'calmed down' their classroom / nursery colour-wise and seen an impact or noticed any interesting results? Does anyone have any photos?

I'm very tempted by the idea of calm (!!!!) but I don't think it comes so naturally to me as the stimulating.

 

YES YES YES! I made the changes over the summer in response to some autism research I read and because I visited lots of primary schools last summer which gave me a headache it was so sensory overloaded. I took down all my coloured big display boards, took down all the things hanging from the ceilings and walls, painted all the walls and ceilings white. I added neutral furnishings and small child height beige noticeboards that they put their art on, no more all singing, all dancing fancy laminated labelled displays. I zoned the room into smaller more intimate areas so children can spend times in small group play. We have a 'quiet area', created in the space under the stairs which has a soft chair, net drapes and a child sized doorway plus a big sign saying 'no grownups allowed'. Has it had an impact? Hell yes, our wonderful group of easily overexcited, boisterous, noisy, children have suddenly become focussed and able to quietly independently play, hold conversations and have improved listening skills. The noise and boistereousness still happens mostly outside and some days it does spill inside but hey nothing is perfect. We have 2 autistic children and a couple waiting to be diagnosed so we needed to make these changes for our own sanity. IF you can do and are brave enough to try, then I would say give it a try

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I also did Elizabeth Jarmin training loved it an we adoptd some of those techniques

display in cream with blue.

some nice cozy corners

would like to get rid of the colourful dividers but need to save some money to buy those beautiul one at community playthings....which i love

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