Friday, August 01, 2008

"F" is for "Filament," "C" is for "Ceiling"

Look at this ceiling:

I think it needs a little something...but how to hang decor without creating unnecessary visual noise?

Filament. Fishing wire. "Monofilament."

The clear stuff.

I cut twenty five pieces, all the same length, long enough to be doubled over, knotted at the end (double knot it, this stuff can be slippery):

I gathered twenty five large paperclips and twenty five small...

Hooked the large paperclip onto the tied end:

...and hooked the smaller clip at the opposite (or big-clip-at-the-top, little-clip-at-the-bottom):

Had Dear Daughter place them on the desks above which they would hang (be careful, monofilament tangles and knots very easily so don't gather up several strands at once!):

I tucked the end with the large paperclip between the dropped ceiling tile frame and the tile itself:

...which left the other end free to hang:

I've seen classrooms where teachers have used yarn to make these hanging loops, but the thickness and color of the yarn was pretty distracting, taking away from the artwork or curriculum materials displayed. Can you see the hooks I've hung?

They're there, trust me!

I found some patterned star and crayon shapes, punched holes in the top, and ran one of the pokey ends of the small paperclip through the holes:

There they are!


Things to keep in mind if you decide to hang decor from the ceiling:

~ Some districts/schools don't allow items to dangle down from the ceiling due to the fire safety hazard.

~ Districts that *do* allow ceiling decor STILL have to follow fire safety rules/regulations, which will dictate the height or length of the loop. Typically the tallest person in the room (which is probably YOU) should be able to walk under the loop, paperclip, AND item dangling on the display safely. Nothing should touch your hair, your head, and certainly should not be low enough to get caught on clothing, or be within reach of students.

~ I use the ceiling decor loops to display patterns (star, crayon, star, crayon, star, crayon) throughout the year, or any student artwork that is two-sided or three dimensional. When the leaves turn color and start to fall, we'll make "Fresh Fall Leaf Mobiles," and in October, we'll have jack-o-lanterns, bats, and spiders hanging. Hand print turkeys, cornucopias, and tissue paper maize art look wonderful in November, and winter holiday artwork gussies up the room in December.

~ Make sure that the weight of the artwork being hung won't pull the clip from the ceiling, hitting students or falling onto their desks. This is an art display idea for lightweight items only!

~ I only use the loops over the childrens' desk area, NOT throughout the room. When kindergarten students sit at their desks, the ceiling can seem very tall, and very far away. Lowering some artwork helps to "cozy up" the space. Students always enjoy "figuring out the pattern" or seeing their own artwork admired by their classmates or room visitors too!

~ Don't change out the artwork when students are in the classroom, because chances are you'll have to use a ladder (or *cough cough* a chair/footstool) to safely reach the hooks yourself.


Several of you have commented on or emailed me about the Apple Basket Tree I have housing our puppets in the classroom. Check back tomorrow for photos!

1 comment:

  1. Your room really is coming together nicely. (As if it might not?!) Anyway, thanks for the tips. I wonder about hanging things in my classroom- it seems a little claustrophobic as it is, so maybe that wouldn't be such a good idea. I have taped sight words to the ceiling to use for flashlight games.


As always, thank you for your comments, tips, suggestions and questions!