Feng Shui at school??? The power of color, not necessarily coloring!

English: An RGB color wheel which denotes comp...

English: An RGB color wheel which denotes complimentary colors. When Red wavelengths are absorbed, green light is observed, for example. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I picked up a pocket-size book at a used bookstore called Feng Shui For the Classroom by Debra Kellar. I leafed through it and thought that her ideas were interesting. I always like to offer an eclectic approach when I lecture to school based therapists and teachers. My favorite part of the book (so far) has been about the power of color. Kellar suggests teachers should consider color. If they want art, music or creative writing involvement, serene dove-gray may get those creative juices bubbling.  If you have a chance to paint your classroom or therapy room this summer, run over to Lowe’s or Home Depot and pick up a pale yellow. According to Kellar, this is “the color of optimism, focus and mental stimulation”. “The paler shades promote active listening”.  Boy we could use some of that in schools today!!! Brighter yellows that resemble sunshine versus the paler shades can be overstimulating.  Sounds like a sensory processing suggestion to me…Kellar believes we can shift the energy in the classroom by the use of color. Reading times “are enhanced by cool colors and pastels”, no need to paint the walls different colors for different areas but rather use items such as “green leaves, a blue vase, purple flowers or a pink bowl” in your reading circle. Wow! can’t you see one student appointed to gathering the reading colors prior to reading group? Ha… the magic begins. Writing is always an issue for OT’s in the classroom and often not just for the mechanics but for the creative and cognitive content as well.  Keller calls this a “yang” activity and can be influenced by  warm and bright objects of reds, oranges and yellows. Maybe easy buttons on desks, a navel orange or even writing with a red pencil could help the writing process??? I know color influences me, when I choose the color of what I’m wearing for the day, when I enter certain classrooms or even which room in my home I choose to read. Obviously there are other variables such as natural light, furniture placement, and who is in the room with you! Ha Ha… not sure we can remove some negative people…maybe you could offer them your pale yellow sweater? So followers… think about color this week, notice your own habits and if you work with kids, (or have them in your home) notice behavior, demeanor and creativity. Let me know what you found in your laboratory!

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