Good afternoon and happy Saturday! Welcome to my very happy classroom =D Pictured above is my classroom’s “Ray of Sunshine” wall, and all of those rays shining from the sun are my wonderful students. To create a safe space in the classroom for all students, it is important to teach the students what a community is, who is part of a community, and how to act in a community. Students need to be taught these skills and qualities, and through practice, these skills and qualities become a part of their daily life. By discussing the “Ray of Sunshine” wall on the first day of school, a sense of community was immediately established within my classroom. The wall says, “Let’s fill our classroom with rays of sunshine. We appreciate all of the acts of kindness that you do!” The sun started out with four rays of sunshine: Love, Respect, Empathy, and Kindness. Every time a teacher witnesses a student engaging in an interaction that is particularly respectful, kind, empathetic, or loving, the teacher announces to the class, for example, “Toddlers, we have a ray of sunshine. Student A fell down and Student B walked over and helped him stand up. That was so kind and thoughtful to help your friend stand up Student B. Excellent job Student B for being so kind and thoughtful!” The verbal praise is immediately followed by a long applause from the classroom community. Becoming a ray of sunshine encourages and strengthens both the student’s social emotional development and positive social interactions.