Even since I heard of the idea of a Calm Down Corner, I have always had one in my classroom.
When implemented correctly, it does wonders! For example, a student kicking and screaming a few minutes ago would have a safe space to self-regulate and rejoin the class later.
A Calm Down Corner is not only for students with self-regulating challenges. It is also for students who came to school already feeling overwhelmed from home and need a moment.
We never know what our students experienced before coming to school. However, we can ensure a safe space for students to recoup before rejoining the class.
Want to learn more about how to create an effective Calm Down Corner? Check out my blog post on How To Create A Calm Down Corner In Classroom.
So how do you introduce a Calm Down Corner in your classroom?
Just like every classroom procedure or new activity, you need to set the expectations and teach your students what a calm down corner is. I love asking guiding questions and recording the answers on the anchor chart for future reference.
Now what is left is to ask your students questions and have a class discussion about it.
Guiding Questions To Introduce A Calm Down Corner:
#1 What is a Calm Down corner?
There are several ways you can answer this question.
- First, create a T-Chart and discuss “What is a Calm Down Corner” Vs. “What is NOT a Calm Down Corner.” This will give students a clear picture, especially when you move on to asking about when they can use the calm down corner.
- What does a Calm Down Corner look, sound, and feel like? This is a great question to use with lower elementary to preschool students.
#2 When can you use the Calm Down corner?
Again, you can use a T-Chart for this to discuss “When to use the Calm Down Corner” Vs. “When Not to use the Calm Down Corner.” This gives students a clear understanding of what the Calm Down Corner truly is for.
#3 How to use the Calm Down corner?
Teach the tools and techniques available in the Calm Down Corner. For example, I love the Circle Breathing Exercise and 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique, so I would demonstrate how to perform each technique and then practice as a class.
If you have a lot of calm down tools, such as stress balls and more, be sure to talk to the students about each tool. The last thing you want is a student throwing the stress ball because they were trying to calm down! Read more about my 5 must have calm down tools for your Calm Down Corner.
#4 How long can you stay at the Calm Down corner?
We don’t want to put a time limit, but we also don’t want the students to use the Calm Down Corner as an escape from class. I had a student who stayed at the Calm Down Corner during the entire class period because he could not self-regulate and calm down. I also had a student who stayed for the whole period because he didn’t want to complete this work. So be sure to discuss when they should leave the calm down corner.
#5 What do you still wonder about the Calm Down corner?
So far, we have asked and answered a lot of the questions. However, your students might still have important questions to ask that we might not have thought of!
Create a FAQ anchor chart and let your students ask away. For example, a great question a student asked me was, “What do you do if someone is already at the Calm Down Corner, but you need to use it?” Write it down and answer!
You might have noticed that I did not provide the answers to these questions. Instead, they are guiding questions to introduce your Calm Down Corner. What a Calm Down Corner is to you and your students might differ significantly from mine.
Asking guiding questions and allowing your students to be part of the discussion is powerful. Your students are intelligent little beings and might surprise you with their answers. That is not to say that you can’t correct, guide, or even answer some questions, primarily if you teach younger kids.
I would love to see how you use the guiding questions to introduce the Calm Down Corner in your classroom! Also, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @littleyellowstarteaches!
Thank you so much for doing what you do and always looking for ways to help your students social-emotionally and academically.
If you are interested in more Social Emotional Learning Resources, click here.
Bye for now!
Prima from LittleYellowStar
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