Calming Spaces

This past summer I had the opportunity to teach summer school. I knew at the start, that some of my students had a tendency to get escalated or leave the room when frustrated. I decided to use a calming space within my classroom to help with this. At the onset, I taught what the space was for and how to use it. When a student began showing signs of frustration, I would suggest using the calming space and guide them through the process.

Once again I was reminded of the value calming spaces bring to a classroom. Within a week, I no longer had students storming out of the classroom in frustration. Within three, my students were using the calming spaces proactively when they knew they were going to be faced with a frustration. In short, they were learning how to proactively keep themselves regulated. 

For this school year, I have decided to increase the number of these spaces available to my students in my classroom. I have always had several chairs and pillows (pictured below) set-up throughout my classroom for reading and independent work, but now they will serve a dual purpose. 

At the start of the school year I again taught my students how these spaces can be used as a place to calm down, each with a calming break visual (pictured below) accessible to use.

Additionally, I gave all of my students a mini-break-anywhere-card (pictured below) to be kept on or in their desks as a visual reminder of what to do when they are feeling stressed, frustrated, or overwhelmed.

Three weeks into the school year and I am again seeing the benefits of providing calming spaces for my students. Students are using the spaces proactively and in response to when they are feeling frustration. They are independently recognizing their status of regulation, and independently using the calming spaces when needed.



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