Here are 5 reasons to have a CALM DOWN CORNER in your classroom. Do you provide a calm down corner for students? If not, check out my calm down corner ideas and calm down corner printables right here...
A calm down corner in the classroom offers students a chance to work through and process emotions such as anger or frustration so they can work to overcome their issue and return to the task or activity they were working on. The harsh reality is that a large portion of our students are experiencing or have experienced unimaginable circumstances outside of school. Let's not forget, these are little kids. Even if you teach upper elementary or middle school, students can still take advantage of the opportunity to calm down at a specific place. Most students haven't developed the process of self-regulation yet. Make it your mission to help and teach them through adversity - the right way!
Do you have angry students in your classroom who act like they are about to blow up at any minute? If you answered yes, you need a calm down corner! Think about your classroom for a quick second. Do you have a small spot where you could set up a desk or a small area for a student to sit? Keep it simple. I recommend not making this space overwhelming with lots of options and "stuff". Keep this area clean and neat with a few options for the student. These options can include fun pencils, fidget spinners, windmills, stress bags, along with the things found in The Chill Spot bundle. Try to make this special area accessible to students, but also away from heavy traffic areas inside your classroom.
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If you teach upper elementary or middle school, I would recommend you identify this area as a "chill spot," rather than a "calm down corner." I have found my elementary students prefer to go "chill" versus "calm down". After questioning why the "chill spot" seemed to be appealing for students, I was informed they felt the name "calm down corner" felt childish. As a result, the Calm Down Corner became The Chill Spot.
My students love "The Chill Spot." At the beginning of the school, I introduce how this space in my classroom works. I invite students to use this area when needed and provide examples of when it is and is not appropriate to use. I also give a brief discussion about taking advantage of the opportunity and how to use The Chill Spot Flip Book and other calm down corner printables. Provide specific directions and guidance so students may reap the full benefit of this area in your classroom. I also include an "x" button aka "reset" button. After students feel better and have "chilled out," they push the button to notify me they are ready to carry on with their day.
Provide students a meaningful task or activity to work on in the chill spot. Nothing overwhelming, but allow students time to use the calm down corner appropriately...to calm down. As a bonus, these calm down corner printables should allow students the chance to identify why they are upset. Then they help the student identify how they can best turn their day around. Promote the Emotion Cards for students to identify how they feel. This will also help you, dear teacher, pick up on students' triggers. After you identify the triggers, you can try to prevent events or specific student interactions that cause students to escalate. Click here for the full resource!
The benefit of providing this area in your in classroom for your students is that they can "reset" and get back to work. Students take 5-10 minutes to reset themselves. Hopefully, this can help them avoid making poor behavior choices and you can avoid starting the discipline process or seeing behaviors escalate. You are giving students the opportunity to chill out, learn to process reactions and emotions, and continue with their day. Additionally, a teacher who is willing to implement strategies to help provide emotional support will earn respect from students and parents. Giving students options to de-escalate behaviors the correct way will reduce classroom chaos, stress, and will help you build relationships with your students.
Before you throw in the towel and shut down this area in your classroom, ask yourself a few questions. For example, is it not working for everyone? Or just one or two students? Do students completely understand your expectations? If not, explain it again. I mean what do you have to lose? I assure you, providing this area for your students will be a game-changer. If you have any questions or need help in ANY way, please email me! I would love to help you help your students.