How To Teach Your Students To Use A Calm Down Corner
Think About Potential Problems At Your Calm Down Corner
So let’s think about some potential problems for your calm corner. Will they waste time there? Will they know when it’s time to return to their seats? What happens when more than one student wants to go to the calm corner at the same time.
These are just some things to consider before you start to teach your students to use the calm corner. Thinking about these potential problems will help you create rules for your calm corner that will keep it functional and not a play area.
Explain And Model Your Calm Down Corner Expectations
After you explain your calm corner, make sure that you cover your calm corner goals. It’s important that your students know your goals first.
And your goals for this area should be to provide a place where your students can identify their feelings, use some calming strategies to regulate their emotions so they can return to their seats, ready to learn. It’s really important that your students know this. That way you are emphasizing that although there are super fun things in this area, it’s not a place to go and play.
Now I want you to model. I want you to act like you’re really sad. I want your students to see you go into your calm corner, set a timer, use some emotions and calming strategies posters, maybe choose a sensory item like a stuffed animal and hug it. And then make sure you take a deep breath and say outloud, “I feel better and I’m ready to join my classmates.”
You might even want to demonstrate how NOT to act in your calm corner. Go in there and roll around! Or pull out all the sensory items and play with them.
After you do this, have a discussion with your students about what they noticed. What went well? What was really making your calm corner a special place? What kinda ruined your calm down corner?
Practice Makes Perfect
Now it’s time to let your students show you that they can go to your calm corner. Ask for a volunteer to show you what it would look like to go to your calm corner if they’re mad. And do it again with frustrated. While they’re demonstrating, point out how you really like that they’re choosing one sensory item at a time.
How do you know if your students are ready for your calm corner? The first time a student goes there can be a little nerve wracking. So pay attention to how they do.