Tips for Creating a Calming Corner

Creating a calming corner in your classroom is useful for many students especially those that display disruptive behavior. Placing disruptive students outside of the classroom does nothing to help the situation but might make matters worse if the student purposely acts disruptive in order to leave the classroom. A better solution is coming up with a safe place in the classroom a student might go if they are feeling overwhelmed, angry, sad or any other emotion that they cannot manage at the moment. The idea of a safe place, a bean bag or a designated corner of the room is great but we must also guide students to calm themselves and manage their emotions. Incorporating a guided calming corner is a great strategy.

Make a designated space in your classroom far enough from group activities but still within eye and ear shot. A small carpet, a couple pillows to make it comfortable, and a small shelf with activities for calming. You can create posters that explain how the student should use the corner.

Use an emotional thermometer or emotion cards to gauge student emotions.  The first step once a child is in the calming corner is to identify their emotion.

Have various calming strategies at the corner. They should be able to choose from a physical brain break, books and magazines to look at, listen to music, draw, or practice deep breathing.

Like any skill, practice is key and emotional regulation is no different. Catch the student before they get too frustrated, you can do this by noticing a change in behavior. When you see a change, ask the student how they are feeling and if they need a drink of water. Then you can walk them over to the calm corner and suggest trying an activity. A student might have to try a couple different activities before they find one that works. You can have them continue the activity and join the rest of the class. After the students five minutes is up, welcome them back into the class.