Creating a Classroom “Quiet Spot”
To teach your students self-calming skills, create a “Quiet Spot” (or a “Calming Corner”) in the classroom for the students to “take a break,” or “take some space,” when they become upset. The Quiet Spot is a way to teach children to calm themselves down by taking space away from their classmates and by doing self-relaxing activities. You could decorate it with snowflakes and other items that invoke images of “coolness” and “calmness” and call it the “North Pole.”
This area could include a bean bag chair with a basket of “Quiet Spot toys.” If you do not have space in your classroom to create separate Quiet Spot center, you could put a bean bag chair, pillow, or carpet square in the reading or listening center, and place a basket of “Quiet Spot toys” next to it.
“Quiet Spot toys” to put in a basket could include squishy balls or soothing toys to squeeze or shake, a pillow to pound, or a teddy bear to hug. You could also place paper and envelopes in the area, and encourage children to rip up a sheet of paper and place the scraps in an envelope to put in their book bag or to throw away when they leave the quiet spot. Other items could include a small, personal fan or squeeze toy that blows air, a small spray bottle, bubble wrap to pop, and a square of felt to pull.
Teach children to use this area as a place to calm-down by demonstrating its use as well as consistently directing children to “take a break in the Quiet Spot” when they become too upset to work through a conflict. Introduce the area and explain rules such as “one child at a time,” and “toys stay outside,” then pretend that you feel angry or sad and use the quiet spot to calm yourself down in front of the class. Keep in mind that this area should not be used as a punishment (time out) area.