Creating a Peace Corner or Calm Down Space in the Classroom

Teachers everywhere are starting to use peace corners or calm down corners to meet the social/ emotional needs of students.

First, everyone calls these spaces something different... For years I called ours a "calm down corner" but I'm trying to train myself to start calling it the "peace corner." I really don't see anything wrong with calling it a "calm down corner," I just think that a "peace corner" sounds a little more positive, so I'm trying to make the change.

So, for the rest of this post, I'm going to refer it as a peace corner. I will explain how we use our peace corner and share some tips for setting one up so students can learn to use it independently. 

Our peace corner routine:

  • When we first introduced the peace corner, we explained situations when students might want to use the peace corner. If it appeared that a student might benefit from the peace corner, we would ask them something like, "Would you like to use the peace corner?" but we never pushed it. Within just a few days, most students were able to independently identify when they wanted or needed to use the peace corner. 
  • When students first arrive in the space, they start by picking the strategy they want to use (you can see the strategies that are available to them on the chart and I'll explain a little more below).
  • Then students flip/set a 3 minute sand timer.

    Tip: Setting a time limit for the peace corner will be very beneficial to help ensure that students aren't using the space simply to avoid work demands. However, be mindful that sometimes students will need more time in the peace corner. You know your students best, so watch for patterns and take data on how long it takes specific students to soothe themselves, if needed!
  • Once the timer is up, students take one more breath and then return to the work space/ group.

Materials in our peace corner:

  • A notebook and pencil for writing or drawing
  • A variety of books 
  • Headphones for quiet time
  • An iPad (that only has music and meditations on it)
  • Fidgets
  • Some of our favorite breathing books: Breathe With Me and Breathe Like a Bear

    Tip: Only include materials in the peace corner that students know how to use! Make sure you explicitly teach students how utilize any strategy that you're offering at the peace corner. For example, don't put a breathing book in the peace corner if you haven't taught them how to do the breaths. 

If you want to grab the visuals to make a peace corner/ calm down corner in your classroom, you can get them for free by subscribing to my email list here!