Take a Break: A Place for Students to Self Regulate

Self regulation is one's ability to manage his/her emotions and the behaviors that accompany these emotions. These emotions can be perceived as both positive or negative, and many times our students don't know what an appropriate response is for various emotions. Sometimes when students have an inappropriate response to events that are out of their control, they need time and a safe space to process what happened. Enter: Antarctica.

Antarctica: A place to go when you need to chill out!

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Sometimes when students have an inappropriate response to events that are out of their control, they need time and a safe space to process what happened. Enter Antarctica: A place to go when you need to chill out! This blog post is all about creating a Take a Break spot for your students to self regulate.
Every classroom in my school has a Take a Break spot. It's a space in the classroom where students can go when they need some time and space to be alone and self regulate their emotions. I just happened to name mine "Antarctica." My students can choose to put themselves in Antarctica, or sometimes I ask them to go when I feel they need a break.

What It Looks Like:

I used my teacher wardrobe cabinet in the corner and a file cabinet to make this little cubby in the corner of my classroom:
Sometimes when students have an inappropriate response to events that are out of their control, they need time and a safe space to process what happened. Enter Antarctica: A place to go when you need to chill out! This blog post is all about creating a Take a Break spot for your students to self regulate.
On the side of the file cabinet, I have a few photos of Antarctica that I printed off of Google. As the students sit in the chair, they face a bulletin board that has self regulating signs on it. We use the Zones of Regulation at my school to help students understand their feelings and emotions, so one of the posters has the colors and the associated feelings, and the other has calming down techniques. Click HERE if you'd like a free copy of these posters!

Here are some of the fidgets that are inside the desk:
Sometimes when students have an inappropriate response to events that are out of their control, they need time and a safe space to process what happened. Enter Antarctica: A place to go when you need to chill out! This blog post is all about creating a Take a Break spot for your students to self regulate.
Affiliate links to some of these self regulation tools are listed below. To see my entire disclosure policy, click HERE.

Most of the items above came from Amazon. The coloring pages I got from the Target Dollar Spot, the foam car was a freebie giveaway from the county fair (lol), and the rainbow colored square is something my school social worker made. Basically, it's two pieces of fabric sewn together with a flat glass pebble inside. Then she sewed lines to make it like a maze and the kids push the pebble through the maze. It's pretty cool!

How it Works:

When my students are feeling angry or out of control (which also includes being overly excited), they can move themselves to our Take a Break spot. While there, they can take out a tool from inside the desk to help them refocus, or choose another strategy for "getting back to green:" deep breaths, coloring, writing, taking a walk, etc.

After a few minutes of the student using the Take a Break spot, I will come over, ask how it's going, and see if they need any help from me. I try to get them back to learning in about 5 minutes, but sometimes it can take a shorter or longer time. My students know that once they're "calm, focused, and ready to learn," they need to come back and join the class.

Here are some photos of our space in action: 
Sometimes when students have an inappropriate response to events that are out of their control, they need time and a safe space to process what happened. Enter Antarctica: A place to go when you need to chill out! This blog post is all about creating a Take a Break spot for your students to self regulate.
Sometimes when students have an inappropriate response to events that are out of their control, they need time and a safe space to process what happened. Enter Antarctica: A place to go when you need to chill out! This blog post is all about creating a Take a Break spot for your students to self regulate.
Sometimes when students have an inappropriate response to events that are out of their control, they need time and a safe space to process what happened. Enter Antarctica: A place to go when you need to chill out! This blog post is all about creating a Take a Break spot for your students to self regulate.

IMPORTANT!

The Take a Break spot should be IN the classroom, rather than out in the hallway. This allows student to stay in the classroom and still be exposed to the learning that's taking place during the break. There are times that my Take a Break spot is not enough of a break for my students and they need to be further removed from my classroom. If this is the case, then all teachers have a Buddy Class, and my student would go over to my teammate's classroom to use his Take a Break spot. Again, NOT in the hallway. We want our students to be IN the learning environment.

Looking to add some fidgets or calming tools to your Take a Break spot? Here are some of my favorites!

For more classroom management ideas, check out my Pinterest board here:



Do you have a space like this in your classroom? Leave me a comment below and tell me more about it!


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Sometimes when students have an inappropriate response to events that are out of their control, they need time and a safe space to process what happened. Enter Antarctica: A place to go when you need to chill out! This blog post is all about creating a Take a Break spot for your students to self regulate.


2 comments

  1. This is a fabulous idea. My school uses zones of regulation as well, and I plan on sharing this with our school social worker who does mini lessons on zones in all classrooms.
    As soon as I can find a quiet corner in my classroom, I will be incorporating "antarctica" in my space as well! I have many students that would benefit from this (including my own son who is down the hall from me!) Don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. Guess I just needed you to show me first :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I truly love your idea. Its such a great spot. Do your kids just love going there; so they act up just to go?

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