Special Education Classroom Calming Corner

Do you have a student with special needs who experiences meltdowns or tantrums when they are having difficulty with a certain classroom activity?

In this week’s Teacher Tips newsletter, Watson educational experts share information on creating a calming corner in your classroom for students with special needs who struggle with remaining calm.

A classroom calming corner can be a quiet place in the room where a student can go briefly to take a break from a frustrating task or over-stimulating activity. Keeping the calming corner inside of the classroom helps to ensure that the behavior does not become an avoidance tactic for difficult tasks. It also helps to promote and encourage self-calming strategies.

  1. Select a quiet, cozy area in your classroom and add a rug and soft seating such as cushions, bean bag chair, or pillows. You may use a partition or shelving to block off part of the area to give your student privacy and prevent distractions in the classroom.
  2. Create a “relaxation menu” of activities or items that the student may use briefly to help them calm down. Menu options might include: listening to music with headphones, playing a game on an iPad, reading a book, slowly counting to 10, or taking deep breaths. The “relaxation menu” should be posted in a visible spot in the corner so the student is reminded of activities that help him/her feel calm.
  3. Include a timer in the calming corner so your student knows how long they are allowed to remain in the area.
  4. Explain the calming corner to your student so he/she knows how and when it should be used. You may also give your student “break” cards which indicate when he/she may need to use the calming corner.

To learn more about creating a calming corner in your classroom for students with special needs, check out our YouTube video below and visit the corresponding special education resource page. For more special education resources, visit Watson Life Resources.