Keeping students calm is a key part of getting through lessons and projects. Once one student becomes overwhelmed and anxious, the feeling tends to spread to others in the room. In order to keep students anxiety-free this school year, these teachers offered their own tips for calming down their class. Read these tips and decide for yourself what methods you will use to keep students from becoming too overwhelmed throughout the day.
Preparation is Key!
Many of the teachers on our Facebook page left tips for keeping students calm by helping them to feel prepared for the day. Whether this meant going through the schedule, giving particularly anxious students special tasks to accomplish, and even highlighting things that made the previous day successful. Check out what they had to say below:
“In their first few minutes at school I make sure that they have clothes that fit and are appropriate, I ask if they have eaten or if they are hungry, and we begin the day celebrating the previous day’s successes (as small as they can sometimes be). I talk with them about their schedule for the day, highlighting the areas of their day during which that they meet their goals.” – Molly M.
“I keep anxious students calm by always having our daily schedule on the board. If anything is different about the day, I mention it ahead of time.” – Holly M.
“I do my best to keep the routine consistent, and have our schedule posted. At morning meeting we talk about the day. Students who are extremely anxious get s 1:1 “Heads up” of sorts before anything that provoke anxiety.” – Lauren G.
Whole Classroom Calm-Down
Sometimes the whole classroom can be filled with anxious energy. Real teachers left some tips for how to handle these situations with calming activities for all the students. Check out their creative ways to reign in the energy and focus back on learning.
“We breathe like we are blowing hot cocoa. We hold our hands like we are holding a cup. Then I say “ok, it is really hot and smells soo tasty! Take a big smell. Then blow it and make it cool. Smell it. Blow it. Now sip it. ” The kids love it and ask to have “hot cocoa” often.” – Amber M.
“I do Brain Breaks throughout the day, which usually involves some kind of exercise or dancing! They also love to lay down and listen to stories being read, this seems to calm them and I found they love listening to stories being read from YouTube, with the lights off.” – Michelle R.
“We do mindfulness/relaxation time after lunch every day. It consists of a positive message song/story and then quiet music for resting/brain recharge. The kids ask for it and learn to get in touch with their feelings of calm/readiness to start our afternoon academics.” – Sue W.
Utilize a Calming Corner or Tools
Creating a small part of the room for students to use when they are feeling overwhelmed or anxious is one way teachers are helping students. Check out these real teacher tips for using tools or a space in the room for calming.
“Having a Peace Feelings Corner where students can go to calm themselves down with tools and other materials, like Sensory bottles or simple pencils, crayons and paper or a journal, previously modeled for them.” – Maureen G.
“ I have a calming tub with lots of choices: fidgets, stress ball, stuffed animal with a book to read, calming bottle with glitter, etc.” – Dawn-Marie J.
“I have a “cozy corner” in my classroom. It’s a little corner that is plush and soft. I use a mat for the floor so that it is softer and have pillows lined all the way around. I use low/soft lighting and there are books/file folder games and a reading buddy to snuggle with. Also have a calming technique picture book for them to look at and some calming tools (slime bottles, etc.)” – Hannah T.