What behavior do you see?
This can include any type of behavior, such as off-task, non-compliant, overwhelmed / overstimulated, etc.
What can you do about it?
Try using a “Reflection Center” in your classroom! Reflection centers are a designated area in a classroom in which students may be asked to go or ask an adult to allow them to go in order to look back on, think critically about, and learn from an experience such as a positive or negative choice they may have made or a difficult situation they were a part of in or out of the classroom. This is somewhat similar to “time-out”, but is more focused on the positive aspects of the situation. For example, if the student has been asked to comply with a direction and does not within 3 prompts… they can be sent to the reflection center to “reflect” on what it is they were supposed to do. This area can also be utilized by the student – i.e. student may feel overwhelmed / overstimulated and needs a place to calm down or get their thoughts together (we all experience that – even as adults, right?). They can go to the reflection center to do this…. this area can also be stocked with materials that can help them calm down and focus, such as crayons, paper, coloring books, sensory “toys” (such as squishy balls (very official name), sand timers, bean bags, etc.). These should obviously be kept nearby at all times, but not necessarily out in the open for everyone to “play” with.
What it looks like:
Teacher creates a space in which they can visually monitor but can allow for personal student space within the classroom. The teacher must go through the appropriate use and expectations for the reflection center before students utilize it. As stated above, this can look any way that the teacher feels that is appropriate for their classroom. However, it should preferably be away from the commotion of the classroom (maybe in a quiet corner or area), should include some of the “reflection” materials and sensory “toys” as discussed above.
Here are some ideas that I found through a search of Google Images for “calm down center in classroom”.
Keep in mind, though… they do not have to be elaborate… sometimes the simpler the better!
Who is the target student (grade)?
This could be utilized with any age, but is most appropriate with young children (preschool / elementary school) as well as students who may be chronologically older but are functioning at a much lower age and ability level.
I welcome questions / comments / suggestions!!! 🙂 Cindy