Classroom Calming Caddies
Our students are faced with a variety of stressors in school and life. Part of growing their social/emotional development is to assist them in recognizing and regulating their feelings. At All Saints Academy, we strive to develop the whole child and meet the needs of individual learners. One supportive outlet for all students to utilize, when necessary, includes the calming caddy. All the K-5 classrooms have calming corners, with calming caddies, in their classrooms.
Through a recent classroom lesson, all students were able to reflect on the many feelings we can experience and validating that they are all ok. Discussions were held about comfortable and uncomfortable feelings. Students were provided the opportunity to understand the physiological changes that occur in our body when we experience different feelings. Students recognized that sometimes it might be challenging to focus on the task at hand unless we take time to calm down and refocus. To prepare themselves for this, students practiced calming breaths at their seats and tightening and relaxing muscles to help feel calm and refocus.
Students were able to rotate through stations to try out different tools in the calming caddies and rate the items. They were to determine which they felt would be useful to help relax them and return to learning. In the end, they identified two strategies they felt to be the most helpful. In a time of need, they will be able to go right to these strategies to relax, calm down and refocus so to be able to return to learning in a positive manner.
Some of the items in the calming caddies the students learned about were:
Bendables and Stretch Bands
Some reflections from our elementary students about these options and strategies:
“Use it to calm down and get your focus back.”
“I like the teddy bear because it reminds me of my stuffed animal at home.”
“I like the stress ball because you can squeeze it when you are mad.”
“I like the stress ball because it is squishy.”
“I am going to make my own calming caddy for home.”
“We can slow our muscles and calm our brains.”