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2-10 minutes


Primary / Junior / Intermediate


Tents/sheets or other ways to mark the area, calming boxes, noise-cancelling headphones


To provide a calming space in the classroom for students to manage difficult feelings

  • Students may access the calming spaces when they feel stressed or frustrated.
  • Have a class discussion about how to use this space. Predetermine its use, items for the space and the time allotted per student. A time extension may be requested if needed.

NOTE: It is important that these spaces are in a location that can be easily supervised. Also, be aware that in some schools there may be health and safety concerns with the use of tents/sheets.

  • Complementary practice: Calming boxes (Stress management and coping skills)

Older students may not want a designated area, but there could be virtual “spaces” in the school day (e.g., times when students are permitted to listen to music while they work).

Having spaces or times for calming in the classroom normalizes emotions, and allows students to manage emotionsso they can refocus and engage in learning (Blair & Diamond, 2008; Diamond, Barnett, Thomas, & Munro, 2007). 

Blair, C., & Diamond, A. (2008). Biological processes in prevention and intervention: The promotion of self-regulation as a means of preventing school failure. Development and Psychopathology, 20(3), 899-911. doi:10.1017/S0954579408000436

Diamond, A., Barnett, W. S., Thomas, J., & Munro, S. (2007). Preschool Program Improves Cognitive Control. Science, 318(5855), 1387-1388.