Calm in the Classroom


Having a calm classroom is important for students and teachers and is an added benefit in the learning process. Students are often referred to School Counselors because they are having a hard time managing their emotions day-to-day in class. These kids find themselves visiting the principal weekly (if not daily) because they had do not have the tools to use in the class to prevent a meltdown. Instead of punishing these meltdowns, what if students could be better equipped with a tangible toolbox full of things to help calm down?

A coping skills toolbox is a great resource to consider in create calm in the classroom. Students can keep it in their desk and access it as needed during the day. The tools inside will ideally serve as an intervention before the issues escalates to involve a teacher or principal.

Here are some basic instructions to create a coping skills toolbox of your own!

  1. Find an unused box with a lid – A shoebox works great.
  2. Cover it in paper – Have the student choose their favorite color.
  3. Decorated the outside with positive affirmations and calming pictures.
  4. Inside the box, include things to touch, see, and taste – Here are some ideas: Make our own playdoh and stress balls; Create a small social story, a (mini) stop sign, and a few positive affirmations; and a small pack of gum and mints.

Items in a coping skills toolbox can vary from student to student. Feel free to get creative! It’s even a good idea for school counselors, teachers and students to collaborate on the box together.  Also, let the student to have a choice in what goes in the box, after all it is his/hers.  Let us know if you try this intervention and how it helps manage emotions better next year.