What is a Calm Classroom?
A calm classroom is a learning environment that gives students a sense of safety, relaxation and equilibrium. The calming environment is created mindfully through routine, decor, temperature and sound.
Why create a calm classroom?
A calm classroom makes your job easier. Students are more engaged, display less behaviour issues, and your own anxiety as a teacher is reduced.
How to create a Calm Classroom:
- Decor: use neutral and natural tones; plants in the classroom, and avoid over stimulating colours and displays (or at least walls full of these).
- Lighting: Use natural light as much as possible. Don’t block the windows – let students see trees and gardens outside; let them see what the weather is doing. If you are next to a busy walkway, or your classroom feels like a fishbowl, use light coloured curtains or blinds (or even light-coloured paper) to shade your windows without blocking the light.
- Temperature: Warm, stuffy classrooms are irritating classrooms. Children have trouble concentrating and tempers flare. If you want to reduce your behaviour problems, lower the temperature. Open windows, turn the air-conditioner up. Even on cold days, allow fresh air to circulate for a few minutes per day before heating goes on.
- Noise: Set the tone of the classroom with relaxing music playing when students walk in for the day. You can choose ambient relaxation music, or light happy guitar music. Students also love Disney tunes played on the piano. You can find videos playing relaxing music with nature scenes on YouTube. Continue to play on a low level throughout the day, particularly during quiet work time.
- Fragrance: If your district allows it, calming essential oils, such as lavender and lemongrass, can help to calm your students.
- Calm spaces: teepees, cushions, reading corners and retreat areas are important for students that need time out.
- Reading buddies – soft toys that students bring from home to hold during independent reading time
You can find a range of resources to create a calm classroom in our ‘Calm Classroom’ category.