770.993.2940

info@highmeadows.org

1055 Willeo Road

Roswell, Georgia 30075

ENROLLING NOW
for select grades

770.993.2940

info@highmeadows.org

1055 Willeo Road

Roswell, Georgia 30075

Successful Self-Regulation in a Safe Space

By Emily Kleinberg and Elizabeth Swern, K-1 Teachers

In the Kindergarten and First Grade Classroom, students acquire new academic skills at a surprising rate; they develop phonemic awareness, math literacy, and an understanding of basic science principles. Traditionally, when students display proficiency in these areas, we say they are “successful.” In our classroom, however, success is not so narrowly defined; we also encourage social and emotional skills, such as problem-solving and working with others. One skill that we focus on specifically during the first six weeks of school is self-regulation: the ability to control one’s own behavior and emotions. Being able to self-regulate not only helps students emotionally, but it also positively influences their academic success. When students are working in the executive state of their brain–a state in which they feel emotionally and physically secure–they are ready for optimal learning.

To encourage self-regulation, we created a “Safe Space” in our classroom, a quiet, cozy corner with stuffed animals, various lotions (“cranky cream,” “concentration cream,” “boo boo cream”) and noise-cancelling headphones. In addition to comfort items that allow children to feel safe and calm, our “Safe Space” also provides objects that enable students to work through emotions actively: a Koosh ball, a “Feelings Board” for reflection, and a clipboard for drawing. One of our kindergarten students explains her experience using the “Safe Space”: “I calmed down and used the cranky cream from the Safe Space basket. I chose what my feeling was going to be.” Becoming aware of their emotions and learning to regulate themselves enables students to feel successful and powerful in the classroom.

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High Meadows School

Address
1055 Willeo Road
Roswell, Georgia 30075

Phone
770.993.2940

Fax
770.993.8331

School Hours
Monday - Friday
8:25am - 3:15pm