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4 Tips to using a calm down book in your classroom

In the hustle and bustle of a special education classroom, one tool is gaining popularity in bringing calm. Picture this: a cozy corner adorned with pillows, soft lighting, and the gentle rustle of turning pages. Enter—the calm down book. In this blog post, we’ll explore four tips for using calm down books effectively in your classrooms.

The Power of Proactive Practice

Using a calm down book proactively can weave calmness into the fabric of daily routines, rather than just during moments of heightened emotion. Imagine sitting with a learner on a quiet afternoon, exploring the pages of the book together. This proactive approach, when done consistently, lays the foundation for a positive association with the book, making it a familiar tool in moments of stress.

Focus on the Positive: Teaching Replacement Skills

The biggest mistake I see in incorporating calm down books in classrooms is simply sticking them in a bin in the corner and offering them to learners ONLY when they are agitated or upset. These books can be powerful teachers of replacement skills. Teaching emotional identification, deep breathing, and other possible calming techniques can help to replace maladaptive behaviors such as aggressive and disruptive behaviors.

Each page highlights a lesson in emotional regulation, offering a roadmap for students to navigate their feelings. As a special education professional, I found that practicing these replacement skills during moments of calm fosters a proactive approach to emotional well-being.

Create a Calm Down Book Ritual

As educators, we understand the value of proactive strategies in fostering successful social and emotional learning. Incorporating a calm down book into a daily routine establishes a predictable ritual, minimizing potential stressors. Consider integrating the book into morning circles or as a transition activity after more stimulating tasks. This consistent use transforms the book from a reactive tool to a proactive, empowering resource that students can turn to independently.

Add a personal touch

We are well aware that each learner has their own set of interests, whether it’s sports, superheroes, or animals. By tailoring calm down books to align with a student’s preferences, we can add a personal touch that not only captures their attention but also makes the calming experience more inviting. Imagine a learner’s eyes lighting up as they open a\ book featuring their favorite superheroes navigating moments of emotional understanding.

This personalization not only enhances engagement but also provides a relatable context for the lessons within the book. It’s a subtle yet powerful way to ensure that the calm down book becomes not just a learning tool, but a comforting companion uniquely tailored for each learner. This free calm down book is perfect for sports lovers, but other learners may benefit from a book customized to their interests!


In conclusion, I invite you to reflect on your own experiences. How do you envision calm down books fitting into your classroom, and what creative ways can you adapt them to suit the unique needs of your students? Share your insights in the comments below.


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