Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Teacher Tip Tuesday: Safe Place

Today was one of those days where "I think I'll move to Australia!"

Things were not going my way.  
Let's just say I had to use the cranky cream* and so did my students.

*for more information about cranky cream, keep reading!

Random side note:  Please excuse my Valentine's background and banner.  I am in the process of creating a new.official. The Frizz background/button/banner, but it's taking a while because I have no idea what I'm doing I want to get it just right.


I wanted to dedicate this post to show you what has kept my students and I from falling to pieces.

The Safe Place
(insert angelic singing here)

This concept comes from Dr. Becky Bailey's book Conscious Discipline.  
Click on the title to get your copy!  

Basically, the safe place is a spot in your classroom that the teacher students can go to and calm themselves down when they are feeling upset.  There are specific tools in the safe place that help students when the world is ending because my pencil box fell off my desk for the third time today when things are not going their way.  These "tools" should be explained, taught, and revisited as the year goes on.

Let's take a tour of our safe place:
Our safe place is in the corner of the classroom behind the easel.  We like it because the easel blocks the view of other students and provides some privacy (yet not TOO much privacy....the teacher's eyes are always watching!)

There are soft and inviting pillows, hearts and rainbows rug to cozy up on, a basket of tools, and posters to remind us of what we should be doing.

This is where we "check in" with our feelings first thing in the morning.  Students move their name to their emotion that day.  This gives me a good sense of who is on track to learn and who needs an extra hug or two.

These posters are ways to breath. 

"Be a S.T.A.R" in our classroom means: Smile.  Take a deep breath.  And smile!

The blue poster came directly from Dr. Bailey's website.  

A pinterest find.  The calm jar has glitter you can shake and watch fall as your anger leaves your body.....

In the basket are 3 kinds of lotions.  These were just added last week and have worked wonders for my general crankiness my students who are upset.

Cranky cream, kindness cream, and focus formula help us make it a successful learning experience for everyone!

A timer, for those students who need a limit in the safe place (they would be in there all day if I let them). 

 Did I mention that only one student is allowed in the safe place at a time.  If there is someone in the safe place and you are upset well that's just too bad you can either do your breathing at your spot or go into the hallway on the "green bench" to cool off.

The basket and our trusty friend Shubert.  Again, another Becky Bailey purchase.  I bought the VALUE pack picture book set in January and have been slowly introducing a new story each week.  It came with the Shubert Puppet, which is a great tool for our safe place.  

Here is my success story when the first time a student went to the safe place with the Shubert addition.

   (This student was beyond upset because he had to partner read with someone who was not his  He refused to get started and I didn't think we would get anywhere in the safe place.)  
He put the puppet on and said "Shubert wants to tell me a secret."
He began to act like he was listening to the puppet.  I asked him what he said.  "He told me to do my best."  
The student then got up, with a smile, and partner read with the student he didn't want to.



It was that easy!  

Because you made it to the end of the post (and because this was one of my new years resolutions!)  I have my VERY.FIRST.FREEBIE!

Click on the (tiny*) picture to snag it!

(*How in the world do you get the photo to be bigger without getting blurry? 
I know. I know.  
This does NOT look attractive and you probably are not going to click on the picture because it is so small you can't even make your mouse click on it because your eyes just rush right past it.  
"Was that a spot on my computer screen?" you might be saying.  I assure you, "No.  It is not a piece of chocolate or Valentine's candy."
  I seriously need HELP!  Anyone want to be my "mentor" blogger?  I'll pay you in blog comments.)

There it is. 
 My first TPT product. 

What'd you think?

 If you don't like it, please leave your comments at

If you do like it, please leave a comment to boost my TPT self-esteem that is the size of that image up above.

I'll be sitting at my computer all night long awaiting your comments and biting my fingernails!


  1. What a cute idea! It's so nice when something simple works with our little ones. I love the lotion cream ideas and I did hop over and downloaded them. I'll have to give this a try with my first graders. I'm your first follower on TpT too:) Lots of luck with your store. If I can help in anyway I'd love to try. I know I love making things and putting on TpT. It really has changed the way I teach.

    The Busy Busy Hive

  2. Ok, I needed some cranky cream on Monday. :) I was wearing my cranky pants. I added this to my TPT wish list and will print it off very soon!

    To make the image bigger, save the original file as a JPEG. Then you can insert the image from the file into your blog post instead of the TPT website. Then highlight the image and link it up to your TPT store. Hope that makes sense! Now if someone could figure out Google Docs for me! :)

  3. I totally l.o.v.e. this! When I read about how other teachers use CD in their classroom I get so many ideas and encouragement. Thank you sooooo much for sharing. Schubert is the bomb.