Two years ago, my co-counselor and I were given money in the school budget to create calm down boxes for each homeroom. We were JAZZED about this. We spend copious amounts of time finding approved vendors, DIYing our glitter jars, and trying to master Boardmaker. The first week of school we gave them to the teachers and gave some suggestions on how they could introduce them to their students. Cut to the end of the year: the boxes were never really used. We found them on high shelves behind teachers’ desks. We found them hidden behind things on the floor. We went into rooms we couldn’t find them at all. We talked to students who looked at us like we were crazy when we asked about them. It was a total fail. At first I was angry; then I realized I was to blame.
In rooms where we had extra time (i.e. rooms that managed the logistics of the lesson without us needing to stop and review expectations), students completed exit tickets. I really loved this piece because I find that students do excellent when learning coping skills but they struggle with using them in the moment – this exit ticket helps them anticipate when they’ll need to use the calm down box.