In my practice as counseling psychologist, I have realised that self awareness/observation is an important real world skill. It’s important to help children recognise what their body and mind needs to function at the optimum.
In order to promote it I set up 3 themed spaces - Water, Stillness, and Movement. I give them guidelines to help them determine how they could use each space. For example:
My mind is racing. I’m thinking too many things. I can’t focus. I need some stillness.
I feel a lack of energy. How much water have I had today?
I’m sleepy. I need to wake myself up with some movement.
The Water Space
This corner holds a jug of water with some cups or if they bring their own water bottles I set it up there.
The Stillness Space
I place a mat there. I also have a small poster suggesting closing the eyes and doing basic deep breathing.
The Movement Space
Again I place posters as suggestions for some simple stretching exercises.
One last important thing. I never direct/suggest kids into a space (no matter how tempting it is at times!). Doing this would make this a time-out thing. They choose to use the space based on their self observation. I also have a rule of no talking or interacting with others if you are in a space. If there is a need to interact with others, the main interactive classroom space is best for you.
Would this work in your classroom? Looking forward to your feedback.