ISS Room: Safe Place
How to Use a Safe Place in the ISS Room
The Safe Place is a center where children go to change their inner state from upset to composed. The Safe Place in your ISS room will contain extensive materials for calming. The CLASSROOM EDITION: Feeling Buddies Self-Regulation Toolkit is particularly effective in providing the additional coaching necessary to help “frequent flyers” and those with challenging behaviors learn to regulate their emotions and actions.
A chair, beanbag, throw rug or pillow serves as a base for your Safe Place. Fill the Safe Place with tools and activities that lead children through the five steps of self-regulation: I Am, I Calm, I Feel, I Choose, I Solve. The I Am step involves the initial upset when the child becomes the emotion. “I am angry!” The I Am Upset Smock is helpful for demonstrating this stage of upset. The I Calm step requires active calming, featuring the four main breathing techniques, access to a Friends and Family book, and other calming activities. The I Feel step includes identifying the feeling with the Feeling Buddies or a Feeling chart. The I Choose step requires the child to consciously choose additional calming activities utilizing the Brain Smart Choice Cube, I Choose Board and/or class-made choice boards. The I Solve step involves the child solving the original problem before returning to work or play, often through the use of the Conflict Resolution Time Machine.
Shubert is a S.T.A.R. teaches how to use the Safe Place and models the four main breathing exercises in Conscious Discipline: S.T.A.R., Drain, Pretzel and Balloon. Adults must teach and model relaxation techniques so children can learn how to calm themselves.
The Safe Place is discussed in detail, including activities and images, in Chapter 9 of Creating the School Family. As stated earlier, the CLASSROOM EDITION: Feeling Buddies Self-Regulation Toolkit offers a comprehensive, advanced approach that teaches not only active calming strategies, but also the essential messages our emotions carry and the constructive inner speech that is crucial to the self-regulation of difficult emotions.
There are many other products that support the active calming process, such as the Safe Place Mat, Safe Place Poster Set, I Can Calm book and Calming Pillow Set. Helpful music for the Safe Place includes “Bye Bye Crankies” on Songs for I Love You Rituals Volume 2, “Snuggle Up” on Songs for I Love You Rituals Volume 1, “S.T.A.R. Song” on It Starts in the Heart, “You Can Relax Now” on Kindness Counts, and “Calm Your Brain” and “Safe and Calm” on Brain Boogie Boosters.
Video Examples: Safe Place in the ISS Room
Younger Children: Safe Place - Principal Helps Calm Child in CARE Room
Younger Children: Safe Place - Multiple Safe Places in CARE Room
Younger Children: Safe Place - Counselor Passes Safe Place onto Parents
Younger Children: Safe Place - Behavior Specialist Talks about Safety with Rageful Children
Photo Examples: Safe Place in the ISS Room