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The Zen Den

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Last year we had a new position at GRE – a fulltime SEL teacher was hired to help support our students, teachers, and families with Social Emotional learning. To help support self-regulation, we created the Zen Den, a room as a place for all students to go to when they needed time to self-regulate.  The room was used by some students as a 'soft start' location every day, others on a scheduled daily basis, and many for an as needed basis.  Students checked into the Zen Den using the Zones of Regulation language, practiced a breathing strategy, and then engaged in a self-regulating activity (colouring, lego building, cup stacking, chilling in a tent, reading, etc), before reversing the pattern and returning to instruction.  The purpose of the room was to help students recognize what they were feeling, provide guidance in helping them practice strategies to self-regulate, and then have them reflect on the effectiveness of the strategy, and then assess if they were ready to go back to class and learning.​