8 effective strategies for creating a calm classroom environment

Have you ever walked into a classroom only to find your students fidgeting, interrupting, daydreaming, staring out the window, making paper planes, forgetting their inside voices, pointing out your flaws and the stories that NEVER end... Did I miss anything? Ha! If you don’t laugh you’ll cry.

You've probably become quite used to the daily chaos that little learners bring to the classroom. But what if I told you that you have the power to transform your classroom into a calm, relaxing, and productive haven for your students (and you!).

In this post, I’ll show you how to create a calm classroom with eight proven strategies you can implement right away. Think: simple breathing exercises, mindful classroom design and even adding elements of nature. I’ve compiled practical tips and tricks learned over years in the classroom that will help you foster a peaceful and productive learning environment for your students. 

My Australiana decor bundle in use, creating a calm and engaging classroom
Calm classrooms don't need to be boring classrooms and my Australiana decor bundle proves it. Get organized and create calm with these gorgeous decor designs.

1. Create a learning space that is free of overwhelm 

If you're anything like me, creating a calm learning environment is a top priority. After all, it's better for your little learners plus at the end of the day it's your work space too – you should LOVE being in it. So when designing your classroom, it's essential to strike a balance between functionality and aesthetics. Enter MJLL 😜 .

OTT classrooms with *too* much going on are a recipe for overwhelm – for both you and your students. So I can't help but cringe a little when I see other brands release overbearing and intense classroom decor. You know me, I'm all about pairing classrooms back with minimalist designs and neutral tones.

a classroom "Cosy Corner" featuring the 'Ombre Alphabet Posters' in a calming environment.
Ombre alphabet posters in action in this teacher's cosy corner.

Helping you create a calm and engaging learning environment is the motivation behind all of my classroom decor packs. Even my colorful packs like Spotty Brights are cohesive and easy on the eyes because I know the last thing educators need is overstimulated little ones when they’re trying to teach.

2. Ensure your space is organized and clutter-free

Getting organized is essential for a productive and peaceful learning environment. So if you haven't already, it's time for a Kmart, Amazon, Target or Walmart haul to stock up on practical storage bins, trolleys, trays, and boxes. Next up, you're going to want to want some gorgeous labels so you can get your kids helping out with putting everything in its place. Check out my Binder Covers and Classroom Labels and give yourself permission to pinch the label maker from the storeroom for a couple of hours.

My top tip: Be selective with furniture and decorations to avoid overcrowding and create an open and inviting classroom instead.

carefully selected organization boxes and furniture, using variations of my organization resources
Shop classroom organization resources like reading group organizers, teacher toolbox labels and teacher trolley labels. Check out all the different ways teachers are using my decor and resource on the #MissJacobsLittleLearners hashtag on IG

3. Incorporate elements of nature into your space

Have you ever noticed when you’re out for a hike, hanging at the beach or even walking in your local park your mind and body feels at ease? That’s because nature has a soothing effect on the mind and body. In fact, a 2017 study has shown spending an average of two hours in nature each week can make you feel happier, more relaxed and more productive – so bringing more elements of nature into the classroom is a no brainer.

Bringing nature into your classroom is easy. Just grab a few plants and one of my nature-inspired decor themes such as Modern Jungle, Australiana or Boho Plants. You could also take your learners on outdoor nature walks or explore the natural environment in your lesson plans with my Living Things and Life Cycle Unit And in case you missed it, here are my five tips for creating a nature themed classroom. 


@young.minds.bloom has the right idea – filling her space with nature-themed decor from the Botanicals classroom decor collection.

4. Provide spaces in the classroom for student self-regulation

Include designated spaces in your classroom layout where students can go to self-regulate and manage their emotions. A calm down corner is guaranteed to be your new best friend when it comes to classroom management. Fill this area with toys, soft animals, books or sensory tools and games. These areas can provide a safe and supportive environment for kids to regulate their emotions and be effective in reducing stress and anxiety.

Side note: no judgment if you need to send yourself to the calm down corner at the end of a tough day. BYO wine.

a desk in a quiet corner of the classroom, decorated with my affirmation station resources and filled with sensory tools to help regulate student emotions.

Creating a Zen Zone just like @teachingwithmissalysha is as easy as an Affirmation Station mirror to promote for positive self talk, emotion regulation charts for students to help recognise and cope with all the different emotions and a sensory toolbox full or tools to help students deal with stress and anxiety.


Check out this fab sensory tool kit from @_miss_williams_ over on Instagram

5. Stick to a routine 

When students feel organized and prepared, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated, which can lead to improved academic performance and more relaxed classroom conditions. One of the easiest ways to help them do just that is to establish a routine.

Routines provide structure and predictability, which can help students feel safe, more secure and in control. When they know what to expect each day, students can better manage their time and focus on their tasks. Plus a classroom routine facilitates good habits and helps students develop a sense of responsibility and accountability.

three very different organisational set ups using various styles and types of my organisation resources.
Display timetables, calendars, and classroom jobs to keep your students in the loop and show them what to expect from the day.

6. Encourage mindfulness in the classroom 

Did you know that mindfulness-based interventions in the classroom have been found to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress in both students and teachers. By incorporating mindfulness practices such as breathing exercises, meditation and calming music into the classroom routine, teachers can help students develop emotional regulation skills and promote a sense of calm and well-being in the classroom.

7. Create a positive classroom culture

A positive classroom culture can improve student motivation and keep students engaged in their learning. Teaching tools like Voice Level Displays and Classroom Posters can help lift the mood and behavior of your little learners and encourage more positive interactions among peers. Nurture a sense of community and belonging and provide opportunities for your kids to share their thoughts and feelings in a safe and supportive space.

the aesthetic growth mindset resource, affirmation station set up and motivational posters put to use in the classroom
Teaching tools like growth mindset displays, affirmation station mirrors and motivational posters are perfect for an inclusive and calm classroom

8. Model calming behavior

I’ve always had a feeling that my kids mirrored my mood and behavior. And it turns out that feeling was right! According to a study published in the Journal of School Psychology, when teachers model calmness and emotional regulation in the classroom, students show lower levels of anxiety and aggression, and higher levels of academic achievement.

You can model calm behavior by speaking in a soft and gentle tone, and demonstrating patience and understanding. Avoid raising your voice or becoming visibly upset, as this can create a tense and stressful atmosphere.

Your calm classroom environment awaits 

While there are eight practical tips and ideas to create a calm classroom, it wouldn’t be very zen to implement them all at once, right?! Get started slowly and intentionally by choosing two or three of these tips that resonate with you the most and focus on implementing them first.

To shop teaching resources and classroom decor to create your own calm learning space, be sure to check out the Calm Classrooms collection which is always being updated with the latest tools for creating your calm and inviting home away from home.

Since we know how much students benefit from routines, you may also like to share your plan with your students and explain why you are making these changes. Encourage their feedback and participation in the process. Not only will you be SO glad you added a little calm into your classroom but no doubt your students will thank you for it too.

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