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Self-Regulation in Division 14

In Division 14, one of our Kindergarten and Grade One classrooms, students have been learning about how to regulate their emotions in a variety of ways.  Teacher, Jessica Morrison, has taught students how to engage in progressive relaxation.  On a daily basis, after big transitions such as recess and lunch time, students lie on the floor to do "core practice" exercises which help them to calm their bodies and their minds.  At this time, Ms. Morrison plays soft music in the background incorporating nature sounds and guides the students in several routines to help them tense and relax parts of their bodies (e.g. "make robot arms--stiff and straight-5-4-3-2-1...and relax").  Ms. Morrison also guides the students to "think of your happy place."

This year Ms. Morrison has worked on teaching the students lessons relating to Zones of Regulation.  These lessons are based on the book by Leah M. Kuypers.  The students have been learning about how their bodies feel and look when they are calm, happy, and at an ideal level of alterness (in the green zone), when they are in a more heightened state of alterness such as excited, silly, anxious (in the yellow zone) and when they are in a very heightened state of alterness involving feelings of anger, rage, intense sadness (in the red zone).

An important area in the classroom is the Peace Area.  Students are able to choose to go to this area in the classroom when they need some time to think and manage their emotions.  In the corner are several items the students can access such as headphones (for sound reduction), a mirror (to reflect on the emotions their face may be showing), a sensory bottle to shake and focus on and other fidget items.  There are also posters to refer to with tips for working on relaxing breathing and reminders about Green/Yellow/Red zones.

When asked how these things help one student responded, "It helps me when I have to do my work so I can stay in the green zone."  A second student remarked that "it gives me aloone time and I use it at home, too."

Updated: Thursday, December 2, 2021