Teaching Elementary Students How To Self-Regulate

Teaching Elementary Students How To Self-Regulate
Posted on 02/09/2018

Earlier this school year, we sent home some information about a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum we were beginning to use school-wide called, “The Zones of Regulation”.  This is a curriculum that we consider complementary to the Resilience/Health Realization and Mindfulness SEL curriculum we have been using for 20+ years and the past five years in the school district.  The Zones of Regulation provides color-cued visual charts that help students identify and then use self-regulation strategies to get themselves to a more appropriate zone for the situation and setting they are in.  The lessons are designed to help students understand their different internal emotions, sensory needs, and thinking patterns that result in each student shifting from one zone to another.  Students are taught when, why and how to use tools that include sensory supports, calming techniques and thinking strategies. 

The Zones of Regulation also incorporates core teachings of Social Thinking to help students learn about perspective taking to better understand how the different zones impact others’ thoughts and feelings, as well as their own.  The Zones curriculum also helps students develop their vocabulary for emotional terms, skills for reading facial expressions, insight into events that trigger their own behavior, and self-reflective, problem-solving skills.  

The Zones of Regulation is not a panacea or cure all, but certainly puts more effective and research-based tools in the toolboxes of educators, students and parents.

For further information the following online resources are recommended:

An article explaining the Zones of Regulation

www.zonesofregulation.com/

 

A short video explaining Zones of Regulation

https://youtu.be/pGQwBsajCzQ

 

A video about identifying children with self-regulation struggles and games to play to build those skills

https://youtu.be/H_O1brYwdSY

 

Various video clips that explain The Zones of Regulation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEkh87l64mo