At our school we are currently focusing on a social-emotional learning goal. We are hoping to equip students with strategies, tools, and a common language to help them advocate for themselves and take ownership of their social-emotional learning. We want to encourage all school staff and parents to use similar language to support this goal.
We use three main programs as a framework. Please see the three simple posters and for more information, ask any staff member for more information. We’re happy to share more of our understanding of these programs. Please ask students about the programs, too!
Zones of Regulation
This program teaches students how to recognize their feelings. For example, when playing on the playground or in an active/competitive game, students are often experiencing a heightened internal state such as silliness or excitement and are in the Yellow Zone, but it may not need to be managed. However, if the environment is changed to the library where there are different expectations than the playground, students may still be in the Yellow Zone but have to manage it differently so that their behaviour meets the expectations of the library setting.
Red Zone: extremely heightened states of alertness and intense emotions.
Yellow Zone: a heightened state of alertness and elevated emotions; however, one has more control when they are in the Yellow Zone.
Green Zone: a calm state of alertness (happy, focused, content, or ready to learn). This is the zone where optimal learning occurs.
Blue Zone: low states of alertness and down feelings (sad, tired, sick, or bored)
When we refer to the zones for a child, we ask then to consider: “What “zone” are you in?” and “What do you need to do to get back to the Green Zone?”
Expected vs Unexpected Behaviours
Help students learn to observe social situations more carefully and understand that behaviors are linked to others’ emotions, and how each of us feels about another's behavior affects how we treat each other.
Expected behaviors make us feel better about ourselves. In an effort to help students achieve this, we like to notice the positive (expected) behaviors from students as we believe that the more positively students are likely to behave while learning about their own social emotional learning system, which is critical for success not only during the school years, but also in adulthood!
Whole Body Listening
Whole body listening requires practice and explanation.
Whole body listening means also using your eyes, ears, mouth, hands, feet, body, brain, and heart.
We are hoping that by teaching these programs and by using this common language, students will understand their learning needs better and build their empathy for others.