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What Zone Are You In?
Throughout the month of January all classes from Kindergarten to Grade 4 have been receiving classroom based guidance education and learning about the Zones of Regulation. If you hear your children talking about what zone they are in, or “being in the blue/green/yellow/red zone” they are talking about how they are feeling and how they are learning to self-regulate. The students also learnt about different tools and strategies to help them feel better and get back to the “green zone”.
The Zones of Regulation was developed by an occupational therapist, Leah M. Kuypers. Self-regulation is something everyone continually works on, whether we are cognizant of it or not. We all encounter trying circumstances that test our limits from time to time. If we are able to recognize when we are becoming less regulated, we are able to do something about it to feel better and get ourselves to a better place. This comes naturally for some, but for others it is a skill that needs to be taught and practiced. This is the goal of The Zones of Regulation (or Zones for short).
The Blue Zone is used to describe low states of alertness and down feelings, such as when one feels sad, tired, sick, or bored.
The Green Zone is used to describe a calm state of alertness. A person may be described as happy, focused, content, or ready to learn when in the Green Zone. This is the zone where optimal learning occurs.
The Yellow Zone is also used to describe a heightened state of alertness and elevated emotions; however, one has some control when in the Yellow Zone. A person may be experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, the wiggles, or nervousness when in the Yellow Zone.
The Red Zone is used to describe extremely heightened states of alertness and intense emotions. A person may be elated or experiencing anger, rage, explosive behaviour, devastation, or terror when in the Red Zone.
Conflict and disagreement is normal and often happens when children are together. Our goal is to teach our students several positive ways to deal with these difficult situations. Kelso’s Choice is a conflict management skills program that will be taught to our students this year.
The program is based on the premise that every child is capable of becoming a peacemaker and of solving conflicts peacefully. Kelso the frog teaches students how to solve “small” problems on their own. “Small” problems include conflicts that cause “small” feelings of annoyance, embarrassment, boredom, etc. “BIG problems” always need to be taken to an adult. These are situations that are scary, dangerous, illegal, etc.
Students will learn that if they have a small problem they need to try 2 of Kelso’s choices. Below is Kelso’s wheel illustrating their choices. If they have a big problem they need to go and tell an adult they trust.
By using Kelso’s choices, we believe that our students will develop effective problem-solving skills that they can use again and again. It will assist them in dealing with conflicts in a positive manner and teach them that they do have choices.
We encourage you to become familiar with this program and use it in your home. By working together, we can develop a positive healthy life skill for our children to use at home and school.
Visit the program's website to find resources for parents around using Kelso's Choice at home.