One of our goals this year is to meet the social/emotional needs of our students. We have been using MindUp curriculum and we will continue to use it. We are now adding Zones of Regulation to help us use a common language when helping students self-regulate.
Here is an explanation of Zones:
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).
What are The Zones of Regulation?
The Zones of Regulation is a cognitive behaviour approach to teach self regulation. The Zones curriculum provides strategies to teach students to become more aware of, and independent in controlling their emotions and impulses, managing their sensory needs, and improving their ability to problem solve conflicts.
The lessons and learning activities are designed to help the students recognize when they are in the different Zones or states of alertness/moods as well as learn strategies to regulate themselves.
The Four Zones
The Red Zone is used to describe extremely heightened states of alertness and intense emotions. A person is described as “out of control” if in the Red Zone.
The Yellow Zone is also used to describe a heightened state of alertness and elevated emotions; however, one has some control when they are in the Yellow Zone.
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 students predominantly need to be in the classroom.
The Blue Zone is used to describe low states of alertness, such as when one feels sad, tired, sick, or bored.
The Zones can be compared to traffic signs. When given a green light or in the Green Zone, one is “good to go”. A yellow sign means be aware or take caution, which applies to the Yellow Zone. A red light or stop sign means stop, and when one is the Red Zone, this often is the case. The Blue Zone can be compared to the rest area signs where one goes to rest or re-energize. All of the zones are expected at one time or another, but the curriculum focuses on teaching the students how to figure out what zone is expected based on the environment and people around them.