I love this quote from Daniel Goleman, “If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able ego mange your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”
This quote justifies the need and great importance of Social Emotional Learning or SEL.
Teaching and modeling social skills is so important because many kiddos come to school with a partially full “social toolbox.”
Dealing appropriately with anger is a very important social skill and it seems like each year I have at least one kiddo with anger issues.
This year I have my most extreme one yet and I’ve had to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to help her be successful.
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I’ve come up with a self-awareness chart and a drawer of items that help calm her down and bring her back. I keep these in a drawer behind my desk.
The small area behind my desk is a “safe spot” that is out of the way of other kids.
Stuffed animal, squishy ball, stars in a coloring changing bottle, a flashing and spinning toy, a plastic clicky chain and a rubber bouncy light up ball.
This approach has worked very well for 2 major reasons:
1) The items are of high interest and the element of choice is appealing.
2) I do not have to stop my teaching to assist or intervene because she knows what to do now.
The self-awareness chart helps her be cognizant of her changing emotions during a “meltdown”.
Step one for her is to recognize the emotion she is having.
Step 2 is all about taking a mental and physical quick time out.
If she needs to go further, she is able to choose her calming helper.
And then Step 4 is for reevaluating the emotion and recognizing that she is capable of self-monitoring if needed.
How do you encourage students to self monitor their behavior? We would love to hear in the comments below.
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I created a smaller version that has all 4 steps printed on one sheet of paper. Print on yardstick, cut out, laminate, hole punch, and use a binder ring to keep the 4 cards together.
The student is then able to easily flip the cards when needed.
Hopefully this is helpful! ~Charity