Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Getting Back to Green

We have been working on strategies to help us get our bodies back to green (from the A.L.E.R.T program) when we are feeling over excited (red zone) or lethargic (blue zone). So far we have learned 5 strategies. I thought you might want to know a bit more about each one we have learned so far. That way you will know what your child is talking about if they start telling you that they need to do the "star strategy" at school and, who knows?, you may even decide to try these at home!!!

Strategy #1 S.T.A.R Strategy
S.T.A.R. stands for Stop, Take a breath And Relax. We have practiced belly breathing where we take a deep breath, feel our bellies rise and then slowly release the breath. We do this 3 times in a row. (I have been known to do this one all by myself when I need a moment to get myself back to green before I lose it!)

Strategy #2 Balloon Strategy
For this strategy the students take a deep, deep breath in while going up on tiptoes and raising their arms high to the sky. Then, they release the breath as they bend over at the waist and let all of the air out of their "balloon". We do this 3 times in a row.

Strategy #3 Patting Arms Strategy

For this strategy, you take your right hand and pat your left arm down from the shoulder, to the wrist and back up again. (You don't have to have your arms up in the air like the picture. It was the only one I could find!) Then you switch and use your left hand to pat your right arm down from the shoulder, to the wrist and back up again. Repeat this (you guessed it!) 3 times!!!!

Strategy #4 Move Your Body
This strategy is pretty basic. Get up and move! We were using Energy Blasts for this before they took our Smartboard away and are now using a variety of songs by Jack Hartmann. He is lots of fun and the kids seem to enjoy his music. I like how he has so many fun songs that also teach educational material. Win win! Of course, anything works. 10 jumping jacks. 10 bounces. You get the idea!

Strategy #5 Cuddle Buddy

This one is pretty self evident. A student can go and get a cuddle buddy (stuffed animal) from our basket OR bring one from home. Sometimes the tactile feeling of holding the stuffy and feeling its soft fur can make all the difference! The only rule is that it is to bring one comfort and not to be used as a toy or distraction during class time. This strategy works well for some of the students who have trouble focusing during group carpet time.

So, there you go, 5 strategies to try at home to get back to green zone. We are going to be learning more as we go along. I strongly believe in students learning to read how they feel and how to self-regulate themselves into a place where they are ready for learning. We all have the ability to make the best of any given situation. It is all about making choices. I want to give the students as many strategies as possible to help them make the best possible choices. We will be learning more strategies as we go along. I'll keep you updated!!!

Ms. Hughes

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