Thursday 5 January 2017

Dreidel Game

In December we always spend time talking and learning about the many holidays that happen in December. One of my favourite things to teach the kiddos during this is the dreidel game. Check out the very quick video below!

3D printer

Our class had THE COOLEST and most EXCLUSIVE presentation in the province! Our class, along with 4 Robichaud, experimented with a 3D printer! Our class is only the second in New Brunswick to have a presentation on this cool piece of technology. The kids loved making a little monopoly house.

Check out the Saint John Public Library's Maker Space to try the 3D printer for yourself!

Monday 24 October 2016

Thankful Thursdays

Thankful Thursday is quickly becoming popular with not only our classroom but with the staff and students in our school. Each Thursday kiddos in our class take the time to write a note of appreciation to a staff member or school mate. The wonderful people of our school community LOVE getting these notes. There have been quite a few happy tears. Stay tuned parents-you could be on the receiving end of one of these awesome notes soon!

Brain Bikes, Calming Tent, Fidgets

In our class we use many things to help us learn. We use fidgets and brain bikes to help focus our attention. Brain breaks (like help us get our wiggles out when we have been sitting too long. Kids also use standing desks and work around the room. Th calming tent is a popular place to work and to calm our bodies when we are feeling nervous/anxious. Ask your kiddo about their favourite learning tool today!

Zones of Regulation

We have started using the zones of regulation in our classroom. Read below for more information!

Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.     -Charles Swindoll
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 is a systematic, cognitive behavior approach used to teach self-regulation by categorizing all the different ways we feel and states of alertness we experience into four concrete zones.  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.

By addressing underlying deficits in emotional and sensory regulation, executive functions, and social cognition, the curriculum is designed to help move students toward independent regulation.  The Zones of Regulation incorporates Social Thinking® ( concepts and numerous visuals to teach students to identify their feelings/level of alertness, understand how their behavior impacts those around them, and learn what tools they can use to manage their feelings and states.  

The Four Zones:  Our Feelings & States Determine Our 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 behavior, devastation, or terror when 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.  A person may be experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, the wiggles, or nervousness when in the Yellow Zone.

 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.

 Blue Zone is used to describe low states of alertness and down feelings, 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 students how to manage their Zone based on the environment and people around them. For example, when playing on the playground or in an active/competitive game, no one would think twice about one being in the Yellow Zone but that would not be same in the library.

Writing Idea Book

A big thing for our kiddos this year is developing ideas. Coming up with an idea for writing can be VERY challenging. I teach students that sometimes they have an idea in their head already to write about but other times they need help. That is where the idea book comes in. Kids jot notes, draw pictures/maps constantly in this book to help with future story ideas. Ask your kiddo about their idea book today!