Zones of Regulation
At LPPS we use The Zones of Regulation (Leah Kuypers 2011) to help teach children self-regulation and emotional control.
The Zones of Regulation use four colours to help children self-identify how they’re feeling:
The Green Zone
The green zone is the state most needed in the classroom in order to learn. It means you are calm, happy, focused and ready to learn. You are in a calm state of alertness.
The Yellow Zone
The yellow zone describes when you have a heightened sense of alertness or perhaps have a funny feeling in your tummy. You usually still have some control when in the yellow zone.
The Red Zone
The red zone describes an extremely heightened state of intense emotions. When a person reaches the red zone, they’re no longer about to control their emotions or reactions and may sometimes display challenging behaviour.
The Blue Zone
The blue zone describes when you are sad, sick tired or bored. You have very low energy emotions.
It’s important to note that there is no ‘bad’ zone and everyone experiences all of the Zones at different times and in different circumstances.
By teaching pupils about the zones of regulation and supporting them in using these on a daily basis, our aim is for pupils to identify the zone they might be feeling and to think about what strategies they can use to move zones, if necessary. For example, if a pupil explains they are feeling in the yellow zone because they are feeling giggly/excited, an adult can suggest strategies the child can try so that they can self-regulate their emotions, make the right choices and move into the green zone – the zone for optimal learning.
What can I do to support the Zones of Regulation at home?
• Identify your own feelings using Zones language in front of your child (e.g. “I’m feeling frustrated because….. , I am in the Yellow Zone.”)
• Talk about which tool you will use to be in the appropriate Zone (e.g. “I’m going to go for a walk as I need to get to the Green Zone.”)
• Provide positive reinforcement when your child is in the Green Zone and if they make efforts to stay in the Green Zone. Eg. “I can see you are working really hard to stay in the Green Zone by…”
• Label which Zones your child is in throughout the day (e.g. “You look sleepy, I wonder if you are in the Blue Zone?”)
• Teach your child which Zone tools they can use (e.g. “It’s time for bed, let’s read a book together in the rocking chair to get to the Blue Zone.”)
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