Trends in Education: New Students and New Challenges
2 out of 3 teachers report that classroom behaviors interfere with their ability to teach and their student’s ability to learn.
We know you need real solutions to support student behavior and they better be teacher friendly. Using the latest research and tools that really work, we help you teach your students to understand and manage their emotions. You’ll help them to experience positive and lasting behavior change. Together, we will make positive and lasting change in the lives of our students.
THERE ARE A LOT OF FEELINGS IN YOUR CLASSROOM
SO STUDENTS ARE READY TO LEARN
Students in your classrooms experience a rollercoaster of feelings throughout their school day. Sometimes they feel positive and are ready to work, and other times they feel down and are not able to work.
Emotional Regulation is a person's management of the roller-coaster of feelings. The management of emotions is a "complex dance" within the emotional center of the brain. When emotions are managed as they arise, your students move smoothly from one activity to the next. Your students are attentive and ready to learn.
address behaviors in the moment
to make lasting change
Sometimes your students are unable to manage their emotions and have difficulty transitioning between activities. That’s emotional dysregulation. Everyone experience that at times, it’s normal. When dysregulation happens frequently, it significantly impedes a student’s ability to learn and impacts classroom tasks.
You need to create an Emotional Classroom in which your students understand their feelings and understand how their emotions impact their behavior. An emotionally regulated classroom helps get your students ready to learn and reduces the stress on everyone in the classroom.
a whole class approach to emotional regulation accomplishes 3 things:
1. Removes the stigma associated with behavior issues by focusing on emotions, rather than the behaviors. ALL kids have emotions, not just the “frequent principal office visitors.”
2. Teaches kids that they are in control of the way they behave.
3. Takes a positive approach to behavior modification.
One of the key areas of the brain that manages emotions is called the limbic system. In a typically functioning brain, the limbic system works in concert with the prefrontal cortex which is often thought of as the regulatory area of the brain. When working in concert, the limbic and prefrontal areas of the brain allows us to manage and control our emotions. Unless we are in serious danger, our prefrontal cortex will manage and control our strong emotions so we are able to function. While these systems don’t always work perfectly (you still lose your cool from time to time) overall everything stays in check.
For certain brains (and people) things don’t work as smoothly. Instead of the coordinated interplay between the limbic and the prefrontal areas, the limbic system takes over, limiting the control of the frontal lobes (rational decision region). For the kids (and adults) who have difficulty with their behavior, this is the problem they face. They experience strong emotional reactions in their limbic area, without the frontal lobe management.
All of the emotions, without any of the solutions
This is what you see in your classroom when you have kids with difficulty with emotional regulation. However, all is not lost. A brain can be taught new skills!
Neuroplasticity: You can teach a brain new tricks
New pathways can be created in the brain. The more we repeat a certain behavior, the stronger the corresponding pathway in the brain becomes. When we learn a new skill, the more attention we pay to it and the more we practice it, the easier it will become.
THE RIGHT BEHAVIOR FOR LEARNING
Goal Directed Behavior is behavior that leads to attaining a specific goal or outcome. In school, the overall goal is learning. There also are smaller goals for students throughout the day. This means that your students need to remain emotionally regulated state throughout the day. In order to remain regulated, it is necessary for you teach your students to understand and manage their emotions. That results in their ability to be emotionally regulated for learning.
The most significant relationship in your classroom is the relationship among emotions, behavior, and the ability to learn. It is critical for us to teach kids to understand this relationship and positively support their learning in your classroom, at home, and everywhere else.
Make Emotions Matter in Your Classroom
The Emotional Classroom shows your students the connection between their emotions and their behavior. Learning these critical life skills makes it easier for your students to pay attention in school, at home, and in their everyday activities. Your support lets them become great students, great learners, and great classmates. Ultimately, your emotionally regulated classroom sets your students on the path to be ready to learn, no matter the subject matter.
In order for your students to learn to manage their emotions, they need to learn to understand what events trigger different emotions. This is done through making emotions a part of your classroom. In the beginning it may feel awkward. That's OK.
You’ll want to tell students that you will be talking about emotions, its impact on learning and really how emotions impact everything they do every day. How incredibly powerful it will be for your students to know that if they work at it, they will able to learn, to understand and to manage their emotions. You can share with them that their lives will be so much easier and more fun, and they will never, well almost never, have to hear a teacher get frustrated with their behavior ever again.
Each day, you talk about emotions, and help yours students to make the connection among emotions, behavior, and learning. You teach students how to make choices so they learn how to take control of their emotions- because, EMOTIONS DRIVE BEHAVIOR
ALL Emotions All the Time
Using worksheets, small games, and for some, in-depth self guided apps, students learn how to manage their behaviors on their own. The entire class benefits from building personal strategies to manage their emotions. Learning these critical life skills makes it easier to pay attention in school, at home and in their everyday activities. These straightforward activities and in-class games highlight students emotions. They provide students a framework and emotional routes with easy to follow steps with which to deal with their everyday lives. You can quickly incorporate these lesson plans, worksheets, and tools to create your own emotional classroom where students understand their emotions and behaviors. A classroom where kids are attentive and ready to learn.
As a teacher, you would never expect your students to learn math without tools that teach math. The same is true for emotions! Some kids will be able to manage their emotions during the day, some will need a little support, while others need direct teaching. As teachers, we’ve been there. As teachers, we created a program that will hit all of our “customers.” As teachers, we developed full class lessons, games, and worksheets for specific tune ups, and a real-time teaching tool delivered using technology that will help even your most challenging student.
KidConnect for the iPad
We developed the KidConnect app because we needed a kid friendly, easy to use tool that could teach kids how to manage their strong emotions, improve their behavior, and use in the classroom. It has been an amazing tool for kids and teachers.
KidConnect teaches children to identify their emotions when they happen. Kids make connections between their emotions and their behavior. By using the app, kids learn coping skills to manage their emotions which allows them to exhibit more appropriate behavior in classrooms, at home and in life.
For educators, KidConnect is easy to set up and use. Plus, KidConnect stores the behavioral data you need to add to IEPs and to show that it is working and your students behavior is improving.
Determine the Issues
Strategies to Move Forward
The DESK system is designed to enable students to understand their emotions in order to keep their behavior regulated. This awareness leads to an ability to remain in class and learn. The DESK system provides students with activities to help explore, and with additional work determine, the underlying issues that cause their behavior challenges.
Kids are able to manage their emotions and in turn manage their behaviors! The ability to understand specific emotions is important as it allows for the pairing a specific strategy to a specific emotion. Successful strategies will ensure that students have the tools to keep themselves regulated going forward. This ensures students who are ready to learn!
We know how hard it is to be in the classroom and have challenging students you feel like you can’t manage. We have been there. The one thing we hear from teachers when we speak in schools and at conferences is that it feels overwhelming and lonely to have kids you can’t reach. The good news is that you are not alone. There are educators all over the world that know with new research, comes new ideas. It is possible to manage even the most challenging student. Connect with other teachers and share your tips, challenges, jokes, whatever you’ve got. Sometimes, just knowing there are other people experiencing the same thing can really make a difference. Join and check out our Facebook community Teach Emotional Regulation!