Emotions in the Classroom
I love supporting the children’s emotions in the classroom, but I have found it to be even more vital since the most recent lockdown. Working in KS1, I have noticed more children requiring help to regulate their emotions. We have been focusing some of our work on emotions and wellbeing to try to support these children
- Emotion Wall
Some children have struggled naming the emotions they are feeling, so we have used emotion cubes to engage the children in discussions about different emotions, making faces to show how they may feel with each emotion. We have also used the emotion question cubes to help the children think about times they have felt anxious for example, and we then thought of strategies as a class to help us target these. We found it incredibly beneficial to create a ‘strategy wall’, for children to use for each emotion they may face throughout the school day, allowing them to build their independence in self-regulation. We are building up our strategies on the wall throughout the year, finding what works best for the children in our class.
2. Go Noodle
We have been using Go Noodle breathing and yoga videos to help to centre the children and allow them to control their breathing and emotions. My class have found it incredibly settling and jumped back into learning much more successfully. (Obviously, we’ve snuck in some fun dancing videos too!!).
3. Calm Corner
We have a designated ‘calm corner’ just outside the classroom to support those children to have a safe space to explore their emotions. We have an area (normally filled with soft items) and a box of items they can use to help regulate their feelings. Some of the favourites of my class currently are bouncing putty, books, lava lamp style toys, fiddle toys and breathing cards. Each child is able to explore the area as they need, using as few or as many of the resources they need to regulate. We have found this area particularly successful with those children beginning to build their independence throughout.
4. Wellbeing Monsters
My class absolutely love the Teacher’s Pet Wellbeing Monsters, so much so, I created Peg Dolls to support each ‘passport’ of ideas. The children really enjoy seeing them each day and using the activities in the booklets when they need. They have helped to build our resilience, independence and mental wellbeing, allowing the children to thrive in the classroom.
5. Senses Stations
We found that using our ‘senses station’ has worked well to support some of our children. We ask the children to think of something they can see, smell, hear, taste and touch around them. This has helped to stabilise the children’s emotions as they allow their mind to wander from their feelings and focus on certain things in their environment. Sometimes we do this as a whole class, and sometimes independently, showing the children how they are able to use the station successfully to calm themselves.
I’m constantly trying to find new methods to keep it fresh for the children, but only with subtle changes to ensure that the children feel safe and secure whilst in that place of emotional instability.
Emily – @miss.a.teach