This strategy is about creating and using a visual guide for the student to indicate their emotional state, and to guide you and them on how to increase or decrease their energy appropriately. We think it is useful for several modules in this toolkit. This strategy can be done with the whole class or the toolkit student individually
- When you see that the toolkit student is (becoming) emotionally dysregulated, draw their attention to the regulation station and support them to choose what station they are in
- Ask them what station they want to be at for the next activity, and use the menu to choose something to do to change their mood and energy
- Make sure you also do this at times when they are not dysregulated, so they don’t see it as just a negative activity!
For example, after breaktime or when changing activity
- This can be done with the whole class, giving different activities to those in different stations
For example- if you’re at the orange station, shout out loud, if you at yellow, stand up and spin five times, if you are green, pat your head
- Once they have finished, ask them how they now feel (what station are they at) and if needed allow a second or third activity
- Praise them, specifically about what they have done well
“I really liked how you identified that you were feeling angry, and then you chose to throw pillows in the corner to get back to the calm station. You did a great job recognising your feelings”
- Use the reflection template to note down how often you have used this over a day and a week, and how the student has responded
- Have they needed a lot of help to recognise where they are? Do the activities need tweaking or changing to make sure they get to the calm station with one activity (if it is currently taking two or three)?
- Talk to your SENCo or a colleague each week about how it’s going, and what activities work well for the student
- As the students get used to the process, they may be able to be more self-directed in using the regulation station, or not. Consider this when you review and think about how you can flex to support them to keep using the system