Self-Regulation: Reset

There are so many different strategies and activities that may or may not work for your class. Of course, one of the joys of being a teacher is to make sure your bag of tricks is fully stocked because of the variety of classes come across. I have categorized these activities into three categories: Reset, transitions, and calming. I will be talking about these three strategies through this post and my next. I was curious and thought it would be  useful to know how to set a student up for success after a tantrum. I stumbled upon some activities to do after a student threw a tantrum to “reset”. These reset activities help students successfully regain their independence in a calm way. These activities sooth the student by giving them a task that constructive and soothes their hands. At first it didn’t make sense to me, and then I thought about the little activities that adults do to calm themselves down that involves their hands such as squeezing a  knitting, sewing, playing cards, gardening) . When a student has aggressive outburst and may display signs of dangerous behavior it is important for the teacher to analyze the situation in which is it safer to move the child to a quiet area, or to remove the other students from the classroom. Reset activities are to be used AFTER the student has calmed down or AFTER the situation as deescalated. Keep in mind these activities may not work for every particular incident or tantrum.

A few guidelines to follow and think about:

  1. Knowing when to use them
    • not to be used during a outburst/tantrum, but AFTER
    • the child completes the activity at their desk and then can return to the classroom or working area when the activity is complete
    • depending on the student, the teacher would follow the activity with some sort of verbal/visual reminder of what is expected of them
  2. Reset activities should be short and simple
    • no longer then 5 mins
  3. Setting students up for success
    • make sure the activity is easy enough to complete without your help
    • the goal is for students to successfully, independently, and calmly self regulate themselves
  4. Choosing neutral appeal activities
    • not meant to be a reward, this would only reinforce bad behavior
    • like the second step keep them simple and basic
  5. Clear ending activities
    • student when know the activity is completed
    • this gives the teacher a clear signal that the student is ready to join the others

Reset activity ideas

  • Fabric marble maze – with any kind of fabric create a maze for he student to complete by roll a  marble through
  • Bead sort – give the student a handful of beads, the student is to sort them into categories (color, size, shape)
  • Card sort – shuffle a deck of cards and get the students to organize them (lowest to highest, suits , red cards/black cards
  • Puzzles
  • Sorting a bag of assorted pens and pencils
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Lit Circles

I have decided to do my inquiry question on “How to run successful literature circles (lit circles) in a classroom.”  What are lit circles you may ask???  In lit circles “small groups of students gather together to discuss a piece of literature in depth. The discussion is guided by students’ response to what they have read. You may hear talk about events and characters in the book, the author’s craft, or personal experiences related to the story.”

Last year, I had the privilege to watch/ run lit circles in my practicum class.  They were already established in my classroom by my sponsor teacher and I thought her method would be great to share.  As well as some new resources I have found during my inquiry.    After some research and experience, I have decided to focus on four main aspects regarding lit circles:

  1. How to get lit circles started in the classroom
  2. How to run successful lit circles
  3. Ideas on how to assess
  4. Final project ideas

Here is a video of one way lit circles can be incorporated into the classroom.

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