Choose A Strategy
Within the Aaron School curriculum, students learn about the Zones of Regulation and various strategies to move between the zones (Green, Blue, Yellow, and Red). Initially these topics are discussed verbally and words can be harder to retain in the moment. Visuals, on the other hand, help students to rapidly retrieve and remember information. When problem solving with students, we want to effectively identify their current zone and choose a coping skill. Teachers and therapists utilize visual posters with simple illustrations for students to easily recognize their current zone and a visual toolbox to move between the zones.
The Zones of Regulation help students to consciously identify and regulate their actions and emotions. Through the use of color, facial expressions, and words, students distinguish which emotion “zone” they are experiencing. The goal for students is to be in the Green Zone, which represents students who are ready to listen and learn. As shown in the poster, the student is calm, happy, and has “working hands.” However, life can put us in different zones like the Yellow, Blue, or Red Zones. The Yellow Zone symbolizes feelings of silly, surprised, frustrated, and overwhelmed. The poster reminds students to slow down since their bodies are bordering being out of control. The Blue Zone is when we feel tired, sick, bored, or sad. Lastly, the Red Zone is when we feel out of control; we are angry, aggressive, or elated. The poster reminds students to stop and use strategies to self-regulate. After a zone is identified, students can reference the “Choose A Strategy” poster.
The “Choose A Strategy” poster encourages students to pick a strategy that will best help them transition from the Yellow, Blue, or Red Zone back to the Green Zone. The poster displays a wide range of tools such as floor pushing to exert excess physical energy, to smell the flowers/ blow out the candles to regulate breathing, and use of a calm down bottle to help the student refocus on something else. The illustrations reinforce phrases and tools learned in school into a simple visual reference.
The art department developed the visuals from a therapeutic mindset for students to quickly self-regulate. Teachers, therapists, counselors, and parents are welcome to incorporate posters into their lessons, classrooms, and at home.