The Zones of Regulation (www.zonesofregulation.com) is a framework for thinking as well as a curriculum geared toward helping students gain skills in consciously regulating their behaviors, including the management of their emotions and level of alertness. This, in turn, leads to increased self-control and problem solving abilities.
Leah Kuypers is the author of the book, The Zones of Regulation (2011, Social Thinking Publishing). The Zones of Regulation was featured as a promising practice in Attention Magazine and is being implemented school wide in districts across the United States and Canada.
The Zones assists students in conceptualizing how they are feeling by creating a system to categorize their emotions and levels of alertness into one of four zones. Using a cognitive behavior approach, the App's learning activities are designed to help students recognize when they are in different zones, with each of the four zones represented by a different color.
The Zones is designed to be used with elementary students, secondary students, and adults.
Throughout the App, students learn how to use strategies or tools to manage their feelings and behaviors in each zone. Given each student's needs and preferences are unique, students explore various calming techniques, cognitive strategies, and sensory supports, building a toolbox of methods to use to regulate and move between zones.
However, self-regulation takes a lot more than knowing about tools. To deepen students' understanding of how to self-regulate, the App also explores how triggers or different events can impact how they are feeling.
The App highlights how to read others' facial expressions and recognize a broader range of emotions and perspectives about how others see and react to their behavior, insight into events that trigger their different zones, and when and how to use tools and problem solving skills to change the way they are thinking and feeling.
The App provides a fun, and engaging experience while learning and gaining valuable knowledge to assist in developing real-life skills. Students will be taken on an adventure throughout a town filled with excitement, rewards, and mini games.
To enhance learning, it is recommended that an adult closely monitor the student's progression through the App, asking probing questions and facilitating discussions about how the App's content can be generalized to the student's real life. The content of the App can be further explored using the lessons and learning activities featured in the curriculum book, The Zones of Regulation.
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