Education at Detroit Prep is not only about academics, but includes non-academic developmental skills all children need. As children grow, it is crucial to integrate social and emotional learning skills like self-awareness, decision making, self-management, and social awareness.
In the 3rd grade crew room, there are several ways students work through their social and emotional needs. As you watch our 3rd grade friends arrive in the morning, you will observe them putting their belongings away in their cubbies, turning in their communication folder, and checking in. Crew members move their magnet to one of the four zones of regulation: green, yellow, red, and blue. This gives me, their crew leader, a quick glimpse into their emotions as they join crew. While most friends start the day feeling happy and ready to learn, we sometimes have friends who have different needs for the morning. During our morning crew, I make it a point to greet any students outside of green during our greeting.
Just like adults, children experience a multitude of emotions throughout their day. As we transition in and out of our crew room from specials, lunch, and recess, crew members are also able to change their zone of regulation. This gives me an update on how they are feeling and allows me to check-in after their time away from me.
Another way crew members can address their social and emotional needs is by visiting our crew room Calm Down Corner. Crew members are encouraged to visit this space when they feel frustrated, overwhelmed, angry, or experience other strong emotions. This space gives them 5 minutes to calm-down or remove themselves from an unfavored situation. Friends can sit and read a book, play with a fidget, write, or color. Once their five minutes are up, they can return to their activity with a clear mind.
These small steps can help crew members in any room learn about their social and emotional well-being. They take no extra time out of the day and put the choice in the child’s hands. By visiting the calm-down corner, crew members are practicing self-management and decision making. Checking in through zones of regulation are a step in self-awareness and encourages positive relationships between crew members and leaders.
Calm Down Corner Book Suggestions: