The Alert Program-Self Regulation

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An Occupational Therapist recently provided this program for a student that had trouble with having too much energy in the classroom. The Alert Program provided a system for the student to recognize his energy and do activities to help him calm down to be ready for learning. Below are some of the concepts around the Alert Program to address self regulation.

Official Site: Here

Online Training: Here

How Does Your Engine Run?

How Does Your Engine Run, or The Alert Program (AP), is a specifically designed program for pre-school aged children and up that addresses self-regulation of arousal states. It uses the analogy of an automobile to introduce its concepts i.e. “If your body is like a car engine, sometime it runs on high, sometimes it runs on low, and sometime it runs just right”. The program is implemented in three stages: identifying engine speeds, experimenting with methods to change engine speeds, and regulating engine speeds. Visual aids along with practical instruction are used to enhance the learning experience. Many benefits are seen from using this program including enhanced abilities to learn, improved interactions, improved self-esteem, improved self confidence, and improved self-monitoring skills. The AP can be done in individual or group treatment settings. Source

Information

Self Regulation Mini Guide

Self-Regulation: Calm, Alert, and Learning*

Sensory Diet vs. The Alert Program (“How Does Your Engine Run”) What’s The Difference And How Can They Help MY Child?

Self Regulation and Sensory Integration How Does your Engine Run? Christal K. Peters, MS OTR/L PPT presentation

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So the idea is to get your engine running just right.

 

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Chart EXAMPLE

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Activities that are typically alerting, to “speed up engines”


In general:

  • rapidly changing/irregular inputs
  • quick tempos
  • music — lower frequencies will elicit movement (drums), while higher frequencies can engage attention (flutes, singing, cymbals)
  • cold temperatures (including foods)
  • light, brushing touch
  • fast movement, especially spinning/rotational
  • sour or spicy flavors
  • fast-moving, bright, unpredictable visuals
  • using muscles for “heavy work” of pushing, pulling, against resistance (tends to be both alerting and organizing, so can help lower “too fast engines” and raise “too slow engines”)

Activities/Strategies:

Swinging quickly on playground swing, especially with sudden changes of direction
Spinning on a swing or other equipment (can quickly become over-stimulating – use caution!)
Rocking quickly in a rocking chair
Running, skipping, galloping for at least 1-2 minutes (any type of aerobic exercise, really)
Rapid rocking/bouncing side to side
Jumping in place (trampoline, jumping jacks, jumping rope, etc.)
Motor breaks during school – stand and stretch, run an errand for teacher, walk to bathroom, etc.
Push on wall as if to move wall
Lean on desk for “desk push-up”
Do “chair push-up” in sitting by lifting bottom off floor or chair, holding self up with arms
Weight-bearing through arms via wheelbarrow walk, crabwalk, bearwalk, etc.
Ride a bike up hills (pedal against resistance)
Pushing or pulling heavy furniture; putting chairs on desks & taking down
Climbing playground equipment; crossing monkey bars
Carrying a stack of books, laundry, groceries, or something else approx. 5% of body weight
Drinking grapefruit, cranberry or other tart juice – try partially freezing it
Popsicles or frozen grapes or orange sections. Try frozen pickle chunks!
Pretzels, carrots, apples, granola, and other crunchy foods
Drinking through a long, thin straw, or reg. straw w/thick liquids (stimulates deeper breathing)
Blowing bubbles, whistle or other blown instrument (harmonica)
Move cotton balls by blowing through a straw (race cotton balls or play “soccer” on table)
Play with “fidget toy” for hands, such as small koosh ball
Dancing to rock, jazz, rap, or fast kids music
Cold shower or cold water on face or arms
Strobe light effects, fireworks, sometimes computer or video games or T.V.
Brightly lit room (full spectrum or natural light)
Walls decorated with bright, contrasting colors
Safe crashing: jump or fall into pile of pillows or mats; pillow fighting

 

Typically calming activities to “slow down” engines
In general:

  • slow, steady, rhythmic, repeated, predictable input
  • slow and rhythmic music
  • firm, steady, pressure touch or squeezing (think massage or a big hug)
  • using muscles for “heavy work” (see note above under alerting activities)
  • bland or sweet-tasting flavors
  • slow-moving, dim, deep-colors for visuals
  • neutral warmth
  • slow linear movements forward-and-back or head-to-toe

Activities and Strategies:

Rhythmic bouncing on a hippety-hop ball or seated on therapy ball
Steady, slow forward/back movement on swing or rocking chair
Rocking horse or see-saw; pushing off hard with legs
Listening to classical music, steady drums, or nature sounds (water, birds, waves)
Jumping on a trampoline, doing jumping jacks, or jumping rope
Riding a bike up hills (pedaling against resistance)
Pushing or pulling heavy furniture; putting chairs on desks & taking down
Carrying a stack of books, laundry, groceries, or something else approx. 5% of body weight
Carry backpack or “fanny pack” with some weight to it (not more than 5% of body weight)
Push on wall as if to move wall
Lean on desk for “desk push-up”
Hold self above chair seat, weight-bearing through arms, hands to side of seat for “chair push-up”
Weight-bearing through arms via wheelbarrow walk, crabwalk, bearwalk, etc.
Isometrics: push hands together, hook hands and pull apart, push knee against hand, etc.
Tug’o’war, “indian wrestling,” push’o’war back to back
Push with feet against something (push’o’war with a pillow between 2 peoples’ feet, no shoes)
Push or pull open and hold open heavy doors
Erase or wash chalkboards
Look at fish tank, snow globes, lava lamp, campfire, or other slow-moving visual
Dimly lit room, and sparsely-decorated walls (“cool” colors)
Eat chewy foods (send fruit roll-ups, bagels, dried fruit, cheese, gummy candy with lunch)
Chew on Chewy Tubes or Chewelry (avail. in some catalogs) or Theratubing
Wear spandex clothing, like bike shorts or long underwear (can wear either under regular clothes)
While in circle time or listening in seat, hold a lap weight (such as a large beanbag animal)
Use a heavy/weighted blanket; read or work lying on floor with pillows stacked on top
Wrap or roll-up in blanket or rug
Crawl through a tunnel of about 3 yards of 18” cotton T-shirt ribbing (avail in fabric stores)
Have an adult roll a therapy ball over body while lying on mat or rug
Squeeze stress ball or other resistive “fidget toy” (putty, beeswax, art erasers)
Put hands into container of beans or rice
Inflatable seat cushion (Move’n’sit or camping pillow) or sit on therapy ball for listening times
Safe crashing: jump or fall into pile of pillows or mats; pillow fighting

Anger management tools

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Anger – Article

“Anger is the deepest form of compassion,” poet and philosopher David Whyte wrote in reclaiming the unseen dimensions of everyday words. “The internal living flame of anger always illuminates what we belong to, what we wish to protect and what we are willing to hazard ourselves for.” Anyone who has ever flared with anger at a loved one has brushed with this strange dissonance and knows it to be true on a most primal level. And yet we continue to judge — and especially to self-judge — only one side of anger, its destructive face, neglecting its paradoxical but profound constructive function as a mobilizing agent for our values. Source

Grades K-5

Counseling Blog with a lot of coping strategies for anger                        

(Click this site it has awesome resources)

Zones of Regulation is a Great system to integrate into your classroom. (Paid for Materials) (Free share materials) (Tablet APP)

Therapy worksheets related to Anger for Children

Visuals for the classroom(K-1)  Solution KIT

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Tucker Turtle Takes Time to Tuck and Think Slide Show , PPT

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Angry Bird Lessons

Angry Bird Posters

Angry Bird Student Book

Grades 6-12

PSYCHOLOGY TOOLS COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT) WORKSHEETS FOR ANGER MANAGEMENT

Therapy worksheets related to Anger

Anger Worksheets

ANGER MANAGEMENT WORKBOOK

Anger Mapping- UNDERSTANDING AND REDUCING ANGRY FEELINGS

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Scaling is a good strategy to help with perspective taking.

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Schools winding down for the year

If Kids Ruled the School ms

As the end of the school year approaches, many children and teachers are counting down to vacation. The activities and lesson plans in this collection will help you celebrate what you’ve all learned together and ease the anxiety of the transition to summer. Source

Articles for Teachers:

Let It Marinate: The Importance of Reflection and Closing

Scholastic collection of articles*Comprehensive source

Top 12 Effective End of the Year Activities

The Teacher Report: Fun End-of-Year Assignments

It’s Quittin’ Time!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Articles for Parents:

Get Ready for Summer! Ideas for Teachers to Share with Families

Summer Enrichment or Just Hanging Out?

Parenting over Summer Break: Keeping Kids Learning, Healthy, and Out of Trouble

Summer Learning Tips for Parents

RESEARCH SHOWS VACATIONS MAKE KIDS SMARTER-Study Shows Link to Academic Achievement in First Graders

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Summer facts

To succeed in school and life, children and young adults need ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential skills. This is especially true during the summer months.

Many Americans have a wonderful image of summer as a carefree, happy time when “kids can be kids,” and take for granted the prospect of enriching experiences such as summer camps, time with family, and trips to museums, parks, and libraries.

Unfortunately, some youth face anything but idyllic summer months. When the school doors close, many children struggle to access educational opportunities, as well as basic needs such as healthy meals and adequate adult supervision.

Did You Know?

  • All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer (White, 1906; Heyns, 1978; Entwisle & Alexander 1992; Cooper, 1996; Downey et al, 2004).

  • Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains (Cooper, 1996).

  • More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college (Alexander et al, 2007).

  • Children lose more than academic knowledge over the summer. Most children—particularly children at high risk of obesity—gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school during summer break (Von Hippel et al, 2007).

  • Parents consistently cite summer as the most difficult time to ensure that their children have productive things to do (Duffett et al, 2004).

    Source

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Thoughts for the future in school districts-

Article-

SUMMER LEARNING LOSS: WHY ITS EFFECT IS STRONGEST AMONG LOW-INCOME STUDENTS AND HOW IT CAN BE COMBATED

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Behavioral practice

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Every kid has a point in time when they need either their parents and/ or teachers to support them with learning new behavioral skills.

Practical Practice Ideas for developing a variety of social emotional skills.

Taking Turns and Being Patient

Please take a moment and practice these skills at school and at home by:

  • Playing a Game
  • Reminding me to wait my turn
  • Asking me what
  •  I can do while I wait for my turn

 

Having rules and Following rules

Please take a moment and practice these skills at school and at home by:

  • Asking your student why rules are important
  • By playing a game with rules
  • By creating new rules

 

Feelings and Emotions

Please take a moment and practice these skills at school and at home by:

  • Asking your student to name as many feelings as they can
  • Encourage your student to verbally name their feelings
  • Verbally expressing your feelings as the parent/teacher
  • Asking your student to identify the feelings of others in a story or on television
  • Have your student show you what different emotions look like

 

Using “I” statements

Please take a moment and practice this skill at school and at home by:

  • Having you student use “I” statements throughout the week (e.g. “I feel…”, “I want…”, “I think…”)
  • Ask student why it is important to use “I” statements
  • Ask student in what setting they should use “I” statements

 

Anger

Please take a moment and practice recognizing Anger at school and at home by:

  • Asking what your students body look like when they are Angry.
  • Ask your student to explain the Grouchometer
  • Ask your student where they are on the Grouchometer throughout the week

 

Words and there meanings

Please take a moment and practice these skills at school and at home by:

  • Asking your student what kind of messages words send.
  • Ask your student to give examples of “Nice” words
  • Ask student why people may say “Not Nice” words

 

Anger

  • Asking what your students what they should do when angry
  • Ask your student to explain things that may be triggers for Anger
  • Ask your student what they can say if they are Angry
  • Practice “Stop and Think” to calm down

 

Teasing

  • Ask your student, “What does teasing look like?”
  • Ask your student what are their options for dealing with teasing (ignore, agree, tell adult, ask, “Why did you say that?” Say, “I want you to stop”).
  • Role-play situations and ask your student what they would say or do in these situations.

 

Consequences

  • Recognizing that there may be both positive and negative consequences.
  • Have your student list positive and negative consequences throughout the week.
  • Role-play scenarios and have your student state appropriate consequences.
  • Play a board game that has consequences

 

Problem-Solving

  • Role-play disagreements and ask “what does each person need?”
  • Have students consider consequences
  • Have your student make the best choice or make a plan to help with problem solving.
  • Reflect on whether or not the plan worked

Other Resources:

Vanderbilt CSEFEL- Practical Strategies for Teachers/Caregivers

“You Got It!” Teaching Social and Emotional Skills

Fostering Social and Emotional Skills Development in Early Childhood – PPT

Resilience Booster: Parent Tip Tool – APA resource

 

Home School Communication

Parents teacher meeting

Home school communication a great tool in working with challenging behavior. Parents often hold the keys to change.

Here are some examples:

Look at examples on pages 35-37

Principles and examples of home school communication from PENT: here

More examples of blank templates: here and here

Articles:

11 Rules for Better Parent-Teacher Teamwork

Sharing Data to Create Stronger Parent Partnerships

Visually readable progress reports

Simple:

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Source

To more involved:

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Daily Behavior Report Cards (DBRC)

Ongoing communication between home and school is an important component to behavior plans. DBRCs can be a very easy, efficient and helpful way of motivating students as well as informally monitoring behavioral improvement with intervention. Teacher behavior report cards can be designed to accomplish the following:

  •  Point out to the students behaviors that they need to learn (skill deficit).
  •  Provide a schedule of teacher attention/feedback for positive behaviors.
  •  Motivate students through reinforcing positive behavior that teachers want to increase, and providing consequences (e.g., a sad face) for negative behaviors they want to decrease.
  •  Increase home-school communication (increase accountability with additional opportunities for positive or negative consequences for behavior).
  •  Evaluate whether the intervention is working or not when used with other measures.

Source

Top Five Reasons to Engage Parents

1. Decades of research show when parents are involved students have:

  • – Higher grades, test scores, and graduation rates
  • – Better school attendance – Increased motivation, better self-esteem
  • – Lower rates of suspension
  • – Decreased use of drugs and alcohol
  • – Fewer instances of violent behavior

National Parent Teacher Association

2. Family participation in education is twice as predictive of students’ academic success as family socioeconomic status. Some of the more intensive programs had effects that were 10 times greater than other factors. Walberg (1984) in his review of 29 studies of school–parent programs.

3. School Benefits:

  • – Improves teacher morale
  • – Higher ratings of teachers by parents
  • – More support from families
  • – Higher student achievement
  • – Better reputations in the community

A New Generation of Evidence: The Family is Critical to Student Achievement, edited by Anne T. Henderson and Nancy Berla, Center for Law and Education, Washington, D.C., 1994 (third printing, 1996)

4. Parent involvement leads to feelings of ownership, resulting in increased support of schools. Davies, Don. (1988). Low Income Parents and the Schools: A Research Report and a Plan for Action. Equity and Choice 4,3 (Spring): 51-57. EJ 374 512.

5. Parents express a genuine and deep-seated desire to help their children succeed academically, regardless of differences in socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, and cultural background. Mapp (1999)

Source

 

 

Classroom Behavior – Big Ideas

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Classroom Behavior is a big topic, but I think that it is one that needs to be reflected upon even if your classroom is running well.

Big reads

Classroom Management & Culture

Case Studies in Educational Psychology  by John W. Santrock

Starting Small Teaching Tolerance in Preschool and the Early Grades

Great PowerPoints

Teaching Expectations and Reinforcement Systems

 

Establishing and implementing classroom rules

Jones and Jones stated that effective, general rules in a classroom should pertain to (a) health and safety (e.g., “Walk in the classroom, hallways, cafeteria.”), (b) property loss and damage (e.g., “Respect others’ personal property and touch it only with the person’s permission.”), (c) legitimate educational purpose (e.g., “Be on time for class and with all assignments.”), and (d) disruption of the learning process (e.g., “Ask for permission to speak before saying anything in the classroom.”).4 The following are characteristics of good classroom rules regardless of teaching level:

The fewer, the better.
It is wise to keep the number of rules to a minimum. For primary-level students, three or four rules should suffice; for older adolescents, as many as five or six may be necessary. There are ways to cover many activities in a rule by composing it in a broad fashion. Instead of limiting the rule to only the classroom (e.g., “Walk at all times in the classroom.”), a broader rule could state, “Always walk in the classroom, hallways, and cafeteria.”).
Use simple language.
There is no need to write elaborate rules with complex language. Just be direct and simple (e.g., “Raise your hand and wait for the teacher to call on you before speaking.”). If anything, direct, simple language allows for students to remember the rules more easily.
Use a positive voice.
If at all possible, write the rules in a positive format and tone. Try to avoid, “You shall not talk in the classroom without teacher permission,” by stating the same rule as, “Ask for permission to speak before saying anything in the classroom.”
Special context, special rules.
Different rules can be used for special situations and learning stations in the same classroom environment. Rules for using computers in a classroom (e.g., “Always use headphones when listening to music on the computer.”) can be made very specific to that activity and station only.
Create an effective display.
Rules need to be prominently displayed in the classroom or in a special activity area. When students are first learning the rules in the beginning of the school term they need to be bombarded and reminded of them as much as possible. Put them on a bulletin board, duplicate them on the classroom whiteboard, write them on a handout to distribute to class members, and place them in special activity areas (e.g., computer stations). I once witnessed a teacher hanging each classroom rule from the ceiling on both sides of long poster board for all to see in any section of the room. (Now that’s displaying them prominently!)