Zones of Regulation
Managing our feelings and emotions, or self-regulation, is an important skill in life to deal with the specific situations we encounter on a daily basis. Self-regulation is defined as the best state of alertness of both the body and emotions for the specific situation. For example, when a student plays on the playground or in a competitive game, it is beneficial to have a higher state of alertness. However, the same state would not be appropriate in the library.
At each year level the Zones of Regulation curriculum is taught. This is a series of lessons and learning activities designed to help students recognise when they are in different zones determined by their feelings or state as well as learn how to use strategies to change or stay in the zone they are in.
The Four Zones
The Red Zone is used to describe extremely heightened states of alertness and intense emotions. A person may be elated or experiencing anger, rage, devastation, or terror when in the Red Zone.
The Yellow Zone is also used to describe a heightened state of alertness and elevated emotions, however one has more control when they are in the Yellow Zone. A person may be experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, the wiggles, or nervousness when in the Yellow Zone.
The Green Zone is used to describe a calm state of alertness. A person may be described as happy, focused, content, or ready to learn when in the Green Zone. This is the zone where optimal learning occurs.
The Blue Zone is used to describe low states of alertness and down feelings such as when one feels sad, tired, sick, or bored.
In addition to addressing self-regulation, students gain an increased vocabulary of emotional terms, skills in reading other people’s facial expressions, perspective about how others see and react to their behaviour, insight into events that trigger their behaviour, calming and alerting strategies, and problem solving skills.