Social Emotional Learning tool: How big is your problem?
Some problems are really big, however most problems at school are little and can be fixed quickly. The zones of regulation size of the problem concept teaches children to consider the size of their problem in contrast to the size of their reaction.
After a discussion on the zones of regulation size of the problem concept, school counsellors and teachers can use this visual poster to help guide children with problem solving, offer problem solving ideas in your clam down zone and offer two worksheets for children to complete. These activities are great for group work and discussion relating to problem solving, emotional regulation and stop/think/respond.
This Zones of Regulation ‘thinking tool’ helps children evaluate how big and small problems are. The traffic light Poster offers a good visual in a classroom environment that guide children in problem solving. The poster reminds children to stop and consider how big the problem is, set some goals, think through it and work out some solutions.
This can also be used as an emotional regulation tool. When children are not in the green zone, they can be prompted to read the poster and consider being out of zone as something they need to stop and think through to decide on an emotional regulation tool that can provide a solution to get back in the green.
There are two activities addressing the size of a problem.
1. One asks children to cut out problems, identify which level of severity they are and glue them next to the coloured arrow. They then match an appropriate solution and glue it on. This allows children to reflect on different levels of problems and teaches many problem solving options.
2. The second is individualised so children can write in their own problem and identify which level they feel it is. They can then glue in an emoticon face of how they felt or reacted and reflect on whether their problem is in the correct level and whether their reaction matched the level.
Problem Solving Palm cards:
The problem solving cards can be cut out and used in a calm space, or zones of regulation corner. They offer children ideas to regulate their emotions and reaction when needing to solve a problem. They incorporate the size of the problem and can help children who struggle to self-regulate alone by giving them solutions to calm themselves.