Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Feelings Journal: Working Through Mads, Sads, Scareds...

...whines, impatient rumbles, caustic sibling spats...and every other feeling that just might cause the nearest adult to walk out the front door to "check the mail" 47 times in a single morning sigh.

Have you ever heard anything like this in your house? Or classroom (at home or at school)?
"I don't want to!"

[whining] "I want somebody to play with."

[angry] "He touched me!"

[impatient] "Aren't you ready YET??"

"It's MY turn! NOW!"

"Why do we have to do - eat - look at - touch - listen to - clean THAT?"

I have. So I created a new tool. Whenever I hear my kids express a big (negative) feeling, I give them an opportunity to develop their social/emotional skills. Here's how it works...

Each child has a "Feelings Journal." When I hear something break erupt, I ask them to record the feeling they are presently having, how strong the feeling is, and the cause of the feeling. Then, they look at a list of activities that have the potential to turn the feeling around. (Turn that frown upside down?!) They select one activity. Afterward, they return to the journal and reevaluate their original feeling, giving it a new number.

This is an AWESOME tool!

Within a matter of minutes, children go from whiny, mad, impatient, irritable, or scared to happy. It's delightful to see them begin to realize that they are in control of their feelings. Some recent examples:

Child #1 says, "You didn't get my paper ready!" I say, "Sounds like you have some strong feelings. Why don't you take a moment and write about it in your feelings journal?" The child says he is "impatient" and an "8" on a score of 1 (low) to 10 (high.) He decides to go pet the cat to feel better. When he returns, his feelings number is now a 2! (And for the record, the paper WAS ready!)

Child #2 whines, "I want to go to Matt's house."  (He writes, "I dot Get to Go to Matts Hoas") He gives the feeling a 7. Looking at the list, he can't decide what to do, so I suggest he take a walk outside to dump the compost. He agrees. When he comes back he gives the feeling a 1.

This could be used at home or school...anywhere that children have the opportunity to stop what they are doing for a few minutes* and change gears/activities long enough to recognize and process their current feelings. At home, it'd be a great thing to start during summer break!

*School note: the list of activities include movement. The document specifies that the child needs to get teacher approval before doing an activity. If the list is not well-suited to your situation, a sheet is included to develop your own classroom list of 10 activities. 

This pack, appropriate for K-6th grade, comes with:
  • Feelings Journal Cover (3 options: boys, girls, mixed boy/girl)
  • "Things I Could Do To Change My Mood" list (3 options: home, school, child-created)
  • Journal Page (options: independent reader, early reader with pictures which include boy, girl, or mixed boy & girl graphics)
  • Feelings Booklist
  • Feelings Book Basket Labels 
Here's hoping that this helps all your little sweeties (at home and at school) to develop social/emotional skills that will make it easier for you to parent and to teach. (And not feel the need to "check the mail" 47 times in one morning!) Thank you in advance to those who take the time to leave feedback in my store; when you leave feedback, TPT allows you to earn credit toward future purchases. Also, if you become a store follower--and I hope you do!--you will receive an automatic notification when I update this product. Again, thank you!

Go to:

Teachers Pay Teachers

Teachers Notebook

Graphics in the pack are from My Cute Graphics. (And who couldn't help but feel better after looking at such cute pictures!)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for leaving me a message. I love comments almost as much as I love chocolate! And I do LOVE chocolate. :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Blogging tips