As an adult, we know it can be hard at times to understand our emotions and even display them in healthy ways. Therefore, we can only expect that our students are dealing with all of the same emotions and feelings we experience as adults, but they have much less experience and knowledge on how to handle them! It’s important that we directly teach students self-management skills. Through teaching self-management, students can identify and regulate their emotions, manage stress, set goals, and maintain organization.
If you want to begin working on self-management skills with students, here is the scope and sequence I use with my students.
I begin on week one with identifying emotions. I talk with students about how emotions can be complex and sometimes we may experience more than one emotion at a time. We talk about how to identify the emotions you are feeling. Next, we talk about behavior with emotions. I make it clear to students that it is okay to have “negative” emotions, but it’s what we do with those emotions that is important. Lastly, we review a few calm down strategies. We talk about when these strategies could be used and why they are helpful. I model the different strategies for students and then students practice the techniques as well.
During this week, we talk all about stress. To begin, we identify what stress looks like. We identify the body signals that we are feeling stressed and the emotional signs as well. I also like to have students identify one or two things they know makes them feel stressed, such as a test or getting in trouble at home. Next, we discuss how to handle stress. It’s important to note with students that stress is a natural part of life, so it’s okay to feel stress. However, we want to handle it in a healthy way. We review a couple techniques on how to handle stress, and students practice these techniques.
In week three, we focus on creating goals. I first start by asking students why it is important to set goals. Then, we discuss specific things we could set goals for, such as making a certain grade in a class or cleaning their room each week. Students then create a goal for both home and school. Lastly, we talk about how to stay motivated to work towards our goal and the power of making a goal achievable. I explain to students the importance of setting small, reachable goals, and then creating a bigger goal!
In our final week, we focus on organizations. I like to start by giving students practical ideas for organizing their school space and supplies. I actually give my students time to begin that organization right then and there, and then we talk about how that organization will help us in the classroom. Then, we discuss bedroom organization. I provide the students with tips for organizing their room and challenge them to make changes. Lastly, we talk about daily routines, specifically morning and nighttime. We have a discussion about how routines help our bodies prepare for the day or bedtime, and how a good routine can help us take care of our bodies and manage our time.
Not sure where to start with teaching self-management? Don’t have the time to create the lessons? I have 20 detailed lesson plans over self-management. This includes the introduction, the discussion points, a daily activity, and a conclusion. This resource also comes with a journal and toolbox where students can store the techniques they learn through the unit, and work through the thoughts and emotions that come up as you work through self-management. You can check it out HERE!
You may also want to check out my blog posts about Morning Meetings! Check them out here!