One of the best ways we have found to introduce emotions is have a basic self regulation "check in" for our sign in routine every morning. Our days is structured that we go outside for the first 40 minutes after announcements, attendance and the national anthem. When we come inside the children have a couple jobs. They hang up their coats, get their mail bags and then they sign in for how they are feeling at that moment in time.
Throughout the day the kids can come back and move their picture to its appropriate location. It is fascinating to watch them check in as they realize that their emotions are changing throughout the day. Many of the kids will come and visit several times per day as they are learning.
Right now we are at the beginning of the school year and students are only able to choose between three different emotions: happy, worried and sad.
As the year progresses we change and eventually add more emotions as we teach them to the students. We will then teach them more strategies to help them deal with their emotions in age appropriate ways.
How we set this up?
In order to create the barriers between the three options we use electrical tape as it easily is removed from magnetic white boards.
The photos we use are the smallest size we can print in a collage at our local grocery store (9 images on a 4*6 sheet).
Magnetic Photo Options:
* Photo sleeves cut to fit the size of the photos you are using and taped along the edges. (Dollar Store find)
* Photos attached to juice lids and the magnets are hot glued on the back. Then attach sticky tack to ensure that it lasts. This option is nice as the photos are small enough that you can add names below with permanent marker for name recognition. (Ask for donations from parents)
* Full magnetic sheets which a photo can be attached to and then cut out. (Dollar Store find)
I've used all three options in the past. This year I am using the magnetic sheets as it was the cheapest option from the Dollar store and I didn't have enough juice lids! I'm hoping that they last for the full year. The sleeves work great but over time can get very dirty as it collects dirt.