Self-ManagementPrimary 1 (PreK–K)
Activity 1: My Calm Down Kit
Objective: Students will be able to learn ways to manage their emotions.
Estimated Duration: 15 minutes
Description: Big feelings happen and when they do, it’s important for children to learn how to control emotions and impulsive reactions. Teaching children how to keep their cool by using coping strategies will not only help them at school, but throughout life too.
Before students begin this activity, ask them how they act when they are mad or frustrated. Talk to them about what happens to their bodies when big feelings hit. Ask them to share ways to calm down. If time permits, practice some of the strategies from their portfolios.
This activity will help students pick strategies to use when they are feeling out of control. They will check off strategies they feel could help them when big feelings happen. Students can think of these strategies as a calm down kit.
Teachable Moments: There are many ways you can help students have self-control:
- Have frequent reminders of rules; especially before difficult tasks (e.g., raise your hand and wait to be called on before you answer the question).
- Play games that practice self-control.
- Be a role model for managing emotions. Tell children how you are feeling and how you will calm down (e.g., taking deep breaths, counting to ten, etc.).
- Validate children’s emotions and give them a safe space to express them (e.g., peace corner, picture drawing, coloring sheets, etc.).
Activity 2: I Can Move Mountains
Objective: Students will name and work toward achieving a personal goal.
Estimated Duration: 20 minutes
Description: Setting and achieving goals can be enormously powerful for students. By measuring and celebrating their achievements students can see what they have done over a period of time.
They can see what they can do if they put their minds to it. Seeing their results gives them reassurance that they can achieve higher goals in the future.
Before students come up with a goal, have them think of some things they do well. Then, have students think of things they would like to do better. They could use these ideas as their goal for the activity.
Make sure students are setting goals that are realistic. Setting small, achievable goals that can be done quickly will help them understand the process of setting and achieving goals. Once they grasp this concept, they can set even bigger goals.
This activity has students write down one goal and draw three ways to achieve the goal.
Teachable Moments: There are many ways you can help students set and achieve goals:
- Help students name clear and measurable goals.
- Help create a specific action plan for each goal.
- Have students visualize themselves accomplishing their goals.
- Have students reflect on their progress to see if they are on target for accomplishing their goals.
- Help students revise their action plans if needed.
Activity 3: Cool Courage
Objective: Students will be able to understand what it means to have courage.
Estimated Duration: 15 minutes
Description: Courage is using your heart to help you do the right thing even when it is not easy. When talking to children about courage, it is important to teach them that courage is not something magical that happens to make us not scared anymore. Instead, it is something that happens inside of us that helps us to push through and do the scary thing.
Before students begin this activity, ask them about courage. Give them examples of everyday situations that take courage (e.g., standing up to a bully, raising your hand, trying a new food, etc.).
This activity will allow students to express how to show courage. They will draw a picture of something scary and tell how courage can help them when they feel scared.
Teachable Moments: There are many ways you can encourage students to be courageous:
- Tell students it is ok to be scared. Help them overcome scary things by talking through solutions.
- Have students share things that are scary. Make a list and talk about ways to show courage.
- Read books that have characters who show courage in everyday situations.
- Ask students to try new things that might seem difficult. They could try new food, choose a new seat at lunch or in class, learn a new strategy, speak in front of the class, or stand up for a friend.
- Be the example. Communicate how you feel about trying something again even if you make a mistake.
Activity 4: I Am Ready to Learn
Objective: Students will learn planning and organizational skills.
Estimated Duration: 15 minutes
Description: Staying organized and knowing how to plan are important skills for students. These skills help students learn how to prioritize activities, set and achieve goals, and reduce stress. The ability to organize and plan can have a significant impact on a student's ability to succeed throughout their academic career. Therefore, it is important to help them learn these skills early in life.
Before students begin this activity, point out ways you have organized things in the classroom. Explain how each helps to make the classroom run smoothly throughout the day. Then, ask students to discuss ways they organize their things at their home.
This activity will help students learn how to use a checklist as they get ready to learn for the day.
Teachable Moments: There are many ways you can help students learn planning and organizational skills:
- Get students in the habit of using "to-do" lists.
- Help students sort and organize their assignments.
- Have students set a designated time and place to practice reading and math.
- Help students keep an organized backpack.
- Schedule cleaning time for students.
Foldable®: Action Moments
Estimated Duration: 25-30 minutes
- Cut along the outside solid black line of the two Time to Calm Down circles.
- Fold along the dotted line at the top of each circle to form a small anchor tab.
- Glue the folded tab on top of the gray space in the student book that says: Glue Counter Anchor Tab Here.
- Have students look at the numbers as they count to five.
- Show students how to use their finger to trace in the direction of the arrows on the counter.
- Now, have students trace around the arrows for 5 seconds and breathe in or breathe out at the same time.
- Under the counter tabs, have students draw examples of two times they needed to calm down.
- Encourage students to discuss what helps them calm down the most – counting, breathing, tracing, or combinations of these.
The teaching suggestions only work in accompaniment with the student portfolio, which has all the activity pages.
The teaching suggestions here are also available within a PDF of the entire teacher's manual.