Thursday, March 7, 2013

Growls and Grrr's

The other day my foster pup Seven tried to take away a ball from Brooklyn. They ended up growling at each other in an endless game of tug of war. Seven won, but only because Brooklyn fell asleep mid growl. This happens often and it always make me giggle to myself, because it's like watching two angry people yell at each other, get louder and louder without listening to the other person, and both ending up exhausted and defeated. I see this happen every day with my non furry friends. We get angry at kids for getting angry and not controlling it, we get angry at co-workers and instead of talking we avoid  or vent to another, we get angry at the people we love the most and we growl.

This lesson was for my first graders, and it was on what to do when you get angry.

First, we discussed what makes us angry and how we feel when we get angry.

Tucker Turtle Takes Time to Tuck and Think

Then, we discussed the Tucker Turtle Method, and how to tuck like a turtle when we get made. This program is from Vanderbilt and although it is very basic and simple (perfect for student with Autism) I love it for 1st grade for that reason.  We talk about places you can tuck at school and home. Sometimes they kids like to tuck in their shirts, but we also discuss how your shell can be your room, a special cool down spot in the room, etc.

Next, we practice the deep breathing. If you haven't seen this video yet you have to share it with your students. My kids watched it many times, the second time singing along and practicing the breath.

After we practice I had the kids make their own step by step Tucker Turtle Method folder.

The kids cut and pasted the steps in order in a folder cut into three strips. (The same folders I use to help kids chunk.) Then they wrote they steps beneath.

One great teacher really got on board with this lesson and we worked together to create a cool down spot in her room. She didn't have room for a huge area, but she did have one extra desk so we made that the official "Cook Down Spot."
Since her classroom also has a dog theme (can you tell why I love her) I created doggie specific items for the cool down spot. 

Top of the desk.

Cool Down Activity- made with color paw prints. 

Paws- Cool down steps listed on the desk.

A puppy version of the tucker turtle folder. 

Peacemaker Book

Here is how the class is using the cool down method. If a student gets upset they can quietly go the spot and calm down until they are ready to return to the activity. Students can do this on their own (ideally they are in charge of managing their emotions), but teachers can also cue saying "I am upset, I need to go to my cool down spot."

So far the teacher has seen great success in her room!

In a few classes we had a few extra minutes so we read "Crabby Pants." At the end of the story the cat is still crabby so I like the kids to imagine that they could write one last page and ask "If you were the author what would you write? What could you teach him about what to do when he is crabby?"

Here are some other books I like:

I love this series. 

Find more anger reducing activities on my Pinterest Page!

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