Monday, 22 May 2017

Barriers to Self-Regulation

Since we know that supporting adults and students with self-regulation is so important, we were asked in our course this week to think about 'what are the barriers to supporting others in developing their understanding of self-regulation?'


Barriers:
I think one of the big barriers to developing others' understanding of Recognizing Stressors in The Shanker Method is the self-control paradigm and all of its accompanying beliefs and practices.  If a child is disruptive in class, and someone (the VP, the support worker, whomever) comes and helps the child by using the steps of self-regulation, this is sometimes upsetting or disappointing to the teacher who is firmly entrenched in the self-control paradigm.  It's not enough that the disruptive behaviour has stopped and that the child (and the classmates) can now learn.  There needs to be a consequence!  He/She must be punished!  It's not about digging deep to find the stressors causing the problem and then reducing them so the child can be calm and ready to learn. It's about applying the rules.  
In addition, if I am a teacher moving from self-control to self-regulation as a way of looking at classroom behaviours, then that is going to have a huge impact on my practice.  In the self-control paradigm, as the teacher I may have a role to play in terms of creating a behaviour plan and handing out rewards or consequences, but the majority of the work for changing the behaviour rests with the student.  If it's a self-regulation paradigm, that changes my work as a teacher.  I need to be a stress detective, and then when the stressors are identified, I need to be part of the solution of reducing those stressors.  If the child is stressed by all the visual clutter in the room, and the bright lights and noise, then I need to make changes, not the child.   
Another barrier is the confusion around 'what is self-reg?.'  There are so many different ideas about what is self-reg and so many different resources that teachers may feel overwhelmed or may look for a product with flashcards and posters rather than learning the Shanker method of five steps.
Other barriers that were mentioned included the disregulation of the staff, especially now at this busy end of the year time.  This disregulation doesn't allow them to reframe student behaviour. When they are feeling tired and overwhelmed, they fall back on what they know - behaviour management and control. 
Time is also a barrier - so much curriculum to cover; no time to stop and reframe, recognize, and reduce stressors for disruptive students. 
What barriers have you noticed?
The Summer Symposium this year, on July 4 - 7 at Trent University in Peterborough, is about "Bringing Down Barriers." After analyzing all the feedback about barriers our Self-Reggers have come across along their Self-Reg journey, MEHRIT centre staff identified 10 key areas which are critical for understanding Self-Reg and moving beyond some of the barriers regularly experienced when embarking on a Self-Reg journey. As well, the final day will be focused on bringing energy to your self-reg initiatives. 



Next post, we'll look at creating opportunities to support educators and parents in developing their understanding of self-reg.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Recognizing Stressors - A Beginning

In our self-reg course, we are beginning to learn more about recognizing stressors in all five domains. We are becoming stress detectives. I've created this popplet to use when charting my learning about recognizing stressors and will add to it as my knowledge and understanding grows. Using mind maps and other graphic organizers is a new strategy for me as a learner, even though I often used them with my students. I'm excited to see how this strategy will support my thinking.






A related post I wrote about exploring mind map software: Exploring MindMaps

Saturday, 29 April 2017

ETFO Kindergarten Conference - April 2017

Two days of amazing learning at the ETFO Early Years Conference: Seeing, Engaging and Empowering our Kindergarten Learners are summed up in this Storify:

Friday, 28 April 2017

Self-regulation and Lying

As a mom, I found it really hard to not respond from my limbic system when my kids would lie.  I think it was the value that I attached to truthfulness made lying an especially frustrating and stressful behaviour for me to deal with.  So the idea of lying as a stress behaviour and not misbehaviour was challenging for me. Viewing lying as a maladaptive coping strategy helps me to reframe this behaviour though soft eyes instead of judgemental eyes.  
Lying can start of as misbehaviour but when pushed and pushed to tell the truth, people can confabulate as a stress behaviour. I was always puzzled when kids or even teens and adults are caught in a lie and yet they stick to it steadfastly.  I can see where the stress of lying could push some people from misbehaviour to stress behaviour. When we respond limbically to children who lie, it only increases the stress for the child and the adult. Instead we need to reduce the stress in order to bring the child's Prefrontal Cortex back online.
I'm still curious and want to learn more about lying as a maladaptive behaviour and how we can promote children's moral growth and truthfulness.  
Here is a resource you might want to explore if you are interested in this topic:



Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Resources for Poetry Month (April)

"Poems are a form of music, and language just happens to be our instrument - language and breath." Terrance Hayes, 2017



So you might ask, "What's the big deal? Why is poetry so important?" Poetry is essential for children because it is 'the best words in the best order.'  The rhythm and rhymes can help children develop a love of language - and a love of reading. Once kids begin flexing their writing muscles, poetry can spark their creativity and let their imaginations soar! 
 J. Patrick Lewis, US Poet Laureate

Poetry can be a powerful tool for writers and readers.  Writers who are reluctant to tackle a larger piece may find a short poem a less intimidating task.  The structure of some poems such as haiku, cinquain, and others provide scaffolds for emerging creative writers.  Reluctant readers may be engaged by the wordplay, rhythm and rhyme of poetry.  Here are some poetry resources you may find helpful for you and your students:

There are lots of amazing lesson plans at ReadWriteThink.org  Here are just a few:

Writing Poetry with Rebus and Rhyme Kindergarten to Grade 2
Composing and performing found poetry - K to Grade 2
Today is World Poetry Day Grades 3 - 12
Weaving the Threads - Integrating Poetry Annotation and Web Technology - Grades 6 - 12
Lonely as a Cloud: Using Poetry to understand similes - Grades 4 - 8

Lesson Plans using Interactive Tools
Theme Poems Using the Five Sense - Grades K - 2
Acrostic Poems - a range of lesson plans from K - 12 using an online acrostic poem tool
Diamante Poems - a range of lesson plans from K - 12 using an online diamante poem tool
Haiku Starter - Grades 2 - 5

Scholastic Poetry Resources 

Education World - comprehensive list of Poetry Month resources

Edutopia - another comprehensive list of poetry resources

Poems & Poets at Poets.org - a searchable database of over 7,000 poems

Research:

Research Into Practice: Performing Poetry: Using Drama to Increase the Comprehension of Poetry 

Research Into Practice: Poetry: A Powerful Medium for Literacy and Technology Development


Ten Poems for Teachers 



Thursday, 13 April 2017

Self-Regulation and Schools

Here's a look at a twitter chat with educators about Self-Regulation in Schools, moderated by the MEHRIT Centre. The next one is May 10 at 7:30 - join us at #TMCTalks. EST.:





Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Five Misconceptions about Self-Regulation

A short video blog on Five Common Misconceptions about Self-Regulation

5. It's  about stuff - exercise bikes, glitter bottles, etc

4. It's only for kids with formal identification such as ADHD, ADD, ODD

3. It's just for kids

2. We do self-regulation as a whole class

1. It's about controlling your behaviour and your emotions





View the video on youtube at https://youtu.be/XHE1pBdOO9I

(Please excuse some of my editing errors - I'll do better next time!)