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~ Kathy M.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Tucker the Turtle Helps Children with Self-Regulation of Emotions:

Hi!  I posted this on my Comfort and Joy Childcare blog this morning and decided to also put it on here just in case you guys might enjoy it. 

"Tucker the Turtle Helps Children 
with Self-Regulation of Emotions"

Now back in the classroom after eight years out of it,  I have been busy learning about what is new since I left.  I spent the first weekend in May attending at NAEYC convention in Bend, Oregon and received a kick-start on teaching tools and ideas.
Tucker the Turtle is a big deal right now, teaching children how to stop before reacting by taking three deep breaths, going into their shell, and thinking of options other than lashing out at their friends.  Once thinking of another option, the kids learn to ask themselves, "Is it kind?  Is it safe?  How will it make other people feel?"
 



I went online to find out more, made myself a notebook by printing off what I found.  I also went to the local toy store and bought some turtles, and then assembled a basket that is all ready to use during circle time.





These guys are adorable, and are easy to find right now.  I named the big one Tucker, the little one Teri and the one in his shell Timmy.  You can also find a turtle hand-puppet to use instead, as the woman in the video below did.

Here is one example of a lesson plan that you can use if you want to: 

Source: University of Wisconsin, 4K Leaps


I tried this for the first time with three kids yesterday.  They were very receptive.  My group consisted of a 2 1/2 year-old, a 3 1/2 year-old and a 5 year-old.  First, we practiced our deep breathing technique.  I used an artificial flower and an unlit candle.  All you do is smell the flower and then blow out the candle.  Easy-peasy, for the older two.  The little one tried her best to smell the flower, but she kept blowing on it instead.  Sometimes I still forget how the easiest things to me might be the hardest ones for somebody else.


We practiced three deep breaths, curling into a ball, thinking of an option that wouldn't hurt anybody, and then re-read the story.  We also have a poster on our circle time board that shows a variety of options:


1.  Play together

2. Share

3. Say, "Please stop."

4. Ignore

5. Get a timer.

6. Trade

7. Wait and take turns.

8. Ask nicely.

9. Say, "Please."

10. Get a teacher.   

Here is a YouTube video that gives more ideas on how to teach the turtle technique: 






I hope that this helps! ~ Kathy Matthews

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1 comment:

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Wow! I love the turtle idea--going into the shell to consider options before acting. Adults need to do the same. :)

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