Zones of Regulation

At G. W. Smith we use the Zones of Regulation to talk about how to regulate or control our own behaviour:

  • When you are in the Blue Zone your body is running slow (tired, sad, etc.).

  • When you are in the Green Zone you are “good to go”. You may feel happy, calm and focused.

  • When you are in the Yellow Zone you are starting to lose control (frustrated, silly, anxious, etc.). You need to slow down and proceed with caution.

  • When you are in the Red Zone you are out of control (uncontrolled anger, terror, elation, etc.). If you are in the Red Zone you will not make good decisions and you need to STOP!

We use the terms “expected” and “unexpected” to talk about behaviours. Expected behaviour is specific to the activity. Expected behaviour during quiet reading looks different than expected behaviour on the playground.

When you behave in an unexpected way (yelling, name calling, being grumpy, running around the room, etc.) it changes the way other people feel. It makes people anxious, uncertain, frustrated, angry etc. They may start to have uncomfortable thoughts about you and think you are not fun, safe or easy to play or work with.

Each student should be able to identify some tools or strategies they can use to either calm down (if they are in the yellow zone) or become more alert (if they are in the blue zone). They might take deep breaths, use a fidget, stretch, listen to music, go for a walk, etc.