As a School Psychologist, 70%…I mean 90% of my counseling case load is students with BEHAVIORS!!! If you are a school counselor or psychologist, I’m guessing that your numbers are high as well. Sure, I have coping skills, social skills, and self-esteem counseling groups. But, the students that take up most of my time and that require a variety of “tools” are always the ones with behaviors. These include students with poor emotional regulation, impulse control, anger management, and aggression.
As a School Psychologist for the past 15 years, I have helped teachers work with students with a wide range of behavioral concerns. While each student requires a personalized approach for targeting their specific behaviors and needs, there are several “tools”, or types of counseling activities, that I use when counseling the majority of these students. Here is a quick summary of those tools and which types of students I may use them for.
If you’d like to learn more about why students have behaviors, please check out my post, 5 Reasons Why Students have BEHAVIORS in the Classroom!!!
Tools for Emotional Regulation
Emotion regulation is a term used to describe a person’s ability to effectively manage and respond
to an emotional experience. Students who have poor emotional regulation are often lacking in knowledge of strategies to use when they are experiencing a heightened emotion. They are often easily triggered and can spiral into behaviors that are disruptive, aggressive, and dangerous once their emotions are heightened by an experience.
This is particularly true if they have or perceive to have, a negative experience. I say, “perceive”, because a lot of the time it is their thoughts, not a negative experience that is the trigger for their emotions. This is good news actually because by teaching them that they have control of their thoughts, you can help decrease their behaviors.
Worksheets for the Size of Problems Tools
This topic has been the focus of much of my counseling lately. Because my students have so many emotionally explosive responses to daily events, I created a few worksheets, games, and found some great videos to target this issue. The focus of these activities is to help them understand that when they don’t get their way, aren’t called on, or if they make a mistake, they do not have to have a BIG emotional response.
Click HERE if you’d like to check out this worksheet and videos activity for helping students think about the Size of Problems.
GAMES are an AMAZING TOOL as well!
Another activity for helping students learn about “The Size of Problems” is the Size of Problems BINGO Game.
In this game, you go through a quick lesson about thinking about the Size of Problems, and then have the students fill out a BINGO card as you go through the slides that ask if different scenarios are “Small, Medium, or Large.”
JENGA Counseling Games For Emotional Regulation
These 2 Games for Emotional Regulation can be played with a JENGA. Just number 1-30 and help your student work on thinking about the SIZE of Problems and Anger Management Skills in their counseling sessions. This is an easy and fun activity. Another similar activity is Anger Management UNO. If you’d like to check it out in my store, click HERE.
For Anger Management UNO, play the game as you normally would, but as students put their cards down, read the corresponding question or prompt related to anger management, such as practicing breathing techniques, using positive self-statements, and thinking about making safer choices when feelings of frustration or anger occur,
Anger Thermometer and Calming Helper Tool
This Anger Thermometer anger management tool is great for students to use as both a communication tool and a tool that helps them learn recognize their emotional status when they are experiencing elevated levels of frustration or emotion. This Worksheet-tool includes link to a YouTube video on understanding the size of emotions and strategies to use when feeling elevated emotions. It also includes a desk-top mini tool for them to have on their desks to easily refer to at any moment in the day.
The Thermometer has levels with descriptive words and pictures that match the video to help students identify their own emotions and self-regulation.
Provide this Calming Helper Tool to help support students with using coping skills in the classroom. It can be printed for one-time use, or laminated and used repetitively (with dry-erase marker) by students who experience anxiety during their day. Use with videos on square breathing technique and other coping skill instructional content.
Videos are great TOOLS!
Speaking of videos. Using videos in your counseling sessions or classroom SEL can be a great tool for working with students with behaviors. Here are three of the videos that I show my students with behaviors. I have a more comprehensive and organized list in my curriculum for students with poor Anger Management. In the curriculum, I organize the videos by topic and combine most of them with worksheets and other activities for learning coping and calming skills.
Social Story Coloring Books
These social story coloring books are both a great teaching tool, and a great counseling activity for students. Each book can be personalized for the student to put their name, grade, and school into. When I use this tool with my students, I will put the book together and read it through once with them, then have them color the pages in it and then read it again. Then, I will give it to their teacher to read with them daily or as needed as a reminder about expected behavior in the classroom or on the playground. This is because children take lots of reminders and repetition of information to learn social skills and emotional regulation.
If you’d like to save some $$$ on these Social Story Coloring Books, click HERE to get them in a BUNDLE in my TpT store! You can also click on any product picture if you are looking for a specific story.
Behavior Rewards Systems are the Most Important BEHAVIOR TOOLS!
This “Try my Best” Behavior Rewards Chart system for students that have a variety of behaviors in the classroom, including task avoidance, emotional meltdowns, elopement, and aggressions.
To use, Laminate The Behavior Card, Happy Faces, and Activity Reward Choices. Cut out happy faces and rewards choices. Then use Velcro and attach choices and happy faces to the back of the card and the choice to the front.
As the student earns happy faces, place them in the (Velcro) squares until the card is complete and the student can ear the reward.
****Be sure to make the time intervals achievable and frequent, so that the student believes that he or s he will earn the reward within the day (or more if needed). ***
If you are looking for counseling tools organized into curriculums to help your child or students with BEHAVIORS, Please check out the easy to use curriculums for Anger Management and Coping Skills, full or video links, games, and worksheets!
How to Get Counseling Activities… for FREE!
If you are hoping to find not just inexpensive, but FREE Counseling Activities, then you are in the right place! Subscribe to CounselingFannyPack.com and gain access to the Free Resource Library! In it, you will get new counseling activities that are updated monthly for subscribers! Just Click HERE to sign up for access!
If you are OK with spending $3-$5 on a few fun counseling activities for your students, please just click the pictures within this post and they will all link you to the product in my Counseling Fanny Pack of Fun store.