The Zones of Regulation

The Zones of Regulation is a concept some teachers at Rye PS use to foster self-regulation and emotional control. Self-regulation is something everyone continually works on. We all encounter trying circumstances that test our limits from time to time. If we are able to recognize when we are becoming less regulated, we are able to do something about it to manage our feelings and get ourselves to a healthy place. This comes naturally for some, but for others it is a skill that needs to be taught and practiced. This is the goal of using ‘The Zones of Regulation’.

Explaining the Zones

◦ There are four zones that we will use to describe how your body and brain feel.

◦ When you’re in the Blue Zone, your body is running slow/you have no energy, such as when you’re tired, sick, sad, or bored.

◦ The Green Zone, like a green light, is when you are ‘good to go’ and ready to learn. If you are in the Green Zone, you may feel happy, calm, and focused.

◦ When entering the Yellow Zone, proceed with caution and slow down! The Yellow Zone describes when you start to lose control such as when you are frustrated, overwhelmed, silly, wiggly, excited, worried, anxious, or surprised. It is a good idea to use caution when you are in the Yellow Zone.

◦ The Red Zone is reserved for extreme emotions such as terror, uncontrolled anger, aggression, and elation. When you are in the Red Zone, you are out of control, have trouble making good decisions, and must STOP and use tools to get back to the Green Zone.

We must ensure that students can match an emotion to each of the zones. E.g., sad, calm, anxious, angry. Emphasis is placed on the fact that we all experience all of the zones at one time or another.