In kindergarten, just like any other grade, things start to rev up in the spring. Expectations are raised, demand increases and the pressure to be prepared for the next grade starts to affect our students. With this shift in the classroom environment comes the likelihood of children have to learn to adjust to everyday changes. This can look many ways, and for a few of our students, they are showing their frustration and anger in more physical approaches. Hence, here I come to try and save the day!
We read When I'm Feeling Angry written by Trace Moroney. This short and simple book is great for helping students recognize anger in their bodies (the cover alone opens up a lot of discussion) and teaching them appropriate ways to cope with anger.
The book does a nice job of sharing that it is okay to feel angry which I really enjoyed. It is okay for all of us to experience feelings, and we do! Many children hold the belief that adults will not "let them" be angry. Clarifying that we all have feelings and finding helpful ways to calm ourselves down is a great start to breaking down this myth. This is where the "Anger Rules" come in:
I found this great poster on Pinterest that I immediately printed out to post in each of the classrooms I was visiting. We brainstormed ideas that we could do when we felt angry, using inspiration from the book, and then got to work on picking out what would work best for us. Each student received 2 printouts, one that was part of a Calm Down Kit TeachersPayTeachers and the other I created in Word. Students cut out ideas they could use to help them feel better when experiencing strong emotions. I explained that for me, playing another game doesn't help because I'm still feeling too upset. However, crying is a great release and I always feel better after. A favorite for many was learning that you could go to the recycling bin and take paper out of it to rip up...instead of their own paper at their table (because that would be destroying property).