Working with Emotion Visuals & Reinforcement Tools

Grab a free download of a “How are you feeling” card to try with your classroom!

I was finding it difficult to teach my learners in Special Ed how to recognise their feelings and emotions. Teaching my amazing kinder how to label their emotions was a difficult skill, and being unprepared when these emotions presented was sometimes a tricky process to catch and implement. 

I had to be prepared! and start to teach them how to recognise their feelings by encouraging them to label how they feel with visuals when I saw them displaying negative or happy emotions myself.

I also created opportunities for my students to recognise emotions and facial expressions of others and practice them in lesson. I always try to incorporate a number of social skill activities where my students can have an opportunity to recognise someone happy, sad, angry and practice labelling facial expressions with visual cues.

Some of my students got it straight away but some would need practice, practice, practice. Once I’m happy that my students can recognise how they are feeling and can tell or show me, I will use a quick visual tool “How are you feeling” card to establish if they feel ready to work or what they need to feel better.

I show them a selection of motivators that they can choose from that could help them feel better and ready to try some work.

Being able to choose a motivator to use with a Token economy system becomes a powerful reinforcement tool.

So once the motivator is established, I encourage them to place it next to the “I’m working for” box before starting their task.

Depending on their mood and ability to concentrate will determine how fast they gain their tokens and get rewarded with the motivator they’ve chosen.

I always keep a selection of these handy tools at work stations and calm down areas!

If you want to try out this strategy and begin encouraging your students to label their emotions I’m giving away free trial cards and emoji colouring faces for you to download below.

Click here to download a free “How your feeling chart”

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