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Wordsunspoken Wordsunspoken is offline
 
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Wordsunspoken
 
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Anxiety Management in K-7 Classrooms
Old 02-12-2020, 07:20 PM
 
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Hello! I am new to this forum and I am excited to learn from other professionals who support students' mental health needs! In my role as a Program Coordinator/Head Teacher of an outreach program who supports students with an anxiety disorder in the school district, my job is to work with school staff and a community counselor to help the students learn anxiety management skills, and in return, improve their social-emotional, academic, and behavioural functioning in the classroom, home, and community. We thrive from an integrated case management approach and work closely with all team members, and most importantly, the evolving student him/herself. Currently, I am pursuing my Professional Masters of Education and I hope through this PLC I am able to learn further knowledge on how I can best support my students.

Our first focus is building students' emotional literacy skills. We accomplish this by teaching students different feeling states and helping them explore how their thoughts and feelings are related to their actions. On this note, we use a lot of children's books. Here are my top four choices to help students understand their worries and what anxiety feels like!

1. “When My Worries Get Too Big” by Kari Buron –As anxiety is defined as “uncontrollable or excessive worry,” we get our students to discuss and reflect on their worries. More than any other issue, 'losing control' can cause major problems for children. Through the relatable character of Nicholas, this book gives young children an opportunity to explore with parents or teachers their own feelings as they react to events in their daily lives while learning some useful relaxation techniques.

2. “It’s Okay to Make Mistakes” by Todd Parr –Students with anxiety have a difficult time being okay with making mistakes or trying new things. This book, suitable for younger children, embraces life's happy accidents, the mistakes and mess-ups that can lead to self-discovery. Todd Parr brings a timely theme to life with his signature bold, kid-friendly illustrations and a passion for making readers feel good about themselves, encouraging them to try new things, experiment, and dare to explore new paths.

3. “Wilma Jean the Worry Machine” by Julia Cook –All of our students in the program have excessive worries! Everyone feels fear, worry and apprehension from time to time, but when these feelings prevent a person from doing what he/she wants and/or needs to do, anxiety becomes a disability. This fun and humorous book addresses the problem of anxiety in a way that relates to children of all ages. It offers creative strategies for parents and teachers to use that can lessen the severity of anxiety. The goal of the book is to give children the tools needed to feel more in control of their anxiety.

4. “David and the Worry Beast” by Anne Marie Guanci –Another great read for all our little kiddos with excessive worries! The main character, David, could not stop thinking about the basket he had missed at the end of the big game. He was worried that he might do it again. He was worried that his teammates would be angry with him. He was worried that his parents would not be proud of him. He was also worried about an upcoming math test. In fact, David was worried a lot. Luckily, David finally confided in his parents and school nurse, both of whom gave him support and techniques for controlling the "worry beast" within him.

These books can be easily ordered through Amazon or you may buy them from your local book store. I hope you found this post useful and I am excited to viewing others!


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Old 02-15-2020, 12:09 AM
 
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Welcome! It sounds like you have done a lot of legwork- these books are great (I have used many- but not all- of them).

This board moves pretty slowly, unfortunately. I hope it picks up! Thanks for joining us! Congratulations on pursuing your masters degree
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