Teaching Tools

Talk Blocks: Innovative Interactions, LLC

I have been using these blocks for over a decade with students who have a lot of difficulty communicating their feelings. Without needing words, a student is able to identify their feeling and pick a strategy to use for calming down. It is especially helpful for first time connections and as a group activity.


Peace Town: Western Psychological Services

I do not play many board games in my groups, but this is one that I love! "Peace Town" teaches much-needed strategies for solving social conflicts and the game format makes it fun.


Self-Calming Cards: by Elizabeth Crary MS and Mits Katayama

These cards compose a comprehensive strategy list for calming down. Playing charades with them is a great reinforcement of emotions management instruction. I put the students in charge of teaching the strategy on their card, and they act it out (while others guess) and then describe when it might be a helpful strategy. 


Hoberman Large Rainbow Sphere: by Hoberman

I use this "breathing ball" every day to help kids calm down with deep breaths. Kids in kindergarten to fifth grade, and perhaps a bit older, are eager to use it, often switching from tears to smiles as soon as it gets big. I have used it at assemblies, in classes, in small groups and with individuals to help students and make a connection with them. I have even used it in a parenting class!