Zones of Regulation

Zones of Regulation is used in Primary School. The program is strongly guided by the expertise of Michelle Garcia Winner’s Manual, “Zones of Regulation”, which acknowledges that students need to be explicitly taught how to think, monitor and control their behaviours on many fronts. This program prepares students about their own regulation system and how to adjust it.

The system uses four colours to help students visually and verbally self identify how they are functioning at any given moment. They are also given opportunities to understand the different internal emotions, sensory needs, and thinking patterns that result as they shift from one zone to another. It then allows them to explore a variety of sensory tools that they can use to assist them in regulating what zone they are in, and they are taught when, why and how to use these tools.

This program also incorporates “social thinking” to help students learn more about perspective-taking to understand better how being in different zones impacts others’ thoughts and feelings around them. This program also aims to upskill students with a wider choice of the vocabulary of emotional terms to give them skills in reading facial expressions and body language, insights into events that may trigger behaviours, and problem-solving skills.