Thursday, August 27, 2015

Anxiety Group (3rd-6th grade)

Session 1:  Begin with introductions, purpose of the group, group rules, and a get-to-know-you game. I usually do the M&M or Skittles Game.

Session 2:   A 5 Could Make Me Lose Control is then used to identify stressful situations.  Students spend time sorting through word/picture cards and rating the stress level associated with that particular situation/place/object.  For example, a student may take the cafeteria card and rate it as a 5. This tells you that the student views the cafeteria as a highly stressful environment.    (Newer version: A 5 Could Make Me Lose Control).
Session 3:  When my Worries Get Too Big! is a great follow up to  A 5 Could Make Me Lose Control!   This book offers strategies for dealing with the stressors that were rated in the 3-5 range. We begin the lesson by reading the book together.  This book is interactive in that it asks students to talk about things that they are good at, things that make them feel relaxed and finally, things that make them anxious.  The book gives an example of a calming-down sequence and strategies to reduce anxiety.

Session 4:  Review When My Worries Get Too Big!  Review calming down strategies listed in the book.  Students then create index cards with calming down strategies.  You can find some great free ones HERE or HERE.

Session 5:  Review the calming down sequence used in  When My Worries Get Too Big! Each student creates their own calming down sequence.

Session 6:   Create a plan! I love  these books on TPT!  Take all of the information gathered from the previous sessions and put it together to create a plan for managing anxiety.

Sessions 7-8:  Check-in with students/review calming down strategy plan, strategies and calming-down sequence.

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