Lunch Bunch Update

Week 3

What we did today:

We started Lunch Bunch with our routine of reviewing rules. As the students ate lunch, we built on our lesson about our own feelings last week and talked about the feelings of others. We discussed and acted out the ways that you can tell a persons feelings by looking at their face and body, and thinking about the situation.

When the children finished eating, we began to discuss the varying levels of intensity with which we feel our emotions, by working on "feelings monitors." These are gauges made out of paper plates to help the little ones monitor the intensity of their feelings. We used crayons to color yellow for low intensity, green for just right, and red for high intensity, or strong feelings. We will use these "feelings monitors" next week to practice recognizing our feelings. We will then build on this recognition to work on calming ourselves, recognizing feelings in others, and looking for solutions.

We discussed the difference between the colors on the feelings monitors, and the colors from the classroom behavior systems. The feelings monitors are about how we feel, which is not in our control. The behavior systems show us how we acted with our feelings, which is in our control. The colors red and yellow on the feelings monitor show us that we need to help ourselves feel better or calm down so that we can be in a place to make better choices about our actions.

Tips for bringing it home:

As mentioned last week, your special relationship with your child allows you to use your understanding of your child to teach them to recognize and regulate their feelings. In a similar way, your parent-child relationship provides many opportunities to teach your child empathy and emotional regulation in everyday interactions. Here are a few ideas:

  • Talk to your child about lunch bunch. Act out a feeling and ask them to explain how they know what you might be feeling.
  • In everyday conversation, include explanations of your own feelings. For example: "I am very happy right now because I see you getting along well with your sister" or "I am feeling sad and hurt right now because you spoke disrespectfully to me."
  • When reading a book or watching TV, talk to your child about the characters and how they may be feeling in different situations in the story. How can you tell?
  • Ask your child to tell you about feelings monitors. What do the colors mean (yellow = low emotion, green = just right and ready to learn, red = high emotion)? How are these colors different from the behavior systems in their classroom?

Taking a little time to share your own feelings and discuss the feelings of others helps your child learn to recognize and be in tune with others' feelings. This is a great step in the development of empathy, and is an important piece of learning to respond positively to others.