The Zones of Regulation

FSUK & OWL is participating in The Zones of Regulation® curriculum (or “The Zones” for short). The Zones will help your child gain skills in the area of self-regulation.


Self-regulation can go by many names, such as self-control, self-management, and impulse control. It is defined as the best state of alertness of both the body and emotions for the specific situation. For example, when a student plays on the playground or in a competitive game, it is beneficial to have a higher state of alertness. However, that same state would not be appropriate in the library.


The learning resources and activities that we will use are designed to help the students recognise when they are in the different zones as well as learn how to use strategies to change or stay in the zone they are in.


In addition to addressing self-regulation, the students will gain an increased vocabulary of emotional terms, skills in reading other people’s facial expressions. perspective about how others see and react to their behavior, insight into events that trigger their behavior, calming and alerting strategies, and problem solving skills.


Stop, Opt, Go


Use your toolbox


Use your relaxing techniques


What would your inner coach do?


Remember your breathing

A critical aspect of this curriculum is that we all  know and understand The Zones language. This creates a comfortable and supportive environment for your child to practice his or her self-regulation skills. It also helps your child learn the skills more quickly and be more likely to apply them in many situations. You can support your child during this process by recognising the following language::

  • Self-regulation: The ability to achieve the preferred state of alertness for the given situation. This includes  regulating one’s body’s needs as well as one’s emotions.  

  • The Zones: A concept used to help students learn how to self-regulate. The Zones of Regulation creates a system to  categorize how the body feels and emotions into four colored zones with which the students can easily identify. 


  • Blue Zone: Used to describe a low state of alertness. The Blue Zone is used to describe when one feels sad, tired,  sick, or bored.  

  • Green Zone: Used to describe the ideal state of alertness. A person may be described as calm, happy, focused,  or content when he or she is in the Green Zone. The student feels a strong sense of internal control when in  the Green Zone. 

  • Yellow Zone: Used to describe a heightened state of alertness. A person may be experiencing stress, frustration,  anxiety, excitement, silliness, or fear when in the Yellow Zone. The student’s energy is elevated yet he or she  feels some sense of internal control in the Yellow Zone. 

  • Red Zone: Used to describe an extremely heightened state of alertness. A person may be experiencing anger, rage,  explosive behavior, panic, extreme grief, terror, or elation when in the Red Zone and feels a loss of control. 

  • Toolbox: A collection of calming and alerting strategies a student can pull from depending on the present need. 

  • Tools or strategies: Used interchangeably to refer to a calming or alerting technique that aids the student in  self-regulation. 

  • Trigger: An irritant that causes a student to become less regulated and increases the likelihood of going into the  Yellow or Red Zone. 

  • Stop, Opt, and Go: A concept used to aid students in controlling impulses and problem solving better solutions.  This phrase is paired with a stoplight to provide additional cues for students.  

  • Expected behaviors: Behaviors that give people around you good or comfortable thoughts about you.

  • Unexpected behaviors¹: Behaviors that give people uncomfortable thoughts about you. Doer: The person or persons doing the expected or unexpected behavior in a situation. 

  • What is the size of the problem? and Is this a Big or Little Problem?¹: Questions posed to help students  measure the size of the problem they are experiencing (Big Problem, Medium Problem, or Little Problem). 

  • Big Problems: Problems that many people share and that have no easy, quick, or pleasant solution.

  • Medium Problems: Problems some people share that are able to be resolved in an hour to a couple of days.

  • Little Problems: Problems that only affect one to two people and can be ignored or solved in a matter of minutes. Inner critic: Used to describe negative, self-defeating thoughts. 

  • Inner coach: Used to describe positive thoughts. 

  • Superflex thinking: A flexible thinking pattern in which a person is able to consider different points of view  or ways to do something.