Anxiety, ADHD and Anger in the Classroom: 60 Activity-Based Coping Skills to Effectively Manage "Big Feelings"


Inside: Information about the Anxiety, ADHD, and Anger in the Classroom day-long seminar, including an overview of the day and feedback from participants.

Last week, I did something that I’ve always wanted to do as a professional. I gave my first full day presentation through PESI. I flew to New York and presented a day-long seminar on the topic of Anxiety, ADHD and Anger in the Classroom. I created this presentation not only to introduce and discuss coping skills but also give professionals an opportunity to try some of the coping skills before presenting them to their students. 

Here's a brief overview of the seminar:

At the beginning of the day, I take a little time to discuss the prevalence of ADHD, Anxiety and Anger, as well as the importance of Social-Emotional Learning and making every child feel known in school.

Then we get to the fun part - talking about and practicing coping skills! Here’s a small snippet of some of the activities that we do:

  • We practice so many ways of deep breathing - including using your hand and using your whole body. 
  • We do a simple mindfulness exercise together, and I explain how to use a feelings thermometer with anxious kids.
  • We talk all about the importance of play as a stress reliever, get to play with a bunch of different fidgets, and even play a quick game ourselves. 
  • We spend some time talking about the angry kids we work with, creative ways to help them take necessary breaks, and watch a video about how one high school has set up a de-escalation space.
  • Finally, we talk about ways to implement these coping skills during the day, creating a coping skills toolkit, and creating a calm spot in classrooms. 

Of course, there were a few hiccups. A snowstorm delayed my arrival, and the first scheduled seminar had to be canceled. But I got a great example to use when we discussed talking with kids about what you can control vs. what you can’t control.

One of my favorite things is that people shared what coping skills worked for their students/clients. I learned all about some great sensory items I can find at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, using a weighted item to help kids take a deep breath, and the app Settle Your Glitter. We all have good information to share, and I love that people were sharing ideas with the other professionals in the room and me.

The most rewarding part was that people came up and had such great things to say, like:

“I kept writing down a kid’s name next to an exercise we talked about to try with them next week.”

“I love all the strategies I’m walking away with!”

“This is one of the best seminars I’ve ever been to!”

I was overjoyed to get such excellent and immediate feedback!

I’ll be giving this talk in:
Northbrook, IL on April 18th
Naperville, IL on April 19th
Oak Lawn, IL on April 20th

See me in April in the Chicago area. I’d love for you to join me so I can share what I’ve learned with you, and hear about what you’ve found works for your students too!

Don’t live in the Chicago area? No worries, you can watch from the comfort of your own home or office with a live webcast of my presentation on Friday, April 20th.

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