Melanie Orlando and Kerry Knox, School 6 kindergarten teachers, created a living mood meter to teach students about recognizing their feelings and learning to be in control of them. The mood meter is a tool from the R.U.L.E.R. approach to self-regulation developed at Yale University. Students learn to recognize and understand their own and others’ emotions and how to deal with them. Research has demonstrated that developing social-emotional literacy is an important aspect of academic success in school and, later, personal and professional success.
The mood meter is a square that is divided into four colors — red, yellow, blue and green — that help students identify their feelings. Red and yellow are high energy colors while blue and green are more placid. Each color, or energy level, can have its pleasant and unpleasant aspects. For example, red can signify excitement as well as anger. Blue can mean serene or sad.
After learning about the “feeling words,” the students and teachers, who had dressed in either red, yellow, blue or green, assembled into a life-size mood meter.