Counselor Chill Corner: activity #3 porthole check point

Ahoy mate!  The porthole activity is a fun tool to use for teaching children how to manage their emotions.  The students will be able to identify their emotion by looking at their own image in the porthole mirror.  When a person becomes angry there are physiological changes in their body.  These changes are signals from their body letting them know they are becoming angry.   Some of these changes are: face becoming hot and red, heart beating faster, changes in breathing, and even the size of someone’s pupils.  Being able to recognize these internal and external changes will allow the child time to stop and think before they react in a potentially harmful manner.  Feeling angry is a normal emotion.  It is how you express your anger that is the key.  Do not hurt yourself, hurt someone else, or damage property when you are angry.  Instead, pick a safe way to express your anger like visiting the chill corner.

Check In & Check Out

A porthole check-in is needed before the student will begin using the relaxation techniques in the chill corner.   The student will look in the porthole and describe what they see.  Is their face red?  What do their eyes look like?  What emotion are they feeling?  What event led them to visit you?    What is their goal for the chill corner?  What will be different when they look in the porthole during their check-out?  What emotion will they be expressing?  How will their face and body show this new emotion?  The student will do a porthole check-out once he or she is finished utilizing the activities in the chill corner.  How does the student know he or she is ready to go back to class?  The student will fill out the form below to help him or her process this experience.  It also serves as a plan for the next time they have a meltdown in class.  I also give the student a cruising to class hall pass.  I write the name of the student on the line and the time they left my office.  The pass is an indicator to both the student and the teacher that the student is calm and has a plan in place.   Both the form and hall pass are available to members.  Both forms are located on the feeling section of the lesson page.

Porthole Design

Materials: several pool noodles (I used 8), brown spray paint, two round mirrors, marker, rope, fabric, pipe cleaner, blade or knife, hot glue gun, adhesive hook

Spray paint several pool noodles brown.  Once the noodles are dry, connect them using hot glue and two pieces of rope.  Use a marker to trace the shape of a boat on the connected noodles.  Then take a blade or knife and cut along the outline of the boat.  Place both of the mirrors in the middle of the boat.  Trace the outline of each mirror and then cut on the line.  I found mirrors with frames the same depth as the noodles.  This is ideal because the front of the frame is flush with the surface of the boat.  However, using the flat mirrors from craft stores like, Hobby Lobby and Michaels, will work as well.  You can make a sail for the boat using a fun fabric or even scrapbooking paper.  I also attached a fishing lure to the bottom of my boat just for fun.

Now it is time to hang your boat.  I used an adhesive hook and rope to hang my sail.  I also used a pipe cleaner to connect the sail to the boat.  I used mounting tape to secure the noodles to the wall.  Make sure to place your boat at a height where students are able to see themselves in the mirror.

Simple Design

Instead of using pool noodles, you can use large sheets of bulletin board paper to construct your boat.  Glue two craft mirrors (Hobby Lobby or Michaels) onto the surface of your boat.

Limited Space

Use a hand held mirror for both the check-in and check-out.