Magazine article Curriculum Review

Elementary Students Learn to Regulate Emotions with Heart Rate Monitors

Magazine article Curriculum Review

Elementary Students Learn to Regulate Emotions with Heart Rate Monitors

Article excerpt

In Littleton, Colorado, at East Elementary School, select students are wearing heart rate monitors as part of a program known as Operation Dragon Heart that aims to help students better identify their emotions so they can manage them.

"Our goal with Operation Dragon Heart was to address the social and emotional self-regulation needs of our students," said Principal Kelly Card in a news release from Interactive Health Technologies (IHT), the company that makes the monitors.

Helpful Data

Teachers could see when students had trouble regulating their emotions and behaviors but needed a tool to help them identify an impending behavioral issue.

Often times, Card said, incidents are indicated by an unexpected change in heart rate, so the principal, along with a school counselor, searched for a heart rate monitor that would provide students with real-time feedback throughout the day.

That search revealed the IHT ZONE, which displays both heart rate and color associated with the current heart rate:

* Blue indicates a low or resting heart rate

* Yellow indicates moderate heart rate

* Red indicates an elevated heart rate.

The students started using the monitors in early 2019. Even if students don't understand their actual heart rate, they can relate the color on the monitor to what they are feeling, noted a news release from Littleton Public Schools. Along with a mental health-focused curriculum, students learn to self-regulate.

As the students monitor their heart rate and become aware of a heightened emotion, they learn to recognize six emotions that might be causing their monitor to change: love, fear, anger, hurt, happiness and sadness. …

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