February 12, 2017

I'm Flipping over Flipbooks

Flipbooks have seriously become my new obsession. They are so quick and easy to use in the moment. A student came into my office the other day, mad as can be. He could not tell me why he was so upset or where the anger was coming from. He didn’t want to focus on any activities and was “too cool” for the games I had in my office. He told me, “I’m not doing your feeling games.”

I may have actually been kind of hurt had this kid ever been in my office before. I was really kind of lost as to how to help him. None of my usual tricks were seeming to work. He was a bit older than the kids I usually work with and a bit harder to connect with.
I figured I’d take a shot and give him a copy of the project I had been working on for some time, my anger control flipbook.

I casually asked him what his two favorite colors were, he said blue and green. I loaded blue and green colored paper into the printer and the flipbook came to life. I put the three printed pages in order, hoping he wouldn’t notice that a yellow piece had snuck in there, folded them over and stapled at the top. In less than a minute I had this resource in my hand, now to see if he would use it.
He was watching me as I was printing and folding; I could tell I had his attention. I flipped the first page open and acted like I was thinking really hard.

“Ms., Whatcha doing?”

I got his attention once he thought that I was no longer paying attention to him.

“Sometimes I get really angry too. I don’t always know why either. I thought maybe if I filled out this flipbook I found it would help me.”

Then I went right back to reading and silently thinking as he tried to catch glances at my paper. After what felt like forever but was actually about a minute and a half, he says, “I like to draw.”

“Really? I’m not very good at it, can you show me how you’d draw your answer for this?”
That’s all it took. I wanted to do a victory dance watching him draw and answer the questions in this book. In the end, we found out that he takes what other people say a little too personally and lets it affect his day. We role played how he could handle this in the future. I let him use the flipbook to guide our conversation.

He had never thought about some of the calm down strategies in the flipbook and asked if he could take the book home so he could memorize the strategies. 
I love it when an idea for a resource ends up really helping a child; even the ones who originally think they are too cool for your “little games”.

By using this flipbook, we explored and recognized his triggers, identified his unique type of anger, tested out new calming strategies, learned to better take control of his emotions and recognized which strategies might work best for him.

The best part about it was that our conversation and this flipbook seemed to have an impact on him. What more could I ask for?

Download your own copy HERE!

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