Helpful Tools

Mood Meter

A mood meter helps us to raise awareness of words we use to describe our feelings. The mood meter can improve our self-awareness and social awareness to practice regulating our emotions.
**The mood meter has 4 quadrants of color for different emotions:
 represents anger, fear, frustration, etc.
Blue represents sadness, loneliness, depression, etc.
Yellow represents happiness, excitement, motivation, etc.
Green represents gratitude, peace, relaxation, etc.

Individually or as a family, you can:

  1. Create a mood meter in the shape of a thermometer. Attach a sliding bar with an open gap that shows an emotion on the right side of the thermometer and a task that keeps or changes the emotion on the left side of the thermometer. Just as a temperature can rise and fall, emotions can go up and down. Emotions and feelings can change frequently, and they are all valid.
  2. Design an interactive quadrant of colored paper. Initiate by taping or writing the emotions that are felt at any moment and focus on how to include solutions to change or keep a feeling.
  3. Use a dictionary or thesaurus to find synonyms and antonyms to expand emotion literacy.
  4. Have family discussions to communicate and/or practice self-talk (metacognition) about the emotions reflected on the mood meter: How do I feel today? What is happening for me to feel this way? How am I choosing to express how I feel? If I like how I feel, what can I do to feel more of the same? If I do not like how I feel, what can I do to change and feel different?
  5. Create types of quadrant containers to hold different ideas and choices for how to keep or change a not like how I feel, what can I do to change and feel different?

**The mood meter was designed by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
Google Images shows different ways to create your own RULER mood meter!
Marc Brackett is the lead developer of RULER, which frames the Mood Meter
Marc Brackett’s blog:
RULER at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence:

Time Timer Clocks

This tool provides a visual representation of elapsed time, enabling any age student to better understand what stated time allocations mean. Students are able to see how much time has passed and how much time remains when planning and completing a task.

These clocks come in a variety of sizes from 4” to 12” squares and are also available in watches and apps now.  The time timer clocks are versatile in use and can be used by the whole class, small groups, or individuals.  The original clocks have fold-able feet for free-standing and magnets for attaching them to the whiteboard.  They do not have sound as time is elapsing, and the sound at the end can be turned off when not needed.

These clocks are an excellent tool for managing time, increasing task focus, and determining time allotments when scheduling assignments and tasks.

The White Board for Use at Home

The white board is an inexpensive tool that allows your child to manage their time when planning for and completing assignments. Your child can use a dry erase marker to write designated times for the completion and checking of daily assignments. At the top of the day’s noted timeframes for completion of assignments, your child should record the time the assignment needs to be submitted.

As your child completes an assignment, he or she may place a check mark next to that assignment. When submitting assignments online to the teachers, your child can use the days’ time management white board list as a visual reminder of the assignments completed that day. This serves as a reminder to your child to be sure to submit all assignments for that day.

Using the White Board for Elementary Students

Using the White Board for Secondary Students

iPhone iPad Camera Scan Tool

This iPhone and iPad camera can be a helpful tool for children experiencing executive function deficits… to help your child remember the directions or steps needed to complete a task (working memory, sequencing, focusing, initiating), simply take a picture of the directions/steps and place the iPhone/iPad photo as a visual reminder.

The camera can also be used as a scanner. This is a resourceful backup if your child frequently forgets to turn in assignments or loses assignments. Your child can simply submit the scanned assignment. Also, work can be scanned to your child’s teacher. There are 3 simple steps to follow so that the camera can be used as a scanner:

Use the NOTES App.

Open the Notes app to a new note. Next, press the Camera button.

The Scan option will pop up. Just press this option.

This is a photo of the self-check card used for initiating, attending and focusing on a task. This card was made by a participant in our TN Executive Function Skill Training Virtual Workshop.

These 2 photos are of the I Am Able can construction by participants in our TN Executive Function Skill Training Virtual Workshop.
This strategy is used by students for self-monitoring.

This is a photo of a digital strategy card designed by a participant in our TN Executive Function Skill Training Virtual Workshop. It is for the strategy Stop, Think, Act (STA) strategy which helps students inhibit.

This is a photo of a strategy poster for the SLANT Strategy designed by a participant in our TN Executive Function Skill Training Virtual Workshop. This strategy is used for attending, initiating and focusing.

This is a photo of the Big Rocks, Little Rocks Activity.  These participants in our TN Executive Function Skill Training Virtual Workshop were attempting to fit all the rocks and sand into the vase. This is an activity we use to teach students prioritizing and problem solving.