Addressing skills for student emotional regulation and behavior management

The Connections Model has launched the KidConnect Ready2Learn Curriculum, a proactive social-emotional learning (SEL) program that helps teachers provide direct instruction on the essential skills students need for success in school and in life. Based on the latest brain research and the understanding that emotions drive behavior, the curriculum provides teachers with the tools to help learners identify, understand, and manage their emotions, which allows them to be in control of their behavior. The curriculum is for classroom instruction across grades K-6 and includes 26 lessons centered on targeted skills. Students learn to become their own emotional managers and teachers gain a classroom full of engaged and motivated students.

“As educators ourselves, we understand that teachers know better than anyone that when kids are able to manage their behavior, they become engaged and enthusiastic learners. With this in mind, our goal as a company is to give teachers the right curriculum, classroom tools, and professional development to support them in helping students build the foundational skills for success,” said Lori Jackson, applied educational psychologist and co-founder of The Connections Model. “Our tools are grounded in current research, easy for both teachers and students to use, and are focused on the key social-emotional skills that all learners truly need. This new SEL curriculum, combined with teachers’ unique instructional expertise, will help all students experience positive growth and classroom success.”

In launching the Ready2Learn Curriculum, The Connections Model builds upon its KidConnect Classroom App, with the combination of curriculum and app creating a comprehensive SEL delivery system that features both proactive instruction and in-the-moment intervention. The app, which is available for the iPad, gives teachers the ability to intervene with individual students in the moment of a behavioral incident caused by emotional dysregulation. Using the app, the student works through a series of screens to identify the emotion that caused the behavior, understand it better, and adopt positive strategies to get back on track and ready to learn. Importantly, the student-driven app keeps students in the classroom and they can complete the intervention without disrupting peers.

“The combination of the KidConnect Ready2Learn Curriculum with the KidConnect Classroom App is a game changer,” said Steve Peck, middle school special education teacher and co-founder of The Connections Model. “Special educators know how important modifications are to their students, but tools and resources that help students make the appropriate emotional and behavioral adjustments, without stifling their learning or disrupting their classmates, have traditionally been hard to find. The KidConnect integrated solution changes the paradigm for special educators and all teachers focused on improving students’ emotional regulation. We’ve done the legwork for educators by developing this comprehensive curriculum, so they can focus on teaching and feel confident they will meet the needs of all learners.”

The Ready2Learn Curriculum is designed to integrate into educators’ everyday classroom routines, so students not only learn new skills but can apply and practice them. It adds the element of regular SEL instruction for the entire class, with an emphasis on emotional skill-building to improve each student’s ability to manage emotions and behaviors. This skill set will lay the foundation for students to achieve both self-awareness and social awareness, build healthy relationships, and make good decisions.

Behavior management is a key goal of the entire KidConnect program. The positive skill-building approach ensures that it is never punitive and always focused on growth and equitable learning opportunities for all students. The curriculum divides the process of healthy emotional regulation into four navigable units that include:

  • Building an emotional vocabulary by defining 16 common emotions and helping students reflect on past experiences to identify when certain feelings emerged across a variety of situations.
  • Making connections between emotions and behaviors. Students begin to build self-awareness and social awareness by working through a variety of group activities to practice identifying and controlling their reactions.
  • Learning strategies to manage emotions and, in turn, drive more positive behaviors. Students work with each other through a variety of situations to identify off-target behaviors and provide tactics to move toward healthy, on-target actions.
  • Practicing a variety of strategies and mindfulness techniques to help regulate emotions, increase self-esteem, and develop coping mechanisms that will help students gain control of their emotions and drive healthy behaviors in any circumstance.

Each of the four units are comprised of a variety of interactive, easy-to-use lesson plans and activities that provide the scope and sequence of emotional regulation to showcase the fluid relationship between each unit. To help facilitate this learning process, the KidConnect Ready2Learn Curriculum also includes instructions and guiding questions for students to create an Emotional Journal, where they can begin to record connections between their daily schedule and activities, along with the associated emotions and behaviors that occurred.

“We identified a gap in the current SEL market and designed the KidConnect Ready2Learn Curriculum to help educators teach emotional regulation, which equips students with the foundational skills, strategies, and behaviors appropriate for a variety of situations and environments,” said Jackson. “We know that emotions drive behavior. Only when students learn to identify, understand, and manage their emotions, will they be truly engaged in school and Ready2Learn.”

The KidConnect Ready2Learn Curriculum addresses the fundamental skills for learning: the ability to be present and engaged. It enables all students, from high achievers to those with severe behavioral challenges, to develop the relevant social and emotional skills necessary for long-term success in the classroom and beyond. For more information, contact David Jackson, [email protected]

About The Connections Model
The Connections Model is an education technology company whose KidConnect app and curriculum help students develop emotional regulation, the necessary foundation for all learning. Founded by a school psychologist and special education teacher, the company’s real world-proven classroom approach teaches students to identify, understand, and manage their emotions and behaviors so they become Ready2Learn. Learn more at


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