Posted May 8, 2012

We have been overwhelmed, in my opinion, with the media encouraging us to ensure our children are physically active.  Our federal government provides a tax break for families that enroll their children in sports activities.  Yes, we need to ensure that each child’s basic needs are being met, nutritious food, adequate shelter, sleep, a healthy living environment, exercise but what about our children’s needs for Good Mental Health?  (more…)

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Posted March 20, 2012

“The Ministry of Education has declared that students with ADHD/ADD and other neurological disorders that may impede or affect learning, are now entitled to specialized support and education at school. Ontario has been one of the few provinces in Canada lagging behind in the recognition of ADHD/ADD as requiring additional support.” (more…)

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Posted March 8, 2012

According to Moises Roman from UCLA Early Care and Education, “a teachable moment is a learning opportunity for a child to acquire new information, values, morals, a new behavior or a new skill, or a new way of expressing and coping with an emotion.” ( (more…)

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Posted February 23, 2012

I enjoy taking a teachable moment when the opportunity presents itself, as it did in a small group of grade 3 students last week. A young man was standing with his arms crossed across his chest. I asked him what it meant when someone crosses his arms in front of his body like he was. I went on to say that when people cross their arms in front of their body, it is a body clue and I was just wondering what that body clue might mean? (more…)

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Posted February 21, 2012

As part of our Tools for Life® lessons, we have been learning about our body clues and what they tell us. For those who have not been introduced to body clues, body clues are our bodies’ way of telling us that our feelings are changing or a problem is coming. To transfer our learning of feelings, body clues, and calming down, we create a volcano in one of our lessons. When I asked the students for their predictions as to why we might be creating a volcano, a bright young man in Grade 3 shared, (more…)

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Posted February 9, 2012

As I get older, the significant events of what I remember from my elementary school years are usually positive memories of special events, genuine friendships and often something a teacher said to me. Why after so many years, do I recall vividly what comments teachers made to me or about me to my parents? Perhaps the bigger question is why do I continue to dwell on select memories that seemed to have little impact on my life at that time, but I am still trying to figure out what the deeper meaning of the statement might have been? (more…)

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Posted January 10, 2012

Country Hills Public School is located in Kitchener, Ontario and is part of the Waterloo Region District School Board. This little school is filled to capacity and only recently received the support of a Vice Principle and Child and Youth Worker. (more…)

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Posted January 3, 2012

I’ve discovered an amazing game that kids love and doesn’t involve the computer or a gaming system. I first introduced this game to a group of grade 3 children that met weekly to strengthen social skills. Proud to Be ME!™ ( is a “Feel good about yourself and others” family game. Each player is required to answer questions or give comments on different categories including: Health & Safety, Friends & You, Home & Family, Decision Making and Myself. Although kids seemed interested with my answers, they were also very eager to share their stories and ideas. (more…)

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Posted December 13, 2011

I often see kids sitting outside the school office. Other kids are quick to point out that they are sitting there because “that kid is bad”. This week, a little boy was sitting outside the office and asked 5 teachers the same question, “How much longer do I have to sit here?” One teacher asked him, “Have you been thinking about how you could make better choices outside tomorrow?” He nodded yes. (more…)

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Posted November 29, 2011

Recently, schools participated in Bully Awareness week. I have to admit that I really struggle with the label “Bully” and an entire week of resources being dedicated to the term. “Bully” is a label when it is used as a noun. “You are a bully!” To me, this would be like calling someone “stupid”. As parents and educators, we would remind kids that calling people names is a put down. Why is it OK for us to call a kid a Bully? What is a “Bully” anyway? I see posters in schools that have the word “Bullies” with a big X though the word or signs that say “No Bullies”. (more…)

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Tools for Life. And Tools for Life® HomeSTART.

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