Look at the Great Ideas Coming from Schools!
Below are some stories and creative ways in which school staff have embraced Tools for Life in their everyday classroom environment. If you have any stories or inspirations from your experiences with Tools for Life, we would love to hear from you. You can send your pictures or stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Mary Catholic School, Brantford, ON
Here is a picture of the Put Up trees that I ‘put up’ in each of the schools where the program is being implemented. The put up notes change depending on the season, occasion…. whenever the students and classroom teachers decide they would like to change their tree.
Please feel free to use it as an example of how Put Ups can be displayed besides a classroom chain.
The students love getting their put ups at the end of the month and new ones going up etc. The Put up notes are placed in our ‘religion’ centres that we also use as our relationship centres connecting to the ‘golden rule’.
Look how teacher, Tracey Petro, from St. Elizabeth School has transformed her students through using Tools for Life Relationship-building Solutions.
“In a nutshell the story is: A new student joined my class Monday morning. We started with a classroom meeting to welcome our new friend into our classroom family. We began the meeting with everyone going around and giving one person a put up. Then I asked each student to do three things: 1) state his/her name 2) tell the new student something they are good at or something they wanted the new student to know about them and 3) tell one reason why this is a great classroom. I was expecting things like “we learn about symmetry” or “we go to gym”. I was pleasantly surprised when my students said things like “we care about each other” , “we are problem solvers”, “we help each other”, “it is a safe place”, “it is okay to make mistakes”. Kids are always amazing me when I least expect it!”
Mrs. Pearson-Reid is the Jk/Sk teacher at Country Hills. She is still singing the praises of the TFL program.
She stated that she refers to the TFL language in the comments section of the children’s report cards. “___________ is the first one to give her friends Put-Ups” or “___________ has been trying to resolve his problems by using some of the problem solving tools before he asks a teacher for help.”
Next year, she intends to use the tool pictures as the patterning pictures for calendar. She appreciates the term Listening Body as it describes what kind of body she would like the children to have. In the past she said “are you listening” when it was often clear that the kids were not listening. Now she states ”Show me a listening body, please.”
Take a look at how you can get your teachers and students involved in Tools for Life. Develop a sense of community in your school.
One school had an innovative way to help those children struggling with anxiety in a fun way. Chewing gum has been linked to decreasing anxiety in children. Click here for the details of the contest that was based on the research by the Cognitive Research Unit.
If your cognitive skills aren’t at their best, you may just need a stick of gum to boost your brain power. Research at the University of Northumbria and the Cognitive Research Unit in Reading, England, shows that the repetitive chewing motion positively influences thinking, memory, and other mental tasks.
In the experiment, 75 subjects underwent a 25-minute test of various types of memory. Those who had chewed real gum showed better performance throughout the test as compared to those who had not chewed gum or had only pretended to chew. The heart rate of gum chewers was slightly faster than in other groups.
Andrew Scholey of the University’s Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit presented his team’s findings at the 2001 British Psychological Society’s annual conference in Blackpool. He explained that “the mild increase in heart rate may improve the delivery of oxygen and glucose to the brain, enough to improve cognitive function.”
Additionally, chewing gum induces a surge of insulin due to the mouth watering in anticipation of a meal. “It is known that there are insulin receptors in areas of the brain important for learning and memory,” Scholey said. Overall, he believes that “the results were extremely clear and specifically we found that chewing gum targeted memory.” Is your school up to the challenge?
Ideas for your own Relationship-building Centre.
|St. Aloysius Catholic School – Gr. 3||St. Aloysius Catholic School – Gr. 3||Coronation Public School – JK-SK||Country Hills Public School – Gr. 2||Coronation Public School – Grade 3|
Tools for Life Blog
Tools for Life is pleased to announce the launch of its Early Years resource for ages 2½ to 4. Informed by the Ontario Ministry of Education research resource, How Does Learning Happen?, this Early Years program supports educators in establishing a safe and trusting, play-based learning environment in the Centre where children feel they belong […]
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“An invaluable resource for any school community.”
John Klein, St. Matthew Catholic School
“Tools for Life is incredibly valuable. It has generated tremendous growth for our students and capacity-building for our teachers. We use TFL in all our elementary classrooms, and teachers teach the language throughout their program. It has had a powerful impact on behaviour and on the emotional intelligence of our students.”
Mark Godin, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School
The Tools for Life program came as a real gift to my kindergarten classroom this year. We had a class with lots of energy and the Tools for Life program helped us all to focus our energy in positive ways. It helped us all to learn about ourselves and our friends and how to be a classroom community. Stories, visuals, activities and home links are all part of the program, making it user friendly and all encompassing. I’d recommend it for every family and classroom!
Tools for Life Resources“Resilience is the ability to show positive adaptation, handle stress, overcome disadvantage, recover from trauma and use opportunities to grow and learn in the face of adversity.” (Adapted from Masden et al )
- Bolster resilience in children
- Child Trends – assessing self-regulation in children
- Early Predictors of Self-regulation
- Emergent Curriculum Philosophy
- Resiliency in Children Fact Sheet
- From Theme to Emergent Curriculum
- Resilient Children
- The Importance of Resiliency in Children
- Self-regulation Impact on Low Income Preschoolers’ Academic Skills
- Schooling effects on preschoolers’ self-regulation and language growth