Each classroom kit in the Tools for Life series comes in a convenient and sturdy box that holds an extensive teaching manual and a wide variety of engaging resources and activities.
Inside your kit you will find various resources which your students may enjoy as a support for learning. Listed below is a brief description of each of those resources.
The Feelings Beach Ball
The beach ball, when blown up, is a great way to gauge the temperature of your class. Toss it out on a Monday morning, and allow students to pass it about, each in turn expressing how he or she feels that particular day. Teachers should also be prepared to model how they are feeling and be candid with the class.
The Feelings Wheel
The Feelings Wheel is used to discuss feelings about different situations. In early years, 6 feelings or emotions are presented; with older children, the feelings wheel presents 16 feelings. It is a great way to open up communication with one another. You can simply ask each other questions and then have the person spin the wheel to the appropriate feeling. Non-verbal children will often simply point to the wheel to express how they feel.
The Feelings Bingo Game
The Feelings Bingo Game is a great game to play together as a group. Each child gets a Feelings Bingo Card. Using the teacher calling card, call out each bingo feeling. Instead of yelling out bingo when you have a line, children may say “All feelings are okay”. Once everyone has a line, they can describe a time when they had each feeling in their row.
Bookmark, Door Hanger, SITUATION and TOOLS Bags
Keeping the Tools For Life Bookmark in a class book serves as a reminder of how to be a great problem solver. The door hanger can be placed on a door or hook in the classroom obvious to everyone. These references reinforce an understanding of when appropriate strategies and Tools might best be used.
The Situations Game and Tools game are presented in bags that hold sample problem scenario cards and the Tools cards for solving. Children are invited to present their own situations which may be troubling them.
The series of Posters present generic images of kids that serve as a useful cue to assist children in quickly adopting a variety of strategies. Put the posters in a place where they can be seen and referred to as reminders. Post them in a calm down zone or a Relationship-building Centre in your classroom, and use them as gentle reminders of the topics discussed in the Skills and Lessons. Sample Letters to Parents are provided should you wish to engage families and caregivers in the Tools for Life program. Be sure to allow your students, especially in the higher grades, to be creative in the development of their own posters that might better speak to their needs and their sense of community.
Key Chain With Tools Cards
The Posters suggest useful coping strategies and the Tools cards suggest possible solutions to difficult situations. Each Tool card (e.g., Ignore, walk away) has an image to help remind children of the Tool – in this case ear phones. Invite students to discuss issues that have occurred in the lunchroom, on the bus, during a recess break, and discuss them with each other. Role-play and the use of puppets will assist younger children.
Flip through your key chain and talk about the tools that were used to help solve the problem or what other tools might have worked better in that situation. All school staff are encouraged to clip the keychain to a belt, lanyard, or handbag for handy reference to reinforce the common language.
Music Discs 1 and 2
Music CDs are provided especially younger children to sing and dance. But the CDs are included in all Kits as they also serve as a model to encourage older students to compile their own songs or poetry that support the program. There may be certain special needs children in your class who could use this additional support. Perhaps they have certain challenges, or they are from a different culture and find the concepts hard to grasp. In those instances, use music to engage those special children and help them to learn the concepts and skills quickly.
There are 16 songs on the CDs that are linked to Tools for Life. By combining movement and music together, you will not only be supporting your children but encouraging exercise. You can also use the Music CDs to assist children in learning to relax and be peaceful. Then invite your students to download music of their own choice.
Tools for Life Body Clues DVD
This interactive DVD allows children to pick and choose what body clues they experience when having different feelings. This DVD will also support new education guidelines relating to consent, personal limits, and how to think ahead and recognize a potentially difficult situation. The DVD is a visual tool that can be used to demonstrate how the body changes with different feelings. Whether aged 8 or 80 the ability to hone skills and readily recognize body clues is a useful, life-long Tool.
Tools for Life Blog
New Resources Tools for Life is pleased to announce publication of a new inquiry-led, play-based Full Day Kindergarten teaching manual which aligns with recent Ontario Ministry of Education guidelines regarding play-based learning. This Manual was completed in collaboration with content partners from Upper Grand District School Board, Wellington Catholic District School Board, Canadian Mental Health […]
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“When I attended the Tools for Life workshop, I was amazed at how much my child knew, and how we can use the tools to deal with problems at home.”
“If there could be anything that would best encompass the role of the Tools for Life program, it would be “Happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them.” We at Country Hills Public School not only feel that the Tools for Life program has given us strategies in dealing with difficult times, but the ability to teach and maintain the program, year after year.”
Country Hills Public School
“(Tools for Life) has helped our school efforts to create a climate and culture that is courteous, kind, fair and respectful to others.”
Inge Ford – W.T. Townshend School