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, 8 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.
Lanyard 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) has an image to help remind children of the Tool – in this case headphones. 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 scenarios will provide real-life opportunities for practice in a safe environment.
Flip through the Tools cards 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 carry the lanyard, for handy reference to reinforce the common language.
Tools for Life Music Discs 1, 2 and 3
All Tools for Life Music CDs that support the learning are now available for download at no cost from www.toolsforliferesources.com/music. Also offered are Lyrics and Sheet Music for most of the songs. Tools for Life hope these will serve as a model to engage younger children and 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 all instances, use Tools for Life tunes to engage your children and help them to learn quickly the concepts, the strategies for calming down and identifying feelings, and the appropriate application of the Tools for problem solving.
By combining movement and music together, you will not only be supporting your children but encouraging exercise. You can also use the music for mediation and yoga to assist children in learning to relax and be peaceful. Invite your students to download the music of their own choice and start singing and dancing.
Tools for Life Blog
“Tools for Life has supported the way in which we, as educators, promote social and emotional learning, in our classroom. As we moved through each lesson, we recognized that many of the strategies, we are already doing. However, the lessons extended our thoughts and provided tips and Tools to enhance and extend our support. We […]
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“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
“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.”
“(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