Nurturing Healthy Development & Well-Being
How Does Learning Happen? Ontario's Pedagogy for the Early Years
Well-Being addresses the importance of physical and mental health and wellness. It incorporates capacities such as self-care, sense of self, and self-regulation skills. (How Does Learning Happen? pg. 7)
Al's Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices
It is important that the program be delivered in a manner consistent with the training. Think about the following best practices:
Designate area for Al’s Place.
Complete pretests if you are participating in evaluation.
Pick the start date for lessons.
Review curriculum Preface, Leading the Lessons, etc. in front of manual.
Put in order: photographs, puppet scripts, reproducible masters, songbook pages.
Listen to entire CD to sure make it’s fully functional.
Replenish parent letters.
Check for ample Al-a-grams.
Check for sufficient Spanish parent letters and Spanish Al-a-grams.
Place books (Just Because I Am, It’s My Body), puppets and posters in puppet house.
Reach out to Parents
Send home Al’s Pals introductory letter on school letterhead (template in your manual).
Display Al’s Pals puppet house and materials at Open House or Back to School Night.
Remind parents to look for letters and reinforce skills at home.
Delivering the Lessons
Children retain most when lessons are delivered twice each week.
Conduct lessons in sequence, with your full group, same days and time if possible.
Review Helpful Hints and Special Notes before teaching lessons.
Reinforcing Al’s Pals Skills
Display photographs and posters once they’ve been introduced in a lesson.
Play songs regularly once they’ve been introduced in a lesson. (Some ideas: play “Calm Down” at rest time or during transitions; “Be My Friend” every Monday; “Stop! Think!” before science)
Intentionally role model for children. (Use feeling and ‘power’ words, problem-solve aloud, etc.)
Use follow-up activities anytime after lessons are taught. Many can be used in centers.
Discuss “safe and healthy choices for children” rather than “good or bad” so children can bond to positive norms without feeling confused about possible home/community choices.
“Catch” and acknowledge children using Al’s Pals skills. Al-a-grams sent home to parents encourage children.
Strategies to Support Self-Regulation in the Primary Classroom
Here are some things you might want to try:
- a visual schedule
- adjust the lighting
- declutter the classroom
- access to water and healthy snacks
- choice in seating
- fidget toys
- quiet, cozy areas (in addition to Al's Place)
- outside time
- "Me Moves" DVD
- deep breathing
After Hours Session - Strategies to Support Self-Regulation
Online registration for this session has closed. If you would like to attend but didn't register, please email Blythe at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the participant list.