Predictable Schedules with Developmentally Appropriate Visuals

Predictable Schedules with Developmentally Appropriate Visuals

Predictable routines help children understand what is coming next in the day as well as what they are expected to do throughout the day.  This, paired with a visual schedule, communicates the sequence of upcoming activities or events through the use of objects, photographs, icons, words or a combination of tangible supports. A visual schedule tells a student where she should be and when she should be there.   

They:

  • help students become independent.
  • reduce anxiety for students by providing a clear structure for the school day.
  • remind students of routines.
  • set expectations for the day.
  1. Communicate the daily schedule and set clear expectations at the beginning of each day.
  2. Design a format for your visual schedule that is age appropriate (pictures, words or a combination of the two).
  3. Have the schedule visible for all students each day.

Visual Schedules: How to use them in the classroom

Read more
Student Responsibilities

Student Responsibilities

Giving students responsibilities within the classroom and the school, provides them with a sense of belonging and gives them purpose.

Some examples of student responsibility:

  • classroom jobs (paper passer, line leader, etc)
  • school jobs (collecting $ for Terry Fox, work in the canteen, etc., sell mik, collect food bank items and count)
  • leadership (older students work with and teach younger students)

Read more
Use Picture Books to Teach Social Emotional Skills

Use Picture Books to Teach Social Emotional Skills

Picture books are ideal because they are infinitely flexible: a 5-year-old and a 12-year-old can enjoy the same picture book while understanding it in dramatically different (but equally valid) ways. The interplay and interdependence between the text and illustrations promote thoughtful analysis and the brevity of the text leaves room for the reader to contribute his or her own interpretations. With only 10-15 minutes of reading time you can present complex ideas to a group of students and foster rich conversations.

Read more
Prosocial Recreation Activities

Prosocial Recreation Activities

Rationale

To provide opportunity for social interaction among students, as well as students and staff. To provide opportunity for staff and students to find grounding, when emotions, anxiety or traumatic events become overwhelming. To help build a healthy school culture.

This can be done before, during or after school. It can happen in rooms already designated for recreational activities, or rooms can be created (e.g. wellness room, gym)

Examples of pro-social recreational experiences are below. There are endless ideas, however these are three different types of examples.

  • Have a staff member supervise the gym during recess, so that students can play various informal games. This allows students to have an alternate environment than the playground at recess. There is opportunity for students to interact with others, as well as staff. Students who might feel uncomfortable during regular recess have an alternate option. Students who have experienced stress can regulate and ground themselves by engaging physical activities.

  • Provide a wellness room for students and staff to regulate emotions. This wellness room can be equipped with resources for students and staff to use at their discretion. E.g. painting/drawing material, books, manipulatives, cards, MUSE headbands, music devices with headphones, etc.
  • Plan an entire-school event where students and staff are mixed between grades, gather in the gym or larger open area and participate in mini-games and challenges. Teams can be created by staff and different activities can be planned for team building (e.g. musical chairs, nerf target challenge, karaoke, etc). This allows students and staff to interact with people they might not know. Team building and school culture can increase when interactions between grades occur.

Resources

Building a Healthy School Culture

Team Building Activity Ideas

Team Building Activity Ideas for Kids

Read more
Positive Parent Phone Calls

Positive Parent Phone Calls

Rationale

To build positive relationships with parents/guardians.

Later on in the year, if negative phone calls need to be made a positive relationship has already begun. The parents are more likely to respond ie:answering the phone.

At the beginning of the year make contact with each parent to introduce yourself and get to know their child.

Read more