Inclusive Resources for an Inclusive Classroom

The duties and responsibilities of teachers cannot be fully described in the job description. Not only do educators have to meet academic standards, but they must also acknowledge and address students’ emotional, social, and other special needs. The term “inclusive classroom” is mentioned as the standard for the modern-day classroom. An inclusive classroom is where students with learning differences can all prosper together, in a responsive, and supportive environment. It is also an environment where everybody respects and treasures each other’s background and culture. Teaching children in an inclusive environment can help kids not only do well in school but also help them to communicate, and respect others in society. Check out this blog for a few suggestions to build an inclusive classroom, and the necessary inclusive resources to achieve the objective. 


A. Start With The Language. 

“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice” – Peggy O’Mara. The power of words is immeasurable. At this age, young minds will likely learn and pick up on what everyone says to them. Take talking with kids seriously, and never use a condescending tone. Use phrases that people would use in a casual, adult conversation, such as: “I agree”, and “I understand what you mean” … which makes the conversation more productive, and kids can feel more heard and respected. Give children truthful, and specific compliments on things they do, or behaviours you would like to see in them. Focus on the language that the students are using too. When you hear students using inappropriate language, make sure to interrupt these behaviours, and let them know there are different ways that they can express their feelings.   

Try to use inclusive language while addressing the students. Instead of saying “ladies and gentlemen”, or “boys and girls”, try using gender-neutral words like “students”, and “friends” to respect students’ identities. When talking about students’ legal guardians, find out about who they are first before addressing them. Words like “mom and dad” might be unsuitable, and hurtful to children who live in foster care, stay with other relatives, or being involved in other complicated situations.   

  • Mindset Bulletin Board Set help to build positive thinking habits and boost self-confidence. Display this visual to remind students to change their mindset, embrace challenges and achieve success.  
  • Grow for It! Mini Bulletin Board Set encourages students to blossom with a whole garden of encouraging phrases.  

Change Your Words – Change Your Mindset! 

B. Develop A Standard for Conduct 

Letting children know there are behaviour standards in the classroom is essential to build polite, appreciative surroundings. It will also help children to learn manners and get used to following the typical code of conduct which exists in every community and working place. Create a set of basic behaviour standards that you expect from your learners, go over them with the class and get agreement from everyone. The standards should be short, and simple, and ensure that all members in the classroom are included and valued. Some examples are: 

  • Respect others and their belongings. 
  • Be kind and polite to others. 
  • Raise your hand when you have an opinion. Wait for others to finish their ideas first. 

From then on, everyone has the responsibility to follow the standard. Praise the student who consistently follows the code and whoever violates it must deal with the consequence. The consequence must be appropriate, and consistent. When the student shows undesirable behaviour, the teacher could always start with eye contact and remind the student that his/her/their behaviour is not appropriate according to the rules. If the behaviour continues to occur, put the student’s name down on a piece of paper, and discuss it with he/she/they privately. Try to find out what is causing the behaviour, which will help you to understand his/her/their situation and approach the issue from a more positive view. Be prepared for circumstances where students are rude to others. Interrupt the mean teasing and use the case as an opportunity to teach them a lesson.  

C. Get To Know Your Students 

Establish relationships with your students. Give them plenty of opportunities to share their hobbies and struggles while you share yours. This will help you to build a meaningful and long-lasting connection with them. If you have students with disabilities, make sure to spend time asking them questions so you can understand their specific needs. Plan activities for your students to share more about themselves. Some examples of activities could be the “Family Interview” where each student has to create a short survey/questionnaire and get their family members to do it, “Name Poems” – Have each student write their name and add an adjective that describes each letter. Sometimes, a simple walk and talk would also suffice. If they do not wish to share, do not put them on the spot! As long as you create plenty of occasions for them to share, they will understand that they are in an open and caring environment. 

  • Spark discussions with Let’s Talk Cube. Colourful cubes feature 36 engaging questions about student experiences and perspectives, including “What are you most proud of?”, “Who is the bravest person you know?” 
  • Learn a range of essential skills that can be used in everyday life with the fun set Social Skills Games. Answer questions about how to deal with relatable scenarios, differentiate between right and wrong and learn how to express your emotions and recognize how others may be feeling.  
  • Encourage mindfulness and start conversations about emotions with the chunky I Am Me Puzzle! It features a flower-shaped base, 15 affirmation petals and an ‘I am’ centerpiece. Each petal features a different affirmation: funny, brave, smart, kind and more. It helps foster the importance of empathy and develop confidence as children learn to identify and express their emotions.  

So many creative options for students to share about themselves! 

When a student creates problems in your classroom, try to take your time to get at what might be the root of the issues and come up with a long-term solution. It is possible that the pupil has a serious situation at home or an undiscovered learning handicap. Offering help when needed can make a huge impact in the young ones’ minds, get them to trust, and build a relationship with you! 

D. Adapt Teaching Strategies to Meet Students’ Needs 

When students with learning differences are placed in the general classroom, they frequently get accommodation and support. However, the educator might become stressed as he/she/they try to accommodate each kid individually. Despite teachers’ best efforts, some students with learning differences still feel singled out, and even reject accommodations to fit in. Educators have to flex and adapt their teaching styles to fit all students. Try to plan the lessons with the students in mind – make the lessons simple to understand, and relevant to the students. You can also change the methods that you use to deliver the lesson. Students enjoy learning new content in different ways such as visual, auditory, or hands-on. Example: You can show students video recordings/youtube videos, get them to listen to tapes, and use charts, and diagrams in your teachings. Let children choose how to demonstrate what they have learned at the end of each topic. Instead of giving them written tests, multiple choices every time, switch gears and offer students various ways to present the lesson. Let them make slide shows, create posters, do presentations, whatever their own strengths are! Giving children choices to demonstrate what they’ve learned will make the classroom more inclusive, as students get equal judgement, and opportunities to show their growth.   


Inclusive resources create an environment that ensures successful learning for all students and encourages full participation in learning activities. They are essential tools to build an inclusive classroom, as they assist students to fully benefit from their educational experience. Take a look at our recommendations for inclusive resources that promote inclusion value and support every student’s unique pattern of learning! 

E. Multicultural Resources 

An inclusive classroom typically means including students with special needs or learning differences. However, it also refers to making the effort to embrace students of different races, cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, and sexual orientations. It is to make sure that everyone receives a fair judgment, has access to learning resources, and erases the prejudices we may have against others. 

  • Increase awareness about other countries’ living standards: Using the Explorer Globe to teach children about world problems. Let one volunteer point to any country in the world and spend time learning about that country’s living standards. Do people have access to school? Do they have access to food, and clean water? 
  • Hello World! Floor Puzzle includes pictures of multicultural children dressed in traditional clothing and greetings from various languages around the world. Greeting one another in many cultures is considered an act of respect and builds friendship. Incorporate this puzzle into daily teaching to teach children about different cultures, and their ways of saying hello! 

Servus! Hola! Shalom! Greeting one another in many cultures is considered an act of respect and builds friendship. 

F. Books 

The books in your library are excellent sources for kids to explore different viewpoints and people. Stock your library with diverse books that include a range of characters from different backgrounds. Make sure students understand more about themselves and other perspectives from the outside. 

  • Best Behaviour Series teaches that words can hurt someone’s feelings, and violence is not a solution to the problem. Each book has simple words and charming pictures to discover better ways to cope with frustration, mad, sad or cranky feelings. 
  • Becoming Resilient Books encourages children to try new things, embrace change and overcome obstacles! The books focus on friendship, compromise acceptance, and respect. 

Let children learn more about themselves and others! 

G. Alternative Seating 

Alternative seating is created so kids with learning disabilities can increase their focus and become comfortable in the classroom. Giving students options to pick the seating that fits them is a great strategy to make the classroom more inclusive. Children with autism, sensory issues, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) will benefit a lot from alternative seatings, as they are designed to help kids focus, process information, and stimulate students’ senses. 

  • Adjustable Wiggle Stool features an adjustable seat height, with an extra-thick padded seat that allows for comfortable all-day use. The adjustable height reduces distractions and helps to promote a focused environment. The base is angled for improved posture and provides stability, even when over-tipped.  
  • BouncyBand Calming & Fun Sensory Rocker is every kid’s favourite place to relax, decompress and calm down! This rocker provides active movement, deep pressure, and sensory stimulation to calm and aid with fidgeting and restlessness. Children can rock and expel excess energy while being soothed and comforted with deep pressure. Rocking is an excellent way to receive vestibular stimulation, strengthen muscles and develop a sense of balance. 

I don’t know about you, but I’d sit on these all day! (Assuming I have the physique of a child of course) 

H. Fidgets/Sensory Play/Manipulatives 

In the classroom, fidget toys are great options for students as they allow the students to move while completing class work. Fidget toys aid kids who have trouble concentrating in class. Having a few of them around significantly improves classroom behaviour. If students overuse the toys, and get distracted from classwork/distract others, step in and remind them about the true purpose of these gadgets. 

  • BouncyBand Sensipod is a silent fidget enabling kids and adults to fidget without distracting others. Rubbing fingers, palms and feet over the 4 stimulating textures can alleviate tension, hyperactivity and boredom, helping achieve greater focus. Tension and stress are reduced as the soft flexible spikes, bumpy nobs, smooth ridges and crinkly sides provide hours of fidgety relief in the classroom and at home. 
  • While sitting or standing, BouncyBand Fidget Food Roller silently releases excess energy, alleviates anxiety, and increases focus. Restless fidgeters place a foot on the roller spinning it forwards, backwards, or both ways. It allows movement while working, both sitting and standing, resulting in greater concentration and productivity. Remove shoes for a comforting relaxing foot massage. Features rubber feet that grip to keep it in place while in use on both hard surfaces and carpets. 
  •  Worry Stones is designed to soothe and calm children, helping them to focus, concentrate and feel secure. By holding and/or rubbing a stone, a child’s sensory input is occupied, helping to relieve stress and anxiety, and freeing their mind to focus on the task in front of them.  
  • BouncyBand Portable Weighted Lap Pad is a sensory tool that offers deep calming pressure; increasing the ability to focus, relieving anxiety and stress. This blanket gives kids a comforting sense of security, a relaxing effect on the body and mind. 

Which one is your favourite to have in the classroom? 


The goal of an inclusive classroom is to give children a sense of belonging – what every child needs and deserves to have. It is incredibly impactful to establish an inclusive environment where everyone feels heard and valued. If you can make a child feel included, protected, and respected, they will always remember you as the teacher who had the most influence on them and carved a positive outlook for them. Isn’t that the greatest achievement? 

The Benefits of Carpets/Rugs in Classrooms

Rugs – we use them because they are cozy, comforting and add a touch of style to our home. However, do you know that rugs are also important items in the design process of the classroom? They contribute to the overall environment and atmosphere of the learning space. A classroom should be safe, fun, inviting, and stimulate learning. Rugs can help to achieve all those criteria. Check out this article for the benefits of rugs, and a few great rugs recommendation from us! 

I/ Rugs Support Play and Learn, and Are Perfect for Early Learning 

Rugs are made to be played on. Compared to desks and chairs, they offer much more room for children to move around. Children can get up without making the screeching chair noise and disrupting their peers. Rugs have more traction than hard floor – which tend to become slippery when wet. They decrease the impact of slips and falls and lessen the chance of injury. Rugs are also durable and are made to last for years. 

Background noises from inside and outside of the classroom, such as conversation, moving desks, chairs can affect the learning process of children. Hard floors and walls can echo and give students a hard time focusing. Rugs, or carpeted surfaces are some of the best flooring options as they can help to reduce sounds and ground level vibration. This helps to create a calm learning environment where students can focus with less distraction. On the rug, everyone is facing one direction: the speaker. This makes the communication process with students easier, and teacher can quickly identify the students who are not paying attention. 

Classrooms rugs can also be designed to feature key development topics such as: alphabet, numbers, shapes, language, geography, history and even emotions. These learning rugs usually include eye-catching pictures/drawing, with simple, effective layout to help the young ones learn seamlessly. Children look at the pictures/drawing on the rugs and this can help them familiarize with crucial concepts, which is a necessary process for early childhood learning. 

Sunny Day Rug features colourful learning blocks, where each block is a letter of the alphabet, and each cloud contains a number in them. Young learners will enjoy practicing numbers and letters, while exploring weathers, and colours. The beautiful, bright pattern makes it a perfect item for a positive learning environment. Every day is a sunny day! 

Look at how stunning the colours are! 

Continental Wonders Rug features a map of the world, with the names of the oceans, continents and highlights many geographic icons across the globe, such as Christ the Redeemer statue of Brazil, Sydney Opera House, and of course, the Canada Maple Leaf. Let children learn about geography, and explore different cultures using this rug! 

Can you name all the icons on the rug? 

Canada Rug includes multiple great visuals of Canada: a Canada map, with each colour representing different provinces, detailed province’s flags, and different figures such as a goose, beaver that emphasize Canada’s multicultural heritage. Children will take pride in identifying their provinces and flags with this beautiful rug.   

Let children explore Canada with this colourful, and informational rug! 

Medicine Wheel Rug symbolizes traditional North American First Nations Teachings. The Seven Teachings identify the core values of truth, honesty, love, courage, respect, humility and wisdom. The Medicine Wheel is symbolized by the 4 colours at the center of the rug, each enclosing an eagle feather. 

The Seven Teachings. 

II/The Sharing Circle Where You Relieve Your Stress 

Rugs provide flexible seating options in the classroom. On the days where students feel more relaxed, or there is not much work to do left in the day, teachers can go with the flow, and ask students to switch to sitting on the rug to study or play games. Rugs offer comfortable cushioning for students to sit, play, or even lay on top of. Bring children together for study, group games, or reading sessions!  

Rugs also bring an important benefit to the classroom: warmth. They are excellent thermal insulators, as the fibres in the material trap heat, keeping the room warmer for longer, and stop heat from escaping through the floor. They are essential for the classroom in the winter. Some rugs are warm, rich colour, which also brings the cozy vibe to the classroom.  

Lastly, rugs are stress-relieving. Some rugs have calm, relaxing designs which help students, and even teacher to feel at ease, and unwind the worries of the day. Teachers can rest on the floor after standing all day long. The class can gather on the rug, talk about their day, or practice mindfulness. Compared to desks and chairs, sitting together on a rug feels more personal, connected. It’s a smaller space, so everyone can hear each other, and speak their minds. 

Mindful Seating Rug is a great example of how rugs can be stress-relieving and support mental health. This calming classroom rug is great for practicing present-moment awareness, and helps young students constructively manage their emotions. The design is simple, and by using natural colors and textures, children can use this attractive rug as an area to decompress, regain focus, and practice the important skills necessary for sound health and well-being. The rug features the colourful circles, each act as a designated seat for students, so they can have their own space and respect others’ boundaries 

The calming circles are great to sit on and practice mindfulness. 

Just like the name suggests, Peaceful Tropical Night Rug captures a cool, and calm tropical night. Peaceful starlit skies, calming greenery and some silly frogs create the perfect environment for quiet time, story time or any group gathering. The calming features of the rug help to ease the mind of not just the young ones, but also the teachers.  

Don’t you feel like the summer when looking at this? 

Campfire Fun Rug can bring the outdoor inside, and give students the warm, cozy feeling of a camping night. Gather around the campfire for an afternoon of sharing, storytelling and group activities. Create a dramatic play center and “cook up” pretend smores for an easy camping theme that is certain to delight children and adults alike! Fun activities like this can help students get laughs and relax their mind after a tiresome day 

Who wants to share a story? 

Children of Many Cultures Rug emphasize multicultural heritages with charming children in native dress. They hold each other’s hands, meaning that no matter how different we might be in features, culture, personality, we should respect, and treasure each other’s beauty. This rug is a great tool to build an inclusive classroom. The design of the rug gives off a feeling that everyone in the rug is “included” – everyone is respected and heard. Teachers can use the rug as a tool to break the ice and get closer with students. Let them share their feelings, struggle, and introduce new class members using the rug! 

Respect, and treasure the difference in people. 

IV/ Rugs Make Classrooms Fun! 

A furniture’s benefits lie in its functionality, and decoration value. We already talked about the functionality, the educational, stress-relieving benefit of rugs, but at the end of the day, what rugs do best, is add beauty and style to the classrooms. They brighten the classrooms with their colours and designs, make the room more aesthetically pleasing, and inviting. The majority of children love a stimulating and colourful environment, and rugs help to make the classroom a more playful, enjoyable place. The process of selecting the rugs is fun, too. Pick the rugs that match your classroom theme, and be creative with your choice, as there are rugs of all different colours and patterns out there!  

Kidsoft Animal Patchwork Rug include cute animals for children to learn and identify! 

What’s your favourite animal? Mine is the penguin. 

Off Balance Rug include slightly off-balance squares will work equally well as an accent rug under a table or a cool place for children to “kick back”. It also gives off a very artsy vibe! 

Can it get more colourful than this? 

Choose Kind Rug is inspired by the quote from the movie Wonder “When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.” The word “kindness” is written in 20 languages. It provides a sense of peace and community in your environment, as well as reinforcing learning with literacy.  

A great option if you want to make your classroom a more inclusive place! 

Note Worthy Carpet assists students in developing a lifelong appreciation for music. Children can practice math skills, simple and complex rhythms, recognition of basic musical symbols and note matching with this rug.  

Learn music theory with this rug! 

The Circle Rug introduce children to First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures. Each symbol is designed not only as a sitting space but also as a tool to provide unique insight into Indigenous life. 

Introduce children to First Nations culture! 

III/How to Maintain Rugs 

A properly selected, installed and maintained rug can lasts up to 10 years and sometimes even longer (our vendors Carpet for Kids and Joy Carpets offer 10-year warranty on most of their rugs). That makes rugs a very cost-effective flooring option, which is another benefit! However, knowing how to properly clean and maintain the rug is also important, as it can greatly affect the quality of the rug. The most efficient and cost-effective method of maintaining clean rugs in schools is vacuuming. The majority of dry dirt can be removed from the rug by performing regular, scheduled vacuuming. Make sure to avoid vacuuming over the serge, as this can cause serge yarn to become frayed and torn. Schools are advised to have and follow a maintaining routine for rugs. For active areas where there are a lot of footsteps, daily vacuuming is suggested. Once or twice a year (before school year, and winter break), professional cleaning services or skilled custodians should come and examine the rug.  

Besides vacuuming, there are different cleaning methods for rugs such as: spot cleaning, steam cleaning, and various detergents to choose from. Depend on who the manufacturer of the rug is, you want to follow their cleaning instructions. However, the general rule is to never use soap, ammonia, laundry detergent, automatic dishwashing detergent, washing soda, or any strong household cleaning agents intended for use on hard surfaces, i.e., woodwork, linoleum, tile, as these cleaning agents could damage the rug. Avoid any cleaner with bleach, strong chemicals that would cause the dye to run. When cleaning, always blot, never scrub or rub abrasively, as this may create a fuzzy area. Some rugs are also washable with cold water, mild detergent, and gentle cycle setting.  

Let’s talk about the biggest foe of all rugs: mold. Leaks, spills, dirt can all result in the formation of mold in various parts of the rug, especially if this is followed by an extended period of high humidity. To protect your rug from mold, do not install it in areas that are likely to be exposed to high moisture. Make sure everyone takes their shoes off before entering the rug and consider keeping all food away from the rug. If any water, liquid, or other moisture contact with the rugs, make sure the surface is dried thoroughly afterward.  

Every rug contains a flammable risk, so make sure to install them correctly, and choose rugs that have high level of fire resistance, from reputable vendors. Our vendors Carpet for Kids and Joy Carpets carry rugs that are Class 1 rated according to NFPA standard, which is the best rating for fire resistant a product can receive. 

IV/ Seating Kits and Sharing Circles 

Seating Kits and Sharing Circles deserve an honourable mention! They have more mobility than the usual classroom rugs and help kids with physical distancing seating. They give ample room for kids of all ages while providing flexibility to arrange seating as needed. You can use them for playing games, circle time, or marking quiet spaces. 

Greenspace Artificial Grass Seating Circles temp you to kick-off your shoes and enjoy the relaxing and inviting grass texture.  The grass blades are specifically engineered to resist matting and crushing and will maintain their original beauty in even the most active areas. Comfortable, casual and low maintenance, this vibrant and versatile artificial grass rug can be used anywhere! 

Manufactured from premium, eco-friendly synthetic fibres. 

Farm Animal Seating Kit have fun shapes, colors, and farm animals’ drawings. Kids can learn and pick their favourite animals! 

Old Macdonald had a farm, e-i-e-i-o! 

Learning Blocks Kit include easily identifiable images that help children learn about the sounds of letters. Each colourful square illustrates a letter of the alphabet with a matching icon that makes learning fun. 

A is for Alligator, D is for Dog, Q is for Quality Classrooms – the best quality at the best price! 

Rugs are essential for every classroom. They add beauty and style with their vibrant colours, bold patterns, and interesting textures. They retain warm air longer than other flooring types, so they provide warmth and comfort in the winter. For the young students, carpets and rugs are great to sit on, play on, and due to their surface, carpets and rugs decrease the possibility of slips and falls and reduce injuries when falls occur. Most rugs designed for children include teachings of fundamental topics with relaxing, inviting graphics and that’s why they are great tools to assist learning and take part in the development of the young minds. Take care of your rugs by vacuuming them daily, follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely, and get professionals to check on them once or twice per year! 

Feedback from the customer. Lovely! 

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? 

Someone asked me: “What are your new year’s resolutions?”. I panicked for a moment, and answered: “I don’t know…be healthy, go to the gym, eat more vegetables, save money?” I’ve been setting new year’s resolutions since ’06 and for most of them, I’d forget by February (sometimes even sooner). But hey, I tried! I wrote the goals down on a piece of paper and stuck them on the door of my room. I recorded myself reciting the goals and listened to the recordings daily. They just didn’t stick in my mind! It took me so long to make new year’s resolutions and actually complete everything on the list. I’ve learned a lot from trial & error and now know to set realistic goals and finish them. How about you? As educators, accomplishing your goals can make huge improvements on the development of the young ones. It also inspires students to have innovative mindsets and improve themselves. Below are 10 great new year’s resolutions for teachers, hope they can provide you with inspiration to start off the year right! 

Goal 1: A Positive Learning Environment 

Talk about starting off the year right! Learning is an emotional process, and we feel different emotions when we’re in the classroom – excited to share our ideas, embarrassed when we’re wrong, and upset when we’re discouraged.  A positive learning environment is where students feel accepted, seen, and valued for their opinions. It motivates students to learn, explore and learn to be respectful to others. You can make the classrooms a positive place by using positive language/affirmations in your daily teachings, reinforcing positive actions by rewarding students who exhibit good behaviours, and most importantly, being a positive role model for children to follow. Remember, there is always a positive way to respond to a situation! 

Good Behaviour Buckets

Goal 2: Refresh the Classroom 

You know what they always say: “New year, new me.” Cliché? Yes, but it’s true. Renewing the classroom is necessary to make you comfortable, increase your efficiency and boost your productivity. It also keeps students excited to see the classroom cleaned and renewed. Replace any old or broken classroom tools with new ones, organize the storage unit, get rid of any excess files or papers on your desk, and get new classroom gadgets too! Alternative seating options are some great additions to the classroom: Bouncyband for Desks, which enable kids to have an outlet for excess energy while working, alleviating anxiety, hyperactivity, and boredom, and increasing focus and performance. Bouncyband Fidget Foot Roller, which includes a roller for kids to be active while sitting, silently releases excess energy, alleviates anxiety, and increases focus.    

BouncyBand Fidget Foot Roller

Goal 3: Take Risks! 

Taking risks in the classroom is exciting and thrilling at the same time, as your decision will affect the learning process of the students. However, it brings tremendous benefits. Taking risks helps educators overcome their own fears and create innovative solutions in their classrooms. Inspiring students to take risks will help them to raise their self-esteem, think more creatively and even when risk-taking fails, they learn to become more resilient.  And risk-taking doesn’t have to be something grand like building a rocket. Like most great things, it starts with small steps. Starting a project over from scratch when plans don’t work out, having students learn to trust their classmates during group activities, encouraging and appreciating students who have forward, innovative thinking are some of the small risk-taking decisions you can make in the new year. Here’s another cliché (but true!) quote: “The biggest risk of all is not taking one!” 

Goal 4: Read more books!  

The joy of reading. Need I say more? Reading gives children a deep understanding of the world and receives background knowledge. It helps them make sense of what they see, and hear, which aids their cognitive development. Reading at an early age not only allow children to have better vocabulary and learn to express themselves, but it also helps children to be more empathetic, as books usually portray various characters with different perspectives. Share with students about your reading experiences: what you’ve been reading and what you’ve learned from the books.  Set up book clubs, reading groups and encourage them to socialize around reading. Sometimes, it just takes one good book for students to fall in love with reading, so recommend them a good one to read! Inuit Stories Series, and Opposite Series are some cool examples. Check out the Books too! 

Inuit Stories Series

Goal 5: Be Present for Students’ Emotional Needs 

Today, the duties and responsibilities of teachers go beyond what is described in the job description. Not only do educators have to meet academic standards, prepare for assessments, and other administrative requirements, teachers must acknowledge and address students’ emotional needs. Many students who misbehave or act differently might have unknown problems. Daily situations like arguments or asking for help might seem simple to adults, but for young minds who are not developed, learning to deal with them can be difficult. Introduce children to social-emotional learning (SEL), which aims to foster social and emotional skills. Emotion-oes Domino Game, Social Scenario Activities are both fun and educational games for children to learn how to identify and manage their emotions. Let students know that their mental health is important, offer activities to do in class that are stress-reducing such as listening to calm music, and encourage kids to be more open and talk about their problems. Yoga is often mentioned as one of the most effective tools for stress management and mindfulness, so start implementing short yoga sessions in class could be a good idea! Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds Activity Set includes beautifully illustrated and simply written yoga cards that will develop breathing, balancing, focusing, calming, and more.  

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds Activity Set

Goal 6: A Multicultural and Inclusive Classroom 

Diversity is becoming an increasingly important topic in current times and will continue to be the main theme in our children’s development. Understanding these topics helps the kids to admire the difference in individuals, treat everyone with respect, make the classroom more inclusive, and build the necessary skill to communicate/work with different people in the future. Teaching children about diversity can start with letting kids know/explore unfamiliar cultures. Around The World Set includes 48 beautiful pieces that replicate iconic landmarks of the world such as Leaning Tower of Pisa, Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Statue of Liberty, Pyramids of Giza. Hello World! Floor Puzzle includes pictures of multicultural children dressing in traditional clothing and greetings from various languages in the world. 

Hello World! Floor Puzzle

Goal 7: It’s About Learning, Not Grades 

“How do I get an A?”, “When is it due?”, “Is this chapter on the test?”. As teachers, these questions can make you upset, knowing that students care about grades rather than what they learn from the lesson. Educators want the best for their students, which is giving them useful knowledge, and inspiration to learn more. Hence, emphasizing learning over grades is important because it encourages students to be more active in what they want to learn, to control their personal educational process and goal-setting. Start using a different language in the classroom that highlights the learning process of the student rather than emphasizing the grade. When talking to the parents, talk about the student’s improvement in certain areas, instead of how low/high the grade is. Provide feedback on skills like creativity, effort, collaboration and use rubrics with simple, observable skills to allow students more room to be creative! 

Goal 8: Flexible Classrooms 

A flexible classroom is a space that provides students with various choices to choose how they learn, how they apply the knowledge, and how they work with others. Flexible learning environments are becoming a priority in schools because it improves learning outcome and increases teachers’ effectiveness. You can make your classroom more flexible first by reorganizing the classroom’s furniture so that there is more space for movement. Dividing the classroom into learning zones, and including boards, or writing surfaces so students can express their ideas down. Aktivity Adjustable Marker Board Table is great for students to share their ideas, and effectively promote creativity and mental engagement. A Flexible learning environment also includes a wide variety of seating options. Innovate seating gives students the freedom to where and how they want to learn. Wiggle Stool allows students to… wiggle, with an extra-thick padded seat that allows for comfortable all-day use. ErgoErgo has a bold contemporary design, so children are active while sitting. After students sit on an ErgoErgo, they won’t go back to ordinary chairs!



Goal 9: Be More Active in the Classroom 

Schoolwork can be tiresome for the young ones. They want to explore, do fun stuff, and be active. Being active in the classroom improves students’ concentration, reducing behaviour such as fidgeting. Sometimes recess is not enough, not to mention in this weather, students can’t even get outside! Teachers have to get creative and give them more options to be active in the classroom. A few solutions to be active in the classroom were mentioned above – yoga, and cool seatings. Loose Parts and Arts & Crafts are great options to get the tiny hands active after hours of sitting and writing. Teachers can also make the classroom livelier by allowing more opportunities for group work and collaboration. Let students talk, and share ideas with friends.  Come up with activities to get them to move around, and encourage friendly competition with games, and quizzes. Math Marks The Spot Game, Spelligator are fun games that encourage friendly competition and keep young minds active. Don’t forget to check out the Active Play options! Spring will be coming in no time! 


Goal 10: Give Yourself a Medal 

Children are our future – and you are positively shaping the future by taking care of them and inspiring them to develop valuable virtues such as the love for knowledge, and kindness. You’ve worked tirelessly to create a positive learning environment, and you always go the extra mile to help students make progress. In a profession where it’s required to be continuously creative, positive, inspiring, and patient, you deserve a medal every day for going to work. Take care of yourself, drink enough water, eat healthy food, exercise, and most importantly, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. 

In Conclusion:

A good new year resolution doesn’t have to be a “great” achievement. It should be something that you enjoy doing, bring long term benefit, and of course – include a considerable amount of challenge. You should feel inspired working towards your new year resolution. Your journey to change might be rocky and full of obstacles, but like they always say, “You have to get through the rain if you’re ever going to see a rainbow”. Cliché? Yes, but it’s true! 

Hope you find your New Year’s Resolutions. 

Diversity and Equality: From the Classroom to the World 

Diversity and Equality are becoming increasingly important topics in current times and will continue to be the main theme in our children’s development. Understanding these topics helps the kids to admire the difference in individuals, treat everyone with respect, and build the necessary skill to communicate/work with different people in the future.

Diversity is the differences between humans and what make us unique. It includes physical characteristics such as ethnicity, gender identity, disability, physical or mental ability, and intangible values such as class, culture, religious beliefs, language, and many more. Teaching children to recognize and respect individual differences is the cornerstone to promote diversity.  

Equality is believing in the right of everyone to have equal treatment, and access to the same resources and opportunities. Inclusion is the practice that embraces both the concept of diversity and equality, by making sure that everyone is treated fairly and being respected regardless of their differences. An inclusive classroom is where students can feel a sense of belonging – knowing that they are loved for who they are. 

 Teaching children about diversity can start with letting kids know/explore unfamiliar cultures. Here are a few fun activities that children can both play/learn about the world around us: 

I. Holiday – Every day!  

  • Take the nice shoes out. Put on your best outfit. Because it is a holiday today! We recommend researching, choosing, and enjoying festivals that represent the cultures of the world. Examples: Chinese New Year, Diwali, and Hanukkah. Celebrating the holidays from your students’ cultures is also an effective way to make them feel involved and proud of their roots.
  • Dressing in traditional clothes of the culture chosen. Encouraging children to do the same on their holiday. Learning about the selected culture’s traditional clothing. Around the world figures are the writer’s favorite. They are chunky, soft, friendly-looking figures that are dressed in beautiful cultural outfits. They are great for creative play and are wonderful tools to let children know about the details of diverse cultural outfits. 
  • Serving food/snacks or letting children play with food set from the culture chosen. What is a party without food? Introducing kids to the foods of the world is a fantastic way for them to learn about different cultures, and food is just always a great theme. The Sushi Set (See picture below!) includes several types of sushi, and a wooden board so children can serve sushi to others. An excellent introduction to the famous dish of Japan. 
  • Making crafts of different objects that represent the chosen culture. The Tepee Craft Kit is a great tool to help educate children about the history of Indigenous people.  

II. Fun, spontaneous ideas.

  • These fun activities can be done anytime and will help children to develop empathy, and respect for other people. 
  • Play music from different countries: Select children’s songs, or famous songs with relaxing/positive messages from different countries. The songs can be played in the background while students work or have fun. Encourage them to take part in the playlist and put in their own recommendations! Introduce children to different musical instruments of the world. Multicultural Rhythm Set includes musical instrument toys from various South American countries, and we are sure that it will keep the atmosphere always festive! 
  • Arts of the world: Art is a fascinating topic and always will be. Explore dances, paintings, literature, and other forms of art around the world.  
  • Use the bulletin board: decorate the bulletin board with information about a distinct culture: images of locations, simple words of the natives, food pictures, events, and locations on the map. Change the bulletin board monthly to a different culture for more variation. Crayola Holiday Series is a great fit for these activities as they have colours that relate to symbols, and customs of the holidays around the world such as Chinese New Year, Christmas, Cinco de Mayo, Diwali, Halloween, … Let the young ones have the joy of decorating the bulletin board! 
  • Play Trivia: After learning about different countries, it is time to test students’ knowledge. The key to every trivia is fun, so make sure to hand out prizes for correct answers to increase friendly competition! Around the world paper collection is a complete set of gorgeous papers that include 48 unique patterns in African, Indigenous, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and Australian Aboriginal cultures. A compelling prize for students who like crafting, decorating, or collecting cultural pieces. 
  • Games from around the world: Research and introduce children to international games, from board games to outdoor activities. 

III. Equality – Start from the classroom first. 

  • Teaching children about Equality from an early age is a wonderful way to help them build valuable traits such as empathy, love, understanding, and consideration for other people.
  • Pronounce & remember classmates’ names: Try to encourage students to practice saying and remembering their classmates’ names correctly. This activity will help children build relationships and make the classroom environment more inclusive. 
  • Increase awareness about other countries’ living standards: Using the Explorer Globe to teach children about world problems. Let one volunteer point to any country in the world and spend time learning about that country’s living standards. Do people have access to school? Do they have access to food, and clean water?
  • Let children know about organizations that are dedicated to bringing equal opportunities to everyone such as World Education – a non-profit organization that improves people’s lives through education, social and economic development. This is a great introduction for children to social studies – the study of people in relation to each other and to the world in which they live.
  • Depending on the ages of the children, explain to them the idea that not everyone is equal in the world, and each of us can contribute to a better society by treating everyone around us equally. 
  • Bring your culture to the classroom: Give students an assignment to bring an item/items that represent their culture to the classroom. Then have them present in front of the class about the item and why it is important to the chosen culture. If students cannot bring an item, have them make a presentation about what they are most proud of in their culture. It can be anything: arts, food, traditions, … 
  • Guest speaker: Invite people from other cultures to come to the classrooms and share their experiences. Children will be fascinated by the stories, the traditional outfits, the difference in customs, and of course, the languages. Kids will also learn about different living situations, and sometimes even the feeling of the individual when being discriminated against. It will be an unforgettable and thrilling experience for them! 

IV. Using tools/objects that promote inclusion in daily learning. 

  • Diversity and Equality do not need to be reminded of or taught daily. We recommend using products that represent different races in daily teachings to let the idea implement seamlessly. 
  • Playtime can also be both educational and fun! We have a range of dolls from different races to choose from. Female Doll, Indigenous is a good option to let children play with and let them get used to different races of people. Possible Family is also our line of products that include sets of family figures from various races that enable several types of imaginative scenario play. 
  • While teaching children about emotions and feelings, we recommend using Children’s faces from around the world puzzle. It includes award-winning photos that depict children from different races showing various emotions. It is a great tool to learn about emotions and introduce children to different faces and features of people. 
  • Introduce children to different careers using Multiethnic Career Puppets. These puppets depict multiethnic men and women in non-sexist career roles, so children can learn about jobs without prejudice and discrimination. 
  • Around The World Set includes 48 beautiful pieces that replicate iconic landmarks of the world such as Leaning Tower of Pisa, Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Statue of Liberty, Pyramids of Giza. Let the young ones be mesmerized by some of the world’s greatest civilizations, as well as teach them that each culture has dazzling treasures to be proud of.   
  • Indigenous Peoples of Canada Book helps educate children about First Nations in Canada. This book specifically looks at the Cree, Anishinaabe (Ojibway), and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), and also includes an educator’s guide to teaching Native Studies in the classroom. 
  • Reach Across the World Rug is big, comfortable, and has drawings of 20 children dressed in cultural outfits, with the world map in the background. Not only does it look charming and delightful, but it can also be a great tool for teachers to bring the idea of diversity to children. “Many countries, many children, but only one world” is the message. 

Learning about Diversity and Equality should be a delightful and stimulating experience, as kids get to discover the beauty and uniqueness of distinct cultures and learn how to treat people fairly. Encourage students to have open conversations – about topics such as living standards, various customs of people, or simply the question of why each of us is so “different” from another. Take them on a journey to explore the beauty of cultures around the world: food, landmarks, arts, and let them know that every culture in the world is beautiful and full of pleasant surprises. Make the classroom an inclusive environment where everyone is valued by their opinions, background and teach children to treat everyone equally.

How we Remember Together: Educating Children on Remembrance Day

poppy, Remembrance Day, Canada,education, crafts, arts.

On November 11th each year, Canada commemorates Remembrance Day, which marked the end of World War I in 1918. It may also be commonly known as Armistice Day. 

On Remembrance Day, Canadians take time to honour the men and women who have served and continue to serve Canada during times of war, conflict, and peace.  

The poppy flower is the symbol of Remembrance Day. In his 1915 poem “In Flanders Fields,” Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian poet, soldier, and physician, paints a piercing, evocative image of poppy flowers growing on the makeshift graves of those fallen in the Battle of Ypres.  

Today, the poem continues to be a part of Remembrance Day ceremonies in Canada and other countries throughout the world. The poem, written after the death of a close friend, was first published in Punch magazine and led to the adoption of the poppy as the Flower of Remembrance for the British and Commonwealth war dead. 

The importance of talking about Remembrance Day with children: 

Celebrating holidays in every culture focuses on teaching traditions, history, and the reason a group of people cares for one another. Remembrance Day is the time to talk to children about the importance of honouring the history of Canada and the previous generations of Canadians. For many, this is the time when the older members of the family have a chance to share their personal stories. 

Holidays build a strong bond in a family and community, promoting feelings of security and belonging. The seasonal nature of some holidays creates a sense of predictability and comfort in the familiar for young people.  

At the end of October – the beginning of November children will see poppies on the lapels of the people around them, and the Poppy Boxes in stores across Canada. Talking to them about the history of the day can help them make sense of what they observe around them. 

Gaining accurate and respectful understanding of Remembrance Day, broadening their worldview, and creating a context for their experiences can become powerful learning outcomes for children.

Commemorate Remembrance Day with children of different ages: 

If your centre chooses to include Remembrance Day activities in your curriculum, there are several ways you can do so.  

For preschoolers and school age, focusing on veterans could help educators to discuss the idea of service and peace without broaching the complicated topic of war. Remembrance Day also gives us an opportunity to talk about the privilege of living in a safe country, and how those serving in the Canadian forces provide support and assistance to those in need overseas and at home, for example, during natural disasters, such as blizzards, floods, etc. such as during the 1997 Red River Flood. 

To encourage youth to participate in Remembrance tradition, The Royal Canadian Legion created a Teaching Guide in order to assist Canadian educators, by providing them with brief notes on Canadian history and its important symbols, Remembrance songs and poems, as well as suggested activities. 
Remembrance Day, education, children, graves, veterans, poppies.

The teaching Guide offers several craft activities that can be offered to children of different ages. 

  • Draw or paint a poppy and put it on your window 
  •  Craft a paper poppy
  •  Paint a poppy on a stone to put on the gravesites of Canadian Veterans

Remembrance Day Activities & Crafts

Remembrance Day, poppy, education, craft, children, Canada, veterans, sympathy, education, crafts, art.

Remembrance Day Craft Kit: 

Our convenient Remembrance Day Poppy Craft includes materials for 50 poppies – tissue paper and chenille stems – as well as a teaching guide. Watch the video below for easy-to-follow instructions. 

Video: Remembrance Day Poppy Craft

Activities for preschool and school-age children: 

To engage a child in an activity, we can set up what is called a ‘provocation’ in the Reggio Emilia philosophy. Similar philosophy is behind the painting/drawing trays in the Montessori approach. Debra Honegger from Journey into Early Education defines a provocation as “deliberate and thoughtful decisions made by the teacher to extend the ideas of the children.

Teachers provide materials, media, and general direction as needed, but the children take the ideas where they want. This allows children to develop skills of creativity, inventiveness, and flexibility in thinking, planning and reflecting.”  

Open-ended, process-based activities promote children’s creativity and individuality, foster their sense of self, and allow them to explore and express themselves freely. 

Loose Part Poppy 

Remembrance Day, loose part poppy, arts, crafts, children, education.

Offer a child a frame with a pipe cleaner or two, for stems, and a variety of materials (pom poms, buttons, beads, foam shapes, pieces of felt, wood, etc.) in green, red, and black – and watch them create a poppy. Each flower will be unique! Some might even work in 3D! 

Process based art opportunities allow children to create independently. Through free exploration they learn the physical properties of the materials, their own abilities, and are not limited in their experimentation. Such opportunities foster children’s sense of autonomy and trust in their own creative abilities. Process art is child-driven, and the result of such experience is unique and individual for each child. 

Suggested Materials: 

Remembrance Day Suncatcher  

It is traditional to display poppies on our windows on Remembrance Day – and what better way to let children’s creativity shine but with a vibrant suncatcher? 

Remembrance Day, sun catcher, education, children, crafts, art, learning, diy.

Prepare a flower-shaped frame made of black paper and glue an insert of tracing paper inside it. Provide the child with plenty of tissue paper pieces, the middle piece (a circle of black paper with a fringe, cut with scissors by a teacher or the child), and a glue stick.  

Attach the completed poppy to the window – and watch the sunshine and glow through it! 

Suggested Materials: 

Activities for the younger ones: 

It is challenging to come up with an activity for infants, especially when trying to start a conversation on such a complex topic as the history of service and commemoration. At the age 0 to 18 months, children perceive the world on a sensory level. They are attracted to bright colours, new textures, and so on. We can provide the youngest children with the experiences that they will grow to associate with the season and Remembrance Day. 

Sensory play is important for children, because it provides fun and engaging experiences, while allowing children to explore, experiment, and make observations. It is proven that sensory play helps to build nerve connections in the brain; encourages the development of motor skills; supports language development; encourages ‘scientific thinking’ and problem solving; and can involve mindful activities, which are beneficial for all children. 

Remembrance Day Sensory Bin: 

Remembrance Day, education, children, sensory bin, poppies, Canada, infants.

Offer the child a bin full of red, green, and black, age-appropriate materials with different textures, to touch, squish, and poke! 

Suggested Materials: 

Those who choose to commemorate Remembrance Day and to observe it in childcare centres, emphasize the importance of the conversation about the past, so we don’t forget its lessons and can continue learning from it and growing, remembering and honouring the sacrifice of those who served and continue to serve in the times of war and peace. 

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow 
Between the crosses, row on row, 
    That mark our place; and in the sky 
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly 
Scarce heard amid the guns below. 
We are the Dead. Short days ago 
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie, 
        In Flanders fields. 
Take up our quarrel with the foe: 
To you from failing hands we throw 
    The torch; be yours to hold it high. 
    If ye break faith with us who die 
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow 
        In Flanders fields. 

John McCrae

Social-Emotional Learning through Literature

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is a methodology that can help children of all ages to better interpret emotions, fully engage with their feelings, and show empathy and compassion for others. Through emotion regulation and decision-making, SEL helps children to build meaningful relationships, reach their goals, and have more understanding of the world around them. 

Social-emotional learning is a key to becoming a great learner in early development. It’s the process of children uncovering their own emotions while simultaneously becoming aware of the emotions of others. Social-emotional learning helps develop empathy and compassion, helping them become better leaders and better humans. It is a critical point of personal growth that educators can amplify through lessons and conversations. 

The connection between literature and SEL does not get enough attention but is just as important as STEAM learning, dramatic play, and many other areas of early learning. Literature is a wonderful opportunity to help SEL shine, through studying, discussing, and engaging with each other. SEL fits seamlessly into any school curriculum and can be an innovative part of any classroom.  

What are the five types of social-emotional learning skills?  

There are five SEL competencies that are applicable to the classroom, home, and community. 

-Self-awareness – ability to identify emotions, develop a growth mindset, and recognize strengths and weaknesses.  

-Self-management – having ownership of regulating emotions, controlling compulsions and achieving goals.  

-Social awareness – the ability to see things from the perspective of others, appreciate people’s varying abilities, put an emphasis on diversity and show empathy.  

-Relationship skills – this includes but is not limited to communication skills, problem-solving, and resolving conflicts with others. 

-Responsible decision-making – thinking before making a choice and ensuring you are aware of the consequences. 

All five of these types of ideologies help students to live their best lives emotionally and teach them social skills that can support them throughout their years of schooling and onward.  

two children sitting with yellow smiley face balloons

What books can I use to form connections with SEL and literature in my classroom? 

Have You Filled a Bucket Today is an award-winning and heart-warming book that encourages positive behaviour as children see the importance of expressing kindness, appreciation, and love daily. This book highlights the effects of our actions and words on the well-being of others and ourselves. 

book cover of Have You Filled a Bucket by Carol McCloud

The Understanding Differences book set is a wonderful series about children of various abilities, such as children with wheelchairs, leg braces, and those who are deaf. Educating children on disabilities is crucial for inclusivity and embracing differences. 

The Focusing on Feelings book set helps children gain a better understanding and introduction to feelings that may be not so pleasant, such as loneliness and isolation. These four books include The Very Long Sleep, The Cloud, The Lost Stars, and Momo and Snap are NOT Friends. These books are gentle but effective in illustrating dark and sad emotions, helping children put a name to their feelings. 

The Emotions Book Set features four different emotions; angry, sad, happy, and scared. These books use big, full-colour photos and rhythming text to illustrate kid-friendly situations and feelings. 

The Way I Feel is a great book about how feelings are not necessarily good or bad; they just simply exist. Kids need words to name their feelings, just as they need words to name all things in their world. Strong, colourful, and expressive images that go along with simple verses help children connect the word and the emotion. Through this book, children will learn useful words and will have many chances to open conversations about what’s going on in their life.  

Dealing With Feelings… contains eight different emotion books: Happy, Jealous, Worried, Shy, Sad, Proud, Angry, and Caring. Each book in the Dealing with Feeling series looks at a different emotion commonly experienced by young children. The books help readers to identify their emotions and provide tips and advice on how best to express and deal with them.   

What products can I use to integrate SEL in the classroom? 

The Feelings Friend helps open a window into children’s emotions. It comes with an assortment of facial features in its front pouch. It can be used to connect facial expressions, comes with cards, and has a detailed usage guide included.    

The Self-Regulation Stones are designed to help children express their emotions when they can’t find the words to do so. Choosing an image that represents their emotions enables them to represent how they’re feeling, what triggered this feeling, and how it can be managed constructively. Recognizing an emotion and understanding it more fully will enable healthy self-regulation, supporting children’s development and engagement with others. It is very useful for mindfulness activities inside or outdoors. 

The Express Your Feelings Pocket Chart is a visual tool used to help identify & share emotions. Every day students enter the classroom feeling slightly different with different emotions. They may be excited to come to school, or they may have had a tough morning at home. This pocket chart allows students to identify their emotions and share them with their teacher in a safe way. They can also choose to flip over their craft stick for a more private experience. It helps children identify and express their daily emotions in a safe and productive way. 

Emotiblocks comes with a set of characters with interchangeable pieces which enable children to freely create likeable characters: there are over 100 possible combinations. This game comes with activity cards and is an entertaining tool to help children become familiar with the main emotions. 

Emotiblocks game for kids

How can I make SEL fun? 

There are lots of ways to have fun with SEL. When children are comfortably introduced to SEL in an entertaining way, they are more likely to indulge themselves in their learning. That’s what makes the Emotions Detective from Miniland such a great tool. Emotions Detective is a cooperative game with which participants will discover how to control their moods. It includes cards that on one side conceal an everyday action and on the other shows a scene that provokes anger or sadness. The little detectives will have to find out what it is all about to then come up with solutions that lead to a positive feeling.  

The Mindful Kids activity is a boxed card deck that includes 50 creative mindfulness games, visualizations, and exercises split into 5 categories that help children feel grounded, find calmness, improve focus, and practice love and kindness. It comes with tips on individual cards, easy-to-follow instructions, and 8-page instructional booklet show modifications that make these activities inclusive for children of all abilities. 

Making SEL a visual concept is made easy and fun with the Good Behaviour Buckets. Students learn how to fill their buckets with kindness, attentiveness, and other positive social-emotional skills with these Good Behavior Buckets. Positive behaviours land in the sunny orange bucket, while negative behaviours land in the stormy purple bucket. Stick the 30 pre-printed social-emotional behaviour stickers onto fun trackers (suns, hearts, and stars for good behaviours; clouds, lightning bolts, and raindrops for challenging ones) and start tracking! 

buckets for good behaviour with compliments for kids

The All About Me Feelings Activity Set is a fun game designed for social-emotional learning. Learn all-new social-emotional learning skills with these feelings-filled counters! It helps kids start talking about happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, and more! Counters are also good for sorting, matching, and counting fun.  

Discover and explore emotions in art class with the Mix and Match Emotion Stencils. Each ethnically diverse boy and girl represents a basic emotion. Start by tracing each of the stencils and discuss the emotions they represent. Students can create more subtle emotions by mixing elements. There are over 30 different combinations! 

Teach emotions recognition, dexterity, and coordination with the fun fishing game, Emotions Fishing. The magnetic fishing rods pick up the faces which have stainless steel parts that won’t rust in water or sand. It includes 18 different emotions pieces, 4 magnetic fishing rods, 6 of each emotional expression (happy, sad, angry, upset, worried and surprised) in 3 skin tones. 

small child playing a game of fish with faces instead of fish

How can I involve SEL in English discussions?  

Change the way you are asking questions. Instead of asking factual questions to determine whether the class was participating, ask more opinion-based questions encouraging your class to describe the emotion of the characters in your study. For example, instead of “what struggle does the main character face?” try “when the main character is struggling, how do they deal with it?” “How would this situation make you feel?” This prompts children to think critically and emotionally, helping to connect and uncover their own feelings.  

Encourage first impressions. When reading a story as a class, ask them about their expectations for the novel and then follow up afterward to see if their initial expectations were met. Ask about their emotional state while reading and encourage them to open up. This is a great exercise in comparing before and after emotions and showing the difference between initial impressions versus after. This exercise can help show students that it is important not to judge a book by its cover – in a literal sense – and to have more compassion.  

Positive affirmations and journaling. A terrific exercise in SEL, having students write a journal and asking them to write nice things about themselves and note how they are feeling each day can help students find a reflective hold on their emotions. This is a great way to familiarize themselves with their feelings and boost self-esteem. Writing positive affirmations for children encourages them to have a positive thinking process and constructive mindset. It can do wonders for children’s self-worth. Just like humans internalize negative messages, they can internalize positive messages for themselves too. Some good examples of positive affirmations include, “I am strong”, “I am important”, “mistakes don’t define me”, and “I am kind”.  

Promoting active listening. Social-emotional activities require cooperation and listening in group settings. Teach students to use the SLANT strategy; sit up straight, listen, ask and answer questions, nod your head, and track the speaker with your eyes. This helps engage children and provides tips and skills for listening and engaging in conversations that go beyond the classroom. 

Create a vision board. Art meets SEL with this fun and interactive activity. Cutting up pictures and magazines and turning them into a personalized board of goals, dreams, and favourite things into a clear picture of hopes for the future is a creative and enjoyable way to display aspirations. It helps kids figure out what they want to do, inspires them, and keeps them accountable for their goals. Did they strive to eat more fruit this week, or spend more time outside? The vision board is a perfect way to illustrate accomplishments and aim for the sky with weekly, monthly, and yearly goals.  

small girl making a scrapbook

What are some inspirational items I can add to my classroom to promote SEL? 

The Emoji Expressions Rug is great as children love to express their emotions through emojis. With Emoji Expressions in the classroom, you can encourage children to get in touch with their feelings and either share with others or discuss privately with you. 

Yoga Mats are great to store in the classroom for relaxation and de-stressing activities. These are lightweight and durable mat and provides a stable, non-slip surface. They also roll up for easy storage. 

The Grow For It! Mini Bulletin Board Set is a beautiful way to encourage students to blossom with a whole garden of encouraging phrases. Its unique metal flowers add the perfect finishing touch to and display. It comes with 8 inspiring signs, 2 blank signs, and 8 flowers.  

The best part of social-emotional learning is that it never gets old – not only can it be used in all stages of life, but it is also never too early to start the realization and practice of emotional regulation. It encourages children to develop as an individual, a learner, and as compassionate friends. It also can help the classroom become a more welcoming and enjoyable place filled with kindness.  Who knows – you might even watch your students begin their journey to becoming the best versions of themselves.  

young kids sitting on a swing