4.4 Self-Regulation and Well-Being

Internal Link LogoFor more information about this frame, see Chapter 2.2: Thinking about Self-Regulation and Well-Being.
Internal Link LogoFor a complete list of the overall expectations in the Kindergarten program with their related specific expectations, see the appendix to this document.

Dr. Stuart Shanker, Canada’s leading expert on self-regulation, defines self-regulation as the ability to manage your own energy states, emotions, behaviours, and attention in ways that are socially acceptable and help achieve positive goals such as maintaining good relationships, learning, and maintaining well-being. Shanker draws on research to show how self-regulation lays the foundation for a child’s long-term physical, psychological, behavioural, and educational well-being.

(Ontario Ministry of Education, “Understanding the Whole Child and Youth – a Key to Learning: An Interview with Dr. Lise Bisnaire, Dr. Jean Clinton and Dr. Bruce Ferguson,” In Conversation, 4, 4[2014]: p. 8)

For people in my field, self-regulation is as important as oxygen. It’s really at the heart of social and emotional learning and healthy development.

(Dr. Jean Clinton, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neuroscience at McMaster University and Children’s Hospital, quoted in Ontario Ministry of Education, “Understanding the Whole Child and Youth”, p. 8)

OVERALL EXPECTATIONS

As children progress through the Kindergarten program, they:

    1.  communicate with others in a variety of ways, for a variety of purposes, and in a variety of contexts
    2.  demonstrate independence, self-regulation, and a willingness to take responsibility in learning and
         other endeavours
    3.  identify and use social skills in play and other contexts
    4.  demonstrate an ability to use problem-solving skills in a variety of social contexts
    6.  demonstrate an awareness of their own health and well-being
    7.  participate actively and regularly in a variety of activities that require the application of
         movement concepts
    8.  develop movement skills and concepts as they use their growing bodies to move in a variety of ways
         and in a variety of contexts
  22.  communicate their thoughts and feelings, and their theories and ideas, through various art forms

All children are viewed as competent, curious, capable of complex thinking, and rich in potential and experience.

EXPECTATION CHARTS

OE1

As children progress through the Kindergarten program, they:
communicate with others in a variety of ways, for a variety of purposes, and in a variety of contexts

Conceptual Understandings
  • Communication has the power to influence and encourage change.
  • We learn about the world, others, and ourselves through listening.
  • The ways in which people communicate are diverse and are influenced by their background experiences.
  • Communication includes non-verbal behaviours and gesturing. We can experiment with words to achieve intended effects.
  • Oral language is the basis for literacy, thinking, and relating in all languages.

Making Thinking and Learning Visible – Where both children and educators are observers and inquirers
(Note: Children are not expected to demonstrate their learning in all three ways shown in column 2.)
Specific Expectations
As children progress through the Kindergarten program, they:
Ways in Which Children Might Demonstrate Their Learning The Educators’ Intentional Interactions

1.3
use and interpret gestures, tone of voice, and other non-verbal means to communicate and respond (e.g., respond to non-verbal cues from the educator; vary tone of voice when dramatizing; name feelings and recognize how someone else might be feeling)

1.6
use language (verbal and non-verbal communication) to communicate their thinking, to reflect, and to solve problems

Saying
“I am going to have my snack now because I am hungry.”
“Ms. Tran teaches us yoga, and we are learning to be calm and to relax.”
“I am just going to go over here and be by myself.”

Doing
Children are moving away from needing reminders about when to have their snack and are choosing to go to a snack table when they are hungry.
A small group of children are reading together with an educator. During the reading one of the children moves around and looks away from the book but then returns to paying attention and following along in the text. The educator observes that the child is able to break off his attention but then return to reading without losing the meaning of the unfamiliar text.

Representing
Two children are playing in the dramatic play area. One child is rubbing the doll’s back, saying, “It’s okay. Don’t cry.” The other child says, “I think the baby is tired.”

Responding
The educators decide to focus intentionally on observing and documenting non-verbal communication, including facial expressions and tone of voice.

Challenging
During a cooking experience, an educator models procedural writing by recording the steps to follow in making the recipe. The educator and the children notice and name the purpose for writing.
Two children are playing with a train set. An educator observes them replacing some parts of the track with different parts, building on different levels, taking turns moving the train on the tracks, and changing the connections for the tracks. All of this is done using non-verbal communication. The educator videotapes the interaction. The educators revisit the video with each other and with the children. While revisiting the video, they notice and name what they see and hear. The children add to their thinking each time they view the video.

Extending
An educator asks a child, “How do you know when you are hungry?” The child responds, “Sometimes my tummy makes a noise, and other times I just know in my brain.”
“What other actions can we use to show your pattern?”
Internal Link Logo(See OE18, SE18.1, dealing with “translation”.)
“What do we do first when we are tidying up?”

1.8
ask questions for a variety of purposes (e.g., for direction, for assistance, to innovate on an idea, to obtain information, for clarification, for help in understanding something, out of curiosity about something, to make meaning of a new situation) and in different contexts (e.g., during discussions and conversations with peers and adults; before, during, and after read-aloud and shared reading experiences; while exploring the schoolyard or local park; in small groups, in learning areas)

Saying
“When is it my turn?”
”Could you help me with my zipper please?”

Doing
Sensing a need to calm herself, a child asks, “Can I go and find a quiet place?”
A child who wants to be helpful asks, “Where does this go?”

Representing
Two boys ask if they can co-create a sign for the blocks area to help others work through the question, “How might we solve the problem of crowding in the blocks area?”

external link logo Video title: “Kindergarten Matters:Intentional Play-Based Learning: It’s About Re-Thinking” – see the clip “Authentic Problem Solving”.

Responding
An educator makes a point of listening to and documenting the questions asked.

An educator says, “I noticed that you recognize that you need a quiet spot to help you calm down and focus.”

Challenging
An educator videotapes a large group of children in the blocks area. Later in the day, the educators watch the video with the children and ask, “What is happening? What are you noticing?”

Extending
“What happened when you asked the group that question?”
“What’s your thinking about that?”

OE list

OE2

As children progress through the Kindergarten program, they:
demonstrate independence, self-regulation, and a willingness to take responsibility in learning and other endeavours

Conceptual Understandings
  • We are responsible for our own choices and decisions.
  • Everyone wants to be calm, focused, and alert.
  • We each need different strategies, environments, and support to be calm, focused, and alert.
  • We need to learn about strategies and environmental factors that can help us self-regulate.
  • We can learn how to adapt our behaviour to suit a variety of social circumstances, including the customs of different groups of people.

Inside the Classroom: Reflections on Practice

When educators resist the urge to manage and, instead, wait to see what the children can do, they help the children develop self-regulation skills and demonstrate self-motivation and initiative.

EXAMPLE 1: Hula Hoops

Setting the Context: The children were in the schoolyard using a variety of equipment (e.g., hula hoops, balls, and scoops). A small group of children were playing with the hula hoops, and two other children wanted to join in. The educators observed the children. One of the children approached an educator and said, “I want to play with the hoops, too.”
Educator’s thoughts in the moment: At first, I thought: “I’ll just get another hoop so they can all play. I want them to all have a turn.”

RETHINK

“Then I decided to do something different. I waited a moment and, instead of getting them another hoop or leading them through the conflict, I decided to trust the children to use their problem-solving skills, and said: ‘Hmmm, how will we solve this problem?’ I stood close by. The child said, ‘I know! We can each have one.’ [Note: Children often restate the problem as a suggested solution.] Another child said, ‘But there is not enough. Can we have another one?’ ”
Educator’s thoughts in the moment: I asked myself: ”Should I give in and get them another hoop?“ Again, I decided to resist the impulse to solve the problem for them and instead challenged the children: ”What else could you do?“ One of the children said, ”Hey, let’s play a game with the hoops.” The children then put the hoops on the ground and took turns jumping through them. We [the educator team] made notes and then identified for the children what they had done: ”You came up with a creative solution that gave everyone a chance to play, and no one was left out. It would have been easier to get another hoop, but you thought of a better solution.”

REFLECT

Educator’s thoughts upon reflection: This was a typical situation, one that has happened before in various different contexts. It is my first instinct to give the children enough materials, where possible, to allow them all to play. Also, I usually focus on the concept of sharing – it seems to me that it is my role to make sure everyone shares. In this case, I wanted to try something a little different. I held back on leading the children through a solution, and they were able to come up with a solution quite quickly that included the whole group.

EXAMPLE 2: Mixing Sand and Water

The members of an educator team reflected on a situation that enabled them to rethink how they were supporting children’s development of self-regulation:

“One of the children wanted to use materials from the water table in the sand. With this particular child, I was thinking, ‘I really need to intervene and say no, as it may result in a problem’. Then I said to myself, ‘Wait! We’ve been thinking about not intervening immediately, unless safety is at risk.’ So I let the child take the materials, and I put some Popsicle sticks and twigs in the sand as well, and she created an entire habitat. I took out my video camera and recorded the whole thing. If I hadn’t stopped myself, she would probably have acted out. She had so much knowledge, but I wouldn’t have known it if I hadn’t let her explore.” The educators watched the videotape together. The other educator added, “I was thinking about a similar situation. When you stop yourself, then these incredible conversations take place.”

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: RETHINKING
  • In Examples 1 and 2, what was the impact on children’s’ learning when the educators trusted their judgement and rethought their tendency to manage/intervene?
  • In Example 2, what could the conversation be while looking at the documentation video with the child? With other educators? With family members?
  • At what moments have you stopped and rethought? What was the impact of doing so?
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: SELF-REGULATION
  • How might educator teams work collaboratively with their colleagues in the primary grades?
  • How can we design the learning environment to support self-regulation?
  • How might educator teams work with children and their families to:
    • support children in talking about how they are feeling;
    • identify strategies and environmental factors that might support their child’s ability to self-regulate;
    • help children recognize what causes them to become frustrated, some of the signs that they are starting to become frustrated (e.g., a pounding heart, clenched teeth), and what they can do to calm down (down-regulate), to increase their energy level (e.g., jump up and down, move around), or to improve their ability to focus/refocus (up-regulate).

(Adapted from S. Shanker, Calm, Alert and Learning: Classroom Strategies for Self-Regulation, 2013, p. 42)

external link logo Video title: “Self-regulation” – see the clip “Rethinking and repeating supporting self-regulation – one educator team's reflection”.

Making Thinking and Learning Visible – Where both children and educators are observers and inquirers
(Note: Children are not expected to demonstrate their learning in all three ways shown in column 2.)
Specific Expectations
As children progress through the Kindergarten program, they:
Ways in Which Children Might Demonstrate Their Learning The Educators’ Intentional Interactions

2.1
demonstrate self-reliance and a sense of responsibility (e.g., make choices and decisions on their own; take care of personal belongings; know when to seek assistance; know how to get materials they need)

Saying
“I can do it by myself.”
“I remembered to bring my hat.”
“I’m going to play in the sand today.”

Doing
In advance of a neighbourhood walk, the class make a list of things that they can do to be safe when they are outside the classroom. On the day of the walk, most of the children arrive with a hat and sunscreen.

Representing
A small group of children make a sign for the blocks area that says, “Please Tidy Up the Blocks”.

Responding
The educators negotiate and co-construct with the children all of the places where writing materials are located, so the children can access them independently.

Challenging
Before a class trip outdoors, the educators co-construct with the children a list of all the things they need to do to prepare to go outside:
“What are some things each of us needs to remember to bring? How can we make sure that we remember everything?”
“What are some things you can do to keep track of everything that belongs to you throughout the trip?”

Extending
In order to support children’s self-regulation, the educators rethink their rotation board for learning. They find that they have been managing the board instead of observing and talking with the children about the choices the children are making. They decide that the children are capable of choosing where they want to learn. They document and talk with the children about their choices, and the documentation serves as assessment for and as learning. They learn that the children are able to select and manage materials independently.

2.2
demonstrate a willingness to try new experiences (e.g., experiment with new materials/tools; try out activities in a different learning area; select and persist with things that are challenging; experiment with writing) and to adapt to new situations (e.g., having visitors in the classroom, having a different educator occasionally, going on a field trip, riding the school bus)

2.3
demonstrate self-motivation, initiative, and confidence in their approach to learning by selecting and completing learning tasks (e.g., choose learning tasks independently; try something new; persevere with tasks)

Saying
“I’m going to try this hard puzzle again today.”
“Let’s try to make it really long.”
“Can you help me hold this tube so it will go into the funnel?”
“I have been building this for a long time.”

Doing
A child who has previously had difficulty selecting a place to work chooses to go to an area where the educators have added clay to the available materials and is able to work there for a sustained period of time.

Representing
A child paints a picture and says, “This is me riding on the school bus for the first time.”

Responding
An educator notes that a child has chosen to paint for the first time. After saying to the educator that the painting shows him riding the bus for the first time, the child then asks the educator if she could help him to hang his painting in the class art gallery.

Challenging
After observing one of the children working for a sustained period of time with the play-dough, the educators add clay to the available materials so that the children have an opportunity to use a different medium. They talk together with the children about removing many of the cookie cutters and other templates so the children can explore the clay. The educators focus on observing how children are using this material for the first time and not on what children are saying and doing while they are working with the clay.

Extending
The educators observe that a few children always choose to go to the reading area and/or the writing area but rarely visit any of the other learning areas. After sharing their observations with each other, they add writing materials to the sand table and water table areas. They then observe that the children begin to go to these areas and to use all of the materials at each one. They also notice that children are now playing in mixed gender and age groups.

2.4
demonstrate self-control (e.g., be aware of and label their own emotions; accept help to calm down; calm themselves down after being upset) and adapt behaviour to different contexts within the school environment (e.g., follow routines and rules in the classroom, gym, library, playground)

Professional Conversation logoSee the Professional Learning Conversation following the chart.

Saying
“I’m feeling better now. I’m ready to talk.”
“I’m really frustrated.”
“We get to run in the gym.”
“I used to cry when my mom left, but I don’t anymore.”

Doing
While involved in role-play in the dramatic play area, a child looks away from the scene but then quickly resumes playing his role.

Representing
A group of children are concerned that people are bumping into their large spiral structure on the floor. They decide to make a sign to post by their structure: “Please be careful – delicate.” The educators notice that the children stop and walk around the structure, especially after the group have placed the sign and talked about it with the class.

Responding
During a read-aloud, an educator observes that a child has moved away from another child in order to solve a problem. She says, “You moved to a spot that works better for you.”

Challenging
The educators provide opportunities for the children to use language to express and regulate their emotions. The educators ask questions such as, “What do you notice happens to your body when you are angry or frustrated?”

Extending
The educators notice that a child is frustrated because she can’t finish her sculpture in time to take it home at the end of the day. They encourage her to suggest some solutions to the problem and agree that they will help her find the additional materials needed to complete her work the next day.

2.5
develop empathy for others, and acknowledge and respond to each other’s feelings (e.g., tell an adult when another child is hurt/sick/
upset; have an imaginary conversation with a tree or an insect; role-play emotions with dolls and puppets)

Internal Link LogoSee "Domains of Self-Regulation" in Chapter 2.2.

Saying
“She is crying because she is sad about her friend.”
“You can have this book because you like trucks.”
“Why don’t you sit here? Then you will feel better.”
“We moved our building so that it won’t get broken, because it makes her upset.”
“We'll play ball away from the garden so we don't hurt the plants.”

Doing
A few of the children are role-playing at the “Fix-It Shop” in the dramatic play area. Another child attempts to enter the play and is assigned a role by one of the children: “You can be the customer because you are a girl.” The other children in the group protest: “That isn’t fair. Girls can fix cars, too!”

Representing
One of the children paints a picture showing how he gave his car to his friend who was sick.

Responding
An educator models empathic language for the children, such as “You were showing empathy when you …” In their observation records, the educators note examples of children showing empathy, which an educator from the before-and after-school program shares with the children’s families.

Challenging
An educator asks children to predict how others might act as a result of something that has been said or done to them, and to identify the reasons for that behaviour, using examples such as the following:
“If I share … with someone, she might …”
“How might a person react if something he was playing with broke?”
“How does a person’s face show us his or her feelings?”

Extending
After reading a book in which the central character shows empathy, an educator makes the book and some puppets available to the children. While the children are re-enacting the story, the educator takes observation notes, makes an audiotape of the children’s conversation, and then uses the information to plan further lessons on showing empathy.

PLC logo Professional Learning Conversation
Re. SE2.4: The educators have a breakfast meeting with parents about supporting the children’s development of self-regulation. At the meeting, one child’s mother says, “Whenever he is concentrating on his building blocks at home, he turns his back to the rest of us and focuses on what he is making.” This information gives the team an insight into how to help this particular child focus his attention when he is in class.

OE list

OE3

As children progress through the Kindergarten program, they:
identify and use social skills in play and other contexts

Conceptual Understandings
  • People develop skills to help negotiate social relationships in a variety of contexts.
  • My words and actions can affect others.
  • People can have differing points of view.
  • I am responsible for my choices and actions.
  • I can use language to negotiate and express thoughts.
  • Knowledge is socially constructed – created by people learning, working, and investigating together – and can be shared.

Making Thinking and Learning Visible – Where both children and educators are observers and inquirers
(Note: Children are not expected to demonstrate their learning in all three ways shown in column 2.)
Specific Expectations
As children progress through the Kindergarten program, they:
Ways in Which Children Might Demonstrate Their Learning The Educators’ Intentional Interactions

3.1
act and talk with peers and adults by expressing and accepting positive messages (e.g., use an appropriate tone of voice and gestures; give compliments; give and accept constructive criticism)

Saying
“I asked Meriam to help me tidy up the shoes and she did.”
“I didn’t like it when you took my book.”
“That’s a good painting.”

Doing
One of the children finds her friend’s name card in the basket and hands it to her as she arrives in the room.

Representing
Following a whole-school session on expressing and accepting positive messages, several parents report that their children are using this skill at home with siblings and extended family members.

Responding
An educator observes that children in the blocks area are taking blocks from a structure that other children are building. The educators decide to model some cooperation strategies for the children. They also decide to notice and name positive strategies used by the children (e.g., “I noticed you listening to Jay’s suggestions for building your tower”) in order to support the development of self-regulation.

Challenging
The educators have been modelling appropriate ways to provide feedback. They challenge themselves to observe the children and to record what they say and do without making a judgement about what is happening. They study their documentation with the children and provide descriptive feedback to the children as an example of how to provide feedback.

Extending
On the basis of their observations of the children’s growing capacity for cooperation and self-regulation, the educators decide to put more blocks in the blocks area so that the children have sufficient materials to build more complex structures. They notice the children beginning to negotiate with each other, offering materials and positive feedback to each other about their constructions.

3.2
demonstrate the ability to take turns during activity and discussions (e.g., while engaged in play with others; in discussions with peers and adults)

3.3
demonstrate an awareness of ways of making and keeping friends (e.g., sharing, listening, talking, helping, entering into play or joining a group with guidance from the educators)

Saying
“Can I play with you? I’ll be the …”
“You can be the firefighter this time.”
“I like what you’re building. Can I help?”
“You can use this scoop after me.”
“Do you want to look at this book with me?”
“It is your turn to roll the dice.”
“Let’s put on a puppet show.”
“Do you want to be the waiter? I’d like to order a pizza, please.”
“I’ll pick up these ones, and you can pick up those ones.”

Doing
The educators place new materials in the dramatic play area. One child begins to negotiate roles, and together the children decide who will be the first to use the new materials.

Representing
The educators begin to observe the children’s non-verbal communication in turn-taking, such as moving to make space, inviting someone in with a hand wave, and handing materials to a child. They talk with the children about all the ways that people work together.
One of the children paints a picture and says, “This is me with my friend in the park.”

Responding
Some children are seated in a small group at a table, representing their opinions on a class graph. An educator says, “I noticed you came back when you saw there was space for you at the table.”

Challenging
The educators know that some children in the class have moved beyond parallel play, so they put out a small collection of building materials for making marble runs. Because the educators have limited the amount of materials available, the children have to find ways to work together.

Extending
The educators observe the children in the dramatic play area solving the problem of who will be the first to use the new materials that have been placed there by the educators. The educators ask the children to share their solution, including their list, with the rest of the class

OE list

OE4

As children progress through the Kindergarten program, they:
demonstrate an ability to use problem-solving skills in a variety of social contexts

Conceptual Understandings
  • We use our problem-solving skills in social situations.
  • There are many ways to solve a problem.
  • I can think about and adapt my actions to suit the context.
  • I can leave and then return to paying attention.
  • We make choices and decisions when solving problems.
  • Problems can provide an interesting challenge.
  • Problems can have many solutions.
  • There are many kinds of relationships.

Making Thinking and Learning Visible – Where both children and educators are observers and inquirers
(Note: Children are not expected to demonstrate their learning in all three ways shown in column 2.)
Specific Expectation
As children progress through the Kindergarten program, they:
Ways in Which Children Might Demonstrate Their Learning The Educators’ Intentional Interactions

4.1
use a variety of strategies to solve problems, including problems arising in social situations (e.g., trial and error, checking and guessing, cross-checking – looking ahead and back to find material to add or remove)

Saying
“I put my vehicle on the shelf so it would be safe.”
“Why don’t we try and put this block on the bottom so the building won’t fall over?”
“I wanted to go to the movie theatre [in the dramatic play area], but it was too crowded for me so I made my own over here.”

Doing
A group of children are working with words. One of the children is looking for a magnetic letter “D” to make her name. One of the other children finds it for her.

Representing
After listening to a story, the children in the dramatic play area represent their solution to the problem that one of the characters in the book is feeling left out. Their solution is to include everybody so that no one will feel sad.

Responding
An educator makes an observation note on a child’s suggestions regarding a new way to store the blocks so they are easier to tidy up.

Challenging
An educator asks a small group of children to help solve the problem that water is getting all over the floor at the water table.

Extending
An educator talks with the children about what they think needs to be removed from the classroom to give them more space to work together.

external link logo Video title: “The Learning Environment” – see the clip “Co-constructing and negotiating the learning environment – including the children’s voices and ideas.

OE list

OE6

As children progress through the Kindergarten program, they:
demonstrate an awareness of their own health and well-being

Conceptual Understandings
  • We develop an understanding of the factors that contribute to healthy development, a sense of personal responsibility for lifelong health, and an understanding of how living healthy, active lives is connected with the world around us and the health of others.
  • I have the right to be healthy and to feel safe.
  • There are things that I need to know and do to keep myself safe and healthy. I am empowered to make choices that will keep me healthy.
  • Healthy food choices affect my body and my feelings.
  • I am learning to recognize when I am tired or need a break.
  • I am learning to make healthy choices and to be physically active, in order to keep my body healthy and safe, and to grow strong.
  • We learn adaptive, management, and coping skills, and practise communication and critical thinking skills, in order to learn how to build relationships.

Making Thinking and Learning Visible – Where both children and educators are observers and inquirers
(Note: Children are not expected to demonstrate their learning in all three ways shown in column 2.)
Specific Expectations
As children progress through the Kindergarten program, they:
Ways in Which Children Might Demonstrate Their Learning The Educators’ Intentional Interactions

6.1
demonstrate an understanding of the effects of healthy, active living on the mind and body (e.g., choose a balance of active and quiet activities throughout the day; remember to have a snack; drink water when thirsty)

Saying
“I like going for a walk after school.”
“I can feel that my heart is beating fast!”
“I’m thirsty from all that running. I really need a big drink of water.”
“I am going to the quiet space and do a puzzle.”
 “I ride my bike. It’s fun and it’s a healthy thing to do.”
“I like being active outside. On the weekend I helped my uncle sweep his driveway, and I felt hot when I did that, so I went and sat in the shade.”

Doing
Children choose a physical activity such as climbing or playing with a ball during outdoor playtime. After outdoor playtime, some of the children choose to spend quiet time with a book or listening to an audiobook before returning to their work in the learning areas.
A child takes the initiative to make a sign for snack table “to show what is healthy for snack.”

Representing
A child approaches the teacher to let her know what he needs:  “My stomach is rumbling. I might need a snack.”
Several children make a book illustrating that they have learned behaviours that contribute to healthy growth and development. The book includes pages that show children being physically active at home and at school, getting a good night’s sleep, making the healthiest possible food choices, and being safe in their daily lives. The children share their work with the educators, who provoke a discussion about the importance of feeling good about yourself and recognizing the things that make you unique as another part of being healthy. When their book is complete, the children add it to the class library for others to read.

Responding
An educator observes children’s efforts to make the healthiest choices possible during daily routines and acknowledges the children’s actions: “I noticed you’re trying more and different fruits and vegetables. Why? Which ones do you like best?”
“When you go for a walk, what do you do to be sure that you will be safe? (e.g., wear sunscreen and a hat and sunglasses if it is sunny; let someone know where you are going).”
The educators introduce the children to Canada’s Food Guide.

Challenging
“How does eating healthy foods help your body and mind?”
“Besides eating healthy foods, what are some other things that help our whole bodies to be healthy?”
(In the gym or playground): “Before we start to move, what are some things we need to check to be sure everyone can participate safely?”

Extending
After the children set up a store in the dramatic play area, the educators observe the kinds of items they have chosen to sell and ask them to talk about their choices.

6.2
investigate the benefits of nutritious foods (e.g., nutritious snacks, healthy meals, foods from various cultures) and explore ways of ensuring healthy eating (e.g., choosing nutritious food for meals and snacks, avoiding foods to which they are allergic)

Saying
“My friend is allergic to peanuts. How can he be safe in our classroom when some kids bring nuts for snack?”
“I liked it when we got to try rice dishes from different countries. Some of them had healthy stuff like vegetables in them. And they tasted good, too!”

Doing
Some of the children set up a store in the dramatic play area. They stock the store with a wide variety of food items but encourage their customers to buy fruits and vegetables when they shop.

Representing
Children make posters for the shelves of the store, telling customers about which items are healthy choices.

Responding
The educators discuss with the children what it means to be allergic. They explain why some children need to avoid particular foods, and reinforce the point with statements such as, “We have posted signs, so that everyone knows how to keep our classroom safe.”

Challenging
“What are some healthy choices for snacks?”
“Why do we need to eat lots of fruit and vegetables?”
“Why is a piece of fruit a better snack than a doughnut?”

Extending
The children work with their learning buddies to gather data about how many fruits and vegetables they eat. They are sensitive to each other’s privacy, so instead of graphing by each child’s name they keep track of their overall quantity by using the names of foods as the categories on the graph and then marking a bar on the bar graph showing their total number. They decide to compare their totals over the course of a month. The families decide to participate in the challenge by partnering to create a community garden to provide vegetables for the school community.

6.3
practise and discuss appropriate personal hygiene that promotes personal, family, and community health

Saying
“I washed my hands.”
“I teached my little sister not to put her toys in her mouth ’cause of the germs.”
“I need a tissue.”
“I am going to the dentist tomorrow to get my teeth cleaned and checked.”

Doing
The children create a sequence of digital photographs showing the steps for washing hands to place by the sink or washing bin.

Representing
The educators learn from a child’s family that the child has shared and demonstrated at the dinner table what she has learned in class about “sneeze in your sleeve”.

Responding
Based on their observations, the educators acknowledge children’s practices that demonstrate good personal hygiene. “I noticed that you washed your hands after you were done playing in the sand. You did that yesterday, too, after you came back from the gym.”

Challenging
“In what ways do we take care of all parts of our body? Why is it important to do these things?”

Extending
Some of the children share with the educators that, during a bathroom break at the local community centre, they noticed that some people left without washing their hands. The educators encourage the children to discuss what they can do to help others understand the importance of hand washing. The children decide to write to the community centre and ask if they would like to use the class’s digital photos showing the steps for washing hands in the washrooms at the community centre.

6.4
discuss what action to take when they feel unsafe or uncomfortable, and when and how to seek assistance in unsafe situations (e.g., acting in response to inappropriate touching; seeking assistance from an adult they know and trust, from 911, or from playground monitors; identifying substances that are harmful to the body)

Saying
“When I saw a boy fall on the playground I told the teacher.”
“My mom’s friend wanted to give me a hug when she met me. I didn’t want to hug her so I said, ’Nice to meet you. I’d rather not hug’.”
“I told Bryna not to call me that name.”

Doing
In the dramatic play area, a child calls 911, gives the operator her name and the address of the
house, then says that someone is sick.

Representing
A child draws street signs (e.g., a stop sign, “walk/don’t walk” signals from traffic lights) on large paper and explains to some other children what they mean.

Responding
The educators record children’s safety-related ideas and questions and then invite a community police officer to visit the class to discuss safety and answer some of the children’s questions.

Challenging
The educators ask the children to think of things they should avoid that could be harmful to their health (e.g., smoking, taking medicine that belongs to someone else). They record the children’s suggestions.

Extending
An educator presents a variety of scenarios to the children for discussion, using questions that start, “What would you do if …?”

6.5
discuss and demonstrate in play what makes them happy and unhappy, and why

Saying
 “I was sad when the class pet fish died.”
“I was happy when we got to play outside.”
“I was sad when the sliding hill got closed.”

Doing
The educators observe the children taking on different roles in dramatic play. Over time, they document the range of emotions children role-play and demonstrate.

Representing
After the class pet fish dies, a child draws a picture of the fish. In the dramatic play area, the child says, “It was sad that the fish died at school today. I made a picture of her to hang on the wall.”

Responding
Showing empathy by acknowledging feelings can create a connection between children and team members. Educators acknowledge the feelings expressed by children by saying, “I see you are sad. It’s hard when our pets die.”

Challenging
“How can people tell when we are feeling happy or sad?”

Extending
An educator discusses with the children what they can do when they are feeling sad (or angry, hurt, happy, etc.), and how they can respond when their peers show different kinds of feelings.
“How can we respond to people’s emotions?”
“How can we recognize situations that require different responses?”

OE list

OE7

As children progress through the Kindergarten program, they:
participate actively and regularly in a variety of activities that require the application of movement concepts

Conceptual Understandings
  • We learn skills and knowledge that will help us to enjoy being active and healthy throughout our lives.
  • I can play cooperatively with others in a wide variety of physical activities.
  • There are things that I need to know and do to keep myself safe and healthy. I am empowered to make choices that will keep me healthy.
  • I can participate regularly and safely in a wide variety of physical activities and learn how to develop and improve my own personal fitness.

Making Thinking and Learning Visible – Where both children and educators are observers and inquirers
(Note: Children are not expected to demonstrate their learning in all three ways shown in column 2.)
Specific Expectations
As children progress through the Kindergarten program, they:
Ways in Which Children Might Demonstrate Their Learning The Educators’ Intentional Interactions

7.1
participate actively in creative movement and other daily physical activities (e.g., dance, games, outdoor play, fitness breaks)

Saying
“Look how many hops I can do.”
“At recess I’m going to play on the climber.”
“Let’s play musical hoops!”

Doing
During outdoor playtime, a small group of children engage in a game of hopscotch.

Representing
A child who attends dance class after school explores one of the ways of moving with classmates.

Responding
The educators exchange ideas about how to plan opportunities for children to be physically active in a variety of settings, both inside and outside the classroom and school.

Challenging
The educators create opportunities for children to improve and refine their existing physical skills and to begin to develop new ones. They notice and name the movements with the children.

Extending
An educator introduces new types of activities (e.g., elements from yoga) into the planned class movement activities. He observes the positive impact the yoga is having on children’s self-regulation.

7.2
demonstrate persistence while engaged in activities that require the use of both large and small muscles (e.g., tossing and catching beanbags, skipping, lacing, drawing)

7.3
demonstrate strategies for engaging in cooperative play in a variety of games and activities

Saying
“Running all the way around our field was hard, but I did it!”
“I caught the ball! I was practising and practising watching it until it hit my hands.”
“We started this [a blocks structure] a long time ago. We have worked on it for days, and now look at it!”

Doing
Several children persist in their efforts to make and hold a shape together that involves them balancing as a pair with only three body parts touching the ground.

Representing
A small group of children create a game where they have to try to get beanbags inside a hoop. Every time they are successful, they move progressively farther from the hoop.

Responding
“I noticed how long you worked to finish your painting.”

Challenging
The educators post “challenge cards” that have been co-constructed with the children on the outside wall of the school, using pictures and labels. The cards contain messages such as the following:
“Throw the beanbag into the air and catch it three times.”
“Skip rope as many times as you can without stopping.”
“Roll backwards and forwards in your wheelchair.”

Extending
The educators rethink simple puzzles and lacing activities and introduce construction materials, small blocks, play-dough, and smaller paintbrushes that offer the children more challenges and require more muscle control.

OE list

OE8

As children progress through the Kindergarten program, they:
develop movement skills and concepts as they use their growing bodies to move in a variety of ways and in a variety of contexts

Conceptual Understandings
  • We learn skills and knowledge that will help us to enjoy being active and healthy throughout our lives.
  • There are things that I need to know and do to keep myself safe and healthy. I am empowered to make choices that will keep me healthy.
  • I am learning how to move in a variety of ways in a variety of physical activities.

Making Thinking and Learning Visible – Where both children and educators are observers and inquirers
(Note: Children are not expected to demonstrate their learning in all three ways shown in column 2.)
Specific Expectations
As children progress through the Kindergarten program, they:
Ways in Which Children Might Demonstrate Their Learning The Educators’ Intentional Interactions

8.1
demonstrate spatial awareness in activities that require the use of large muscles

8.2
demonstrate control of large muscles with and without equipment (e.g., climb and balance on playground equipment; roll, throw, and catch a variety of balls; demonstrate balance and coordination during parachute games; hop, slide, wheel, or gallop in the gym or outdoors)

Saying
“I can skip and I can gallop. When I skip, I say to myself, ‘Step, hop, step, hop.’ When I gallop I pretend I am a horse. I step forward; then my back foot catches up to my front foot.”
“I moved over here so we won’t bang into each other.”
“I am in my own space. When I spread out my arms, I can’t touch anyone else and I can’t touch anything at all.”

Doing
Two children with a giant deck of cards create the rules for a new game that involves moving in different ways.
Before starting to rotate the hula hoop, a child looks around to be sure that the hoop won’t hit anyone.

Representing
After developing a new card game, the children ask one of the educators to videotape them as they play and explain how the game works.

Responding
“I noticed that the two of you put your blocks together so you could build a bigger house.”
“How will you find a way to stay safe and move in your own space?”
“We’re going to stretch. Find a space to stand where you can really stretch.”
The educators begin to observe more closely and document the ways that children physically move throughout the day. They observe children skipping, hopping, and dancing on the spot, and they also notice how self-regulated their movement is, as they often check the space around them to make sure they are in their own space and moving safely. The indicators are subtle and happen quickly but they provide a great deal of evidence about children’s spatial sense.

Challenging
An educator notices that a child who usually plays alone is showing interest in playing with others. She finds ways to encourage the child to participate more in cooperative play.

Extending
An educator invites a small group of children to explain to the class how they solved a problem they were having with sharing equipment when playing outside.

8.3
demonstrate balance, whole-body and hand-eye coordination, and flexibility in movement (e.g., run, jump, and climb; walk on the balance beam; play beach-ball tennis; catch a ball; play hopscotch)

Saying
“Please move back! I need lots of room to roll the ball.”
“I used my feet to measure. It is thirty-five steps from one side of this room to the other.”
“Look at me – I can stand on one foot for a whole minute!”
“I walked on the balance beam all by myself.”
“Watch me climb to the very top of the slide set!”
“I catched the ball every time.”
“I rode the trike all the way around the schoolyard.”

Doing
A child kicks a ball towards a target painted on the wall.
In the playground, a group of children try to see how many body parts they can use to spin their hula hoops.

Representing
A child responds to music by hopping like a bunny (‘I can feel the muscles in my legs working hard”), walkinglike an elephant (“See how low I can crouch?”), and flying like an airplane (“Look at my wings! I am stretching my arms out as wide as I can”).

Responding
The educators provide guidance and feedback using comments such as:
“Is there a way to hold your arms that will help you balance on one foot? Try looking at the floor. Now try looking at a spot on the wall. Which way helps you balance?”
“How many ways can you balance on a line? On two body parts? Three body parts?”

Challenging
The educators introduce music to accompany gross-motor activities and encourage children to practise their emerging movement skills by saying:
“Move around the gym with your arms in the air. Now try moving in a different way.”
 “We’re going to walk around our hoops. Now jump inside.”
“Raise your right foot and your left hand.”
“Can you move two body parts at the same time while you move around the space?”

Extending
“What different body parts can you move? What different directions can you move?”
“Try moving on a different pathway (curvy, straight, in a zigzag).”

8.4
demonstrate control of small muscles (e.g., use a functional grip when writing) while working in a variety of learning areas (e.g., sand table, water table, visual arts area) and when using a variety of materials or equipment (e.g., using salt trays, stringing beads, painting with paintbrushes, drawing, cutting paper, using a keyboard, using bug viewers, using a mouse, writing with a crayon or pencil)

8.5
demonstrate spatial awareness by doing activities that require the use of small muscles

Saying
“I put all the pieces of the puzzle together.”
“I used the scoop to fill the pail. Then I dumped all the sand into the pile.”
“The small paintbrush made the skinny lines.”

Doing
A child strings a pattern of large and small beads.
A child does up the buttons on a doll’s shirt.
A child builds a structure with a construction toy, persisting in her efforts to join the pieces together.

Representing
A child makes her learning visible to the educator when she uses a mouse to make characters on the computer screen move in circles.

Responding
“I noticed that the puzzle you’ve just done has more pieces than the puzzle you did yesterday. The pieces are smaller, too.”
The educators negotiate with the children to determine what materials should be available at the writing table. They provide a variety of writing/drawing implements of various sizes and widths. They use prompts such as:
“I see you chose a thinner pencil to draw in the eyes, mouth, and nose. What might you use to draw the hands?”
They document and discuss with the children how the new materials affected their work (to support assessment for learning).

Challenging
The educators plan for the children to engage in discussion and movement activities in different spaces. They make connections to the yoga work they have been doing with the children and invite them to talk about how their bodies feel when they move and stretch.

Extending
The educators put out small trays of sand, whiteboards, and chalk boards and encourage their use by children who need additional support with the development of fine-motor skills.

OE list

OE22

As children progress through the Kindergarten program, they:
communicate their thoughts and feelings, and their theories and ideas, through various art forms

Conceptual Understandings
  • There are many ways to communicate thinking, theories, ideas, and feelings.
  • The arts provide a natural vehicle through which we can explore and express ourselves in a variety of creative ways.
  • We can discover and interpret the world around us through the arts.
  • We develop our ability to communicate through our engagement in imaginative and innovative thought and action.

Making Thinking and Learning Visible – Where both children and educators are observers and inquirers
(Note: Children are not expected to demonstrate their learning in all three ways shown in column 2.)
Specific Expectation
As children progress through the Kindergarten program, they:
Ways in Which Children Might Demonstrate Their Learning The Educators’ Intentional Interactions

22.1
communicate their ideas about something (e.g., a book, the meaning of a word, an event or an experience, a mathematical pattern, a motion or movement) through music, drama, dance, and/or the visual arts

Saying
“That poem has a pattern in it. I can clap the pattern while you say the words.”
(Child shows a drawing): “I drawed how rainbows are made.”

Doing
When trying to show the motion of a kite flying, the child stands up and throws her hands in the air and says, “Whoooosh”.

Representing
A family member shares that one of the children sings songs learned in the classroom to his baby sister, and she falls asleep every time.

Responding
An educator plays a song for the children and says, “The song says getting together makes people happy. Does getting together make you feel happy? Why?”

Challenging
The educators show the children a series of paintings and keep the paintings on display for a period of time. They listen to and record the children’s conversations about the paintings.

Extending
The educators revisit the documentation of the conversations about the paintings with the children and talk about and build on their own and the children’s thinking.

OE list