As with so many skills, learning positive wellbeing practices is more about repetition than novelty. Many activities will improve with practice so don’t be disheartened if you’re not seeing major changes straight away.
Instead, take heart. Whenever you do these activities, you’re laying the foundation for future growth. So even on days where nothing much seems to change, you’ve done something important and valuable.
To make repetition as easy as possible, we’ve designed Sparklers to be modular and flexible.
Activities can be incorporated into lesson plans or used to:
- bring calm and focus
- warm students up for other lessons or learning
- extend sharing during circle time
- address barriers to learning
- support transitions from one activity to another
- understand and manage challenging behaviour
- strengthen social connections.
From our main page, you can select an activity directly or sort them by:
- Activity type (games, worksheets, craft, experience)
- The curriculum’s TKI key competency
- Wellbeing topic
Once you’ve selected an activity, you’ll see that it contains a snapshot of the science, a discussion guide to boost understanding and simple instructions of what to do.
Some will be familiar, and others will be new. We start each activity with an inquiry-based framework to promote reflection and understanding, and warm students up for the learning outcomes that follow.
Tailoring the activities to suit your students
We’ve used a developmental approach, so each topic includes a range of activities, from concrete to more abstract.
The activities are designed to be flexible, so if you can adjust them to better support your students’ emotional and social learning needs, go for it! No-one knows your class like you do.
On that note, while the activities are designed to be positive and strengths-based, we recommend having an ‘unspoken’ rule that students can opt out if they want or need to. If a child has a heightened response they may just need a calm space to retreat or debrief. And, that’s okay.
As always, if you have concerns about a student’s wellbeing or their response to a particular activity, we’d suggest talking with your pastoral team.
School and home
We know teachers love to create strong links with parents and whānau and this is especially important in terms of a child’s wellbeing, as their world is mostly made up of school and home.
To help parents support the work you’re doing, we’ve included a parenting portal on our main Sparklers page: All Right Parenting
This gives access to All Right? Parenting, which is full of useful articles, resources and tools. It also includes a link to all the parenting courses available in Christchurch.
We’ve also created six parenting guides that align with Sparklers. These cover how parents can help their kids:
- be calm,
- manage worries,
- be grateful and kind,
- feel good and have fun.
- feel good as part of a blended family
- feel good about diagnoses and differences
The take-home guides are designed to help you with the trickier conversations you may have to have with parents, or you could print the whole set for each whānau. The choice is yours!