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The goal of education in the Yukon is to meet the unique needs of every child and to develop the whole child.

 

Biological Domain

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Key components of the Biological Domain involve:
1. Physical Health
2. Sufficient energy across the day
3. Ability to recoup energy after taxing experiences
4. The ability to remain calm amid distracting visual and auditory stimuli
5.The ability to follow healthy daily routines

This area focuses on movement and physical activity, nutrition, sleep as well as sensory stimulation.

The brain uses glucose more quickly than it can be replenished when it is exerting self-regulation. Have complex carbs such as graham crackers, or trail mix available as well as lots of hydration; monitor your children’s water intake.

Children need opportunities to move or up-regulate, as well as down-regulate. Opportunities for down-regulation include reading, rocking in a chair or swinging, practicing yoga, having a back rub, running hands through a sand or rice tray, playing with playdoh, listening to playful music, or quiet drawing.

Children who are more physically active actually increase the areas of their brains necessary for learning and memory. Recognize that play is learning. It helps to recognize that free play promotes self-regulation as it requires executive functioning skills in terms of goal setting, multi-tasking, negotiation, compromise and thus impulse control and attention.

Introduction to the Biological Domain

Biological Guidelines for Parents

Environmental Adaptations This information sheet, adapted from Calm, Alert and Learning (Shanker, 2013) provides classroom adaptations that help support the biological domain

Calming Strategies In order to Regulate you first need to know and feel a state of “calmness.”  Here are some breathing exercises to help you

The Sensory Circuit

Morning Soft Starts

Brain Breaks is a purposeful time-out from instruction.  Brain Breaks refresh, refocus and reenergize. They are 3 different categories and purposes behind Brain Breaks exercises:

1) Calming Exercises: Relieve stress.
2) Mental Exercises: Wake up and engage both sides of the brain, increase concentration and attention.
3) Physical Exercises: Stimulate the mind and body and, increase oxygen flow.

Here are some other websites to check out:
Slapcount Energizing Brain Break
Rocks Paper Scissors Math Energizing Brain Break

Note: Movement Tools:
The most common ways to maintain attention or refocus ourselves e.g. go for a run/walk, stretching, tapping feet, wiggling leg, position changes.
Back & forth, slow, rhythmical movement = calming
Up and down, fast, un-rhythmical movements = alerting

• Movement Breaks & Fidget Tools

How to Introduce a Fidget Tool

Body Awareness   One of the languages we want to teach children is body awareness so that prior to and after up-regulating and down-regulating activities they can check in with their body. These sheets introduce children to physiological measurements such as heart rate, facial tension, stomach tension, and hand temperature. Once we find out which measure resonates for the child then we can ask the child to measure/examine it pre and post either calming/down-regulating and up-regulating activities.

Positive impact of additive free diet

Healthy Food Ideas

Body Reading & Arosual Worksheet

Lessons

Self–control Song for Early Elementary

Lesson Plan on Self-Control (the marshmallow experiment)

High School Brain Lesson Plan

High School Lesson Plan on the Teenage Brain

Brain Research for Students © Angela Magon, Principal, Del Van Gorder School

Classroom Pictures

Classroom
Classroom
Yoga Poster
Highschool Lighting
Lighting and Alternate Seating Options
Mobiles at the back, rather than front of classroom is less distracting
Labelled Boxes
Comfy area and streamlined, categorized bulletin boards with clean borders around each area
Comfy Zone
Quiet Work Area
Relaxed Area
Quiet Stool
Body Break
Organized Work Area
Bike with Easel / Bike with Easel
Materials: A piece of plywood, some trim and brace underneath.
Instructions for Building: The dimensions change depending on the handlebars on each bike. The trim (pencil stopper) is 3/4" thick x 1 1/2" wide and runs the length of the top. The brace underneath needs to me something sturdier, like a chunk of 2"x 2" as it needs to take deck screws without splitting. The 3" deck screws pull the top piece and the brace together like a clamp to keep it all together.

Ross River Bike with Marie Belanger
Ross River Rocking Chair with Paul McFadyen

Resources

Raising a Sensory Smart Child

The Out-of-Sync Child

 

Yukon Education Student Network

The Yukon Education Student Network is the central portal for all Yukon school websites, curriculum links and educational resources. Information & resources for First Nations, the First Class Communication System, Digital Literacy, the Yukon Student Information System (YSIS) and the Yukon School Athletic Association are all are available on YESNet.