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Empowering Elementary School Children to Live Healthier Lives

About the Program: Program Elements

Classroom Lessons FAQ

What is in the Classroom Bin?

Classroom Materials

The classroom bin contains everything required for the 21 lessons. Some of the materials are needed for specific lessons and some can be used at anytime. The resource includes binders, posters, games, music CDs, DVDs and a video. As educators we know the importance of a teacher-friendly resource; the materials are designed "ready to go!" There is a lot of material included so we like to remind teachers not to be overwhelmed.

What were the underlying principals or foundations you followed as the resource was developed?

Our mandate was to stay true to the intent of the scientific study upon which this resource is based, so the lessons are written as they were originally taught in that pilot project. We know and expect that teachers will modify the activities (as they accommodate the needs of their students) but it is important to include activities from all three themes. We also tried to develop materials (posters, BLMs, visual presentations) that would capture children's interest. Healthy Buddies is highly visual! Kim La Fave, an award winning children's book illustrator, created the graphics.

How is the buddy-teaching structure used in your program?

In the first two weeks of the program students are directly taught group work skills. In spending time to set expectations and teach social skills you are providing a strong foundation for the remainder of the lessons. These skills are transferable to their lives outside of school.

What is a typical schedule?

On Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of each week, the intermediate educator teaches his/her class a 45-minute lesson. Then, with guidance from the intermediate and primary teachers, these students support the learning of the younger buddies in a follow-up lesson. In this structure there is only one primary lesson per week; the one taught with the help of the older buddies.

So what is the time commitment?

The total classroom time commitment for the intermediate teachers is 90 minutes and is 45 minutes for the primary teachers. When you add the two, 30 minute Fitness Loops, the weekly commitment is approximately 3 hours for the older students and 2 hours for the younger children.

What are the lesson organizers?

The lessons are grouped in 2 sections. In the first half of the year, students learn about the three different components (themes) of a healthy life. In the second half, the content is framed with the intent of identifying the challenges to living a healthy life, then learning ways to overcome these obstacles.

What does it mean when you refer to challenges?

One of the unique aspects of this resource is the recognition of the challenges students face in making healthy choices. They are surrounded by influences in all aspects of their lives. Our goal is to empower them to recognize these influences, to provide strategies in overcoming these challenges and to make informed choices.

Do teachers have to use this exact lesson sequence?

The content may be modified or supplemented by many other resources. We strongly recommend that the three themes be maintained but teachers are free to select the activities that best meet the needs of their students. Teachers have permission to photocopy any portion of the resource.

How are the binders organized?

All the information for the classroom lessons is contained in 2 resource binders, A and B. The 2 binders contain 21, scope and sequenced folders. Each folder contains two lessons (one each for the older and younger classes), black line masters and colour posters. The lesson may also involve visual presentations and game cards.

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How does Healthy Buddies support elementary school curricula?

Healthy Buddies was created, tested and piloted in elementary schools (from kindergarten to grade 7) across British Columbia, Canada. As a result this resource directly supports learning outcomes in the provincial Health, Physical Education, Language Arts and Fine Arts curricula. The Learning Outcome Links are located in tab 4. The program also correlates closely with similar curricula in other jurisdictions.

How does Healthy Buddies integrate into daily teaching?

Elementary teachers already have a full curriculum. This resource is new to teachers and is a new way to support the elementary curricula. Time is needed for teachers to become familiar with the new resource, and to integrate it into their teaching. Once the schedule is organized, the Healthy Buddies program becomes an integral part of the school culture.

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