‘You can do it’ Program & RULER Approach


“This program has been implemented to teach children to learn and experience positive social and emotional well-being”.

There are 5 Foundations that young children need to develop in order to be successful and happy. These are called: CONFIDENCE, PERSISTENCE, ORGANISATION, GETTING ALONG and EMOTIONAL RESILIENCE.” Reference- You Can Do It Program– founder Michael E Bernard.

Intentional teaching helps children develop skills and understanding of what it looks and sounds like to be confident, get along, to be resilient, organized and to persist. The program uses puppet characters to help children interact and learn about each of these foundations.

Our experiences and feedback from children and families indicate that this program provides children with skills and understanding that they use every day to develop social and emotional skills. It is very evident in our program that this learning provides us with the language and expectations that support our entire kindergarten community.


One of our major teaching strategies for the kinder year is implementing the RULER APPROACH.  The Ruler approach is an evidence based program developed at Yale by Marc Brakett to promote emotional intelligence. The basic tenants and goals of the RULER approach are as follows:

R: Recognizing emotions in oneself and others
U: Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
L: Labelling the full range of emotions using a rich vocabulary
E: Expressing emotions appropriately in different contexts
R: Regulating emotions effectively to foster healthy relationships and achieve goals

The Ruler Approach has provided us with the opportunity to develop a shared plan to recognize that everyone in our Centre understands and practices their right to feel SAFE and HAPPY.

We commence the year by developing a GROUP CHARTER (Also known as our GROUP PROMISE). This promise recognizes how we all want to feel when we attend kinder. (SAFE & HAPPY).

The children then decide what we will do and say to show how we will feel. This usually includes being happy and safe at kinder.

The third element looks at what to do if we do not feel safe and happy.

This group charter then becomes a living document as we use it constantly to interact with each other. The children quickly learn social skills and develop the language and skills to voice how they feel and what they want and need. Inappropriate behavior is managed, self-reflection and self-modification is encouraged whenever possible.

We then implement the MOOD METER which helps children identify how they feel and why they feel this way. We talk about pleasant and unpleasant feelings and strategies we can use to move from unpleasant to pleasant feelings.

We recognize that ALL feelings are important because they help us identify when we are safe or unsafe. Body signals help us learn when we need help and our charter clearly indicates that we should seek help when we feel unsafe.

Children also develop empathy for others and become more supportive of others by participating in this program.

Why Emotional Intelligence matters?



Have less anxiety and depression

Are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and cigarettes

Are less aggressive and less likely to bully others

Have greater leadership skills

Are more attentive and less hyperactive in school

Perform better academically

For GSK– All children understand their rights and those of their peers, how to behave and establish relationships with others. Consistency supports ALL learners


Are more engaged in learning

Have better quality relationships with their teachers

Demonstrate increased prosocial behaviour

Perform better academically

For GSK– Less conflict, ability to manage high emotions is increased and improved social and emotional outcomes


Are more positive about teaching

Are less stressed

Have greater job satisfaction

For GSK– We have a shared familiar language and approach that ensures consistency