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Life Skills/Pressing Issues


Academic Performance

Cheating Yourself — Surveys of American students indicate that cheating is a big problem in our nation's schools. The attitude that cheating is okay brings with it consequences that can damage the future of individual students, as well as our nation as a whole. Students consider the natural consequences of cheating.
Key Idea: Cheating in School
Character Traits: Honesty - Integrity - Trustworthiness

Education: Doorway to Success * — Every student is fortunate to be able to come to school each day, an opportunity many children around the world do not have.
Key Ideas: Love of learning - School pride - Choices - Teacher appreciation
Character Traits: Responsibility - Gratitude
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for American Education Week or National Education Week.

Learning to Learn * — Learning how to study not only helps students become better learners, it can help them become better people. This message and lesson plan provide students with the opportunity to consider all the great benefits that come with learning strong study skills.
Key Ideas: Being a successful student requires strong study skills - Learning how to study
Character Traits: Responsibility - Self-discipline - Perseverance
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for National School Success Month in September.

Standardized Testing: Getting Ready — It can be difficult not to worry or get stressed about standardized tests. This message and activities help students identify ways to "let advance worrying become advance thinking and planning" (Winston Churchill). Students think about ways to take charge of their worries, think ahead, and plan in advance so they are better equipped to do their best at crunch time.
Key Ideas: Test anxiety - Planning ahead
Character Traits: Responsibility - Self-discipline - Confidence

Standardized Testing: What's Up with Testing? — "All of us perform better and more willingly when we know why we're doing what we have been told or asked to do." - Zig Ziglar. Students examine the reasons behind standardized testing and give voice to some of the thoughts about it.
Key Ideas: Standardized testing - Test anxiety - Understanding the reason for tests
Character Trait: Responsibility

Staying on Task — How many times have you said, "Let's get back to work" or "Pay attention, please." Learning to pay attention can be a difficult skill to learn for some kids. The best place to start is to explore classroom distractions, how to block them, and how to create a "question safe environment."
Key Idea: The importance of learning to focus and pay attention
Character Traits: Self-responsibility - Self-control - Discipline

* Materials with an asterisk (*) relate to Academic Performance and are also related to a calendar event. These same materials can also be found under Calendar Events.

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