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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

Dropping In * — Someone wise once said: "If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself." Each of our children deserves the advantages that come with choosing to complete high school diploma.
Key Ideas: Staying in School - Dropouts - GEDs - Unemployment
Character Traits: Discipline - Responsibility - Self-respect
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for American Education Week or National Education Week in November.

Great Expectations! * — Students examine their expectations for the school year and how the first days of school can set the tone.
Key Idea: Setting the tone for the school year with great expectations
Character Traits: Respect - Caring - Citizenship
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for the first days of school.

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 testing. This message and lesson plan helps 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 Idea: Standardized testing
Character Traits: Responsibility - Self-respect - Confidence - Positive work ethic

Standardized Testing: What's Up with Testing? — Students will examine the reasons behind standardized testing and be given the opportunity to give voice to their opinions about these tests. They will consider the idea that standardized tests give educators a better understanding of what their students' academic strengths and weaknesses are so they can receive the education and the tools they need for future success.
Key Ideas: Standardized testing - Test anxiety - Understanding the reason for tests
Character Trait: Responsibility

Staying on Task — Plato said, "The first and best victory is to conquer self." Learning to stay on task can be a difficult skill for any of us to master. This message and corresponding lesson plan will encourage students to examine the power that can be achieved through self-control.
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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