Skills For Living

The link to my Skills for Living blog


The Skills For Living Program occurs each morning from 8.55am – 9.10am. The program is designed to promote a sense of team spirit and a positive “can do” attitude amongst the class. The program is drawn from the principles of the YOU CAN DO IT program, TRIBES and Art Costa’s 16 HABITS OF MIND prinicples.

In our year 6 class, we felt it was important for the students to have ownership of the time, so we came up with the idea of having the students run their own class meeting.

Each week, we have a new Chairperson, who oversees the meeting for 5 days. The meetings follow this format:

* Administration – lunch orders, notes and messages for the office
* Positives – Students are invited to share something exciting or positive which is happening or coming up in their lives – either in a school or home setting
* Issues – Students are invited to express dissatisfaction with something either at home or at school and as a class, we try and offer some suggestions to help solve the issue, or simply offer a sympathetic ear.
* Tribbles – This is a spin off from the TRIBES program where students point to a particular face on a chart – expressing how they are feeling on that day. We have altered it to the students giving themselves a rating out of 10 for the day. 1 is feeling pretty grungy and 10 is on top of the world. Often they will say “I’m an 8 today because…..” or they will just offer a number and no explanation. Either is acceptable. This is a fabulous way of understanding possible reasons why one particular child is struggling on that day.
* Goal Setting – Each Monday we set a short term goal which is achievable by the end of the week. This goal may be tied in with a long term goal which may have been set at the start of the year, or a one off goal for something they wish to achieve in that week. These goals must be specific eg “I want to get better in maths” would be teased out to say what it is specifically you need to improve in eg. I need to get better at my 7 and 9 times tables.

The rest of the meeting includes a combination of the following:

* We use the smart board to check out world news, check out each other’s blogs or visit a site that somebody has found and thinks is pretty “hot”.
* We introduce some of the keys to the YOU CAN DO IT program
* We look at whichever HABIT OF THE MIND we may be focusing on that week or that couple of weeks.
* Seating arrangements are changed every 2 weeks. One fortnight is student selected, the next fortnight is teacher selected.

Whatever format the meeting takes for the day, the emphasis is ALWAYS on the idea that we are a team, which is part of the larger College community team and we know that “WE CAN DO IT!” whatever the challenge.

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