Many 6th graders are overwhelmed with new responsibilities that come along with having multiple teachers/classes. Therefore, a “Learning Styles” lesson was developed so 6th grade students (350) could understand how to maximize their learning potential. The ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors were consulted when developing this lesson. Mindset 6A focused on positive attitude towards learning, while Behavior 3 & 4 focused on study skills and self-motivation. The perception data shows that after the post-test 98% of students could identify their learning style compared to only 49% of students on the pre-test. 78% of students could identify study strategies linked to their learning style on the pre-test, while 95% could on the post-test. After the lesson the learning styles preferences were shared with 6th grade teachers so they could tailor their lessons around student needs. Teachers can use this data for struggling students to develop individualized and differentiated instruction. The outcome data showed 67% of students increased their score in Research & Reading between Semester 1 and 2, and 55% of students increased their grade in Math from Semester 1 and 2. Data supports that when students know their learning style, it has the potential to improve classroom grades. Moving forward, the counselors will continue to do a similar lesson with all incoming 6th graders because understanding how you learn best is a life-long skill that is applicable both inside and outside of the classroom.
The “GPA” lesson was taught to our 8th grade students (350) as part of our “Are You Ready to be a High School Freshman” unit. This lesson was a result of feedback from our feeder high school counselors, as they shared that many freshman don’t understand the long-term impact of their GPA. When developing this lesson the ASCA Mindsets were utilized as a planning tool. The lesson focused on Mindset 5A belief in high-quality results and outcomes. Additionally, it focused on B-S 7 (setting long and short-term goals), B-SMS 1 (ability to assume responsibility), and B-SMS 5 (perseverance to achieve goals). The pre/post-test perception data showed that 100% of students could identify the GPA acronym and its meaning after the intervention compared to 0% on the pre-test. 100% of students agreed that they understood the importance of GPA (post-test) versus 63% of students (pre-test). An additional component of the lesson focused on helping students calculate their GPA. 25% of students on the pre-test felt confident calculating their GPA opposed to 88% on the post-test. On the pre-test no students could identify the value of quality points versus 50% of students on the post-test. Perception data showed that informing students about GPA and how to calculate it increased their knowledge and confidence surrounding GPA. Outcome data measured Semester 1 and 2 grades in Language Arts and Math to see if teaching students about GPA would increase classroom grades. Results showed that 75% of students increased their Language Arts grade and 38% of students increased in Math. Outcome data shows that when students realize the importance of GPA it has the potential to increase their classroom grades as a result. Looking ahead, students could benefit from a second GPA lesson in the spring in order to reinforce these critical concepts.
The “Get a Life! What’s in Your Future?” core curriculum lesson was a follow-up lesson to our “Career Matchmaker” lesson. This lesson focused on linking education to salary, developing a monthly budget, and making financial decisions. The ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors that were incorporated include: M-4 (understanding the necessity of postsecondary education); B-LS 1 (critical thinking skills to make an informed decision); B-SMS 8 (ability to balance school, home and community).This lesson was presented to our 7th grade students (350) through their Research & Reading classes. Perception data indicates that after the post-test students felt more comfortable creating a monthly budget (pre-test: 27% compared to post-test: 94%) and had more confidence making financial decisions (pre-test: 27% compared to post-test: 100%). Students gained a better understanding of the connection between education and salary (pre-test: 54% compared to post-test: 94%). Outcome data showed that 79% of students increased their math grade and 36% in Language Arts from Semester 1 to Semester 2. Empowering students with the benefits of education and budgeting techniques leads to more confidence when it comes to making future financial decisions. It also has the ability to challenge students to take more rigorous coursework and improve classroom grades. Future plans include an additional lesson in a 7th grade class that relates to more specific budgeting topics.