Managing Me In Middle School is a curriculum designed to help students develop and refine the executive functioning and self-management skills necessary to successfully transition into the new challenges of middle school.
- The program emphasizes coaching learners in and providing learners with the five TEMPO skills
- The program follows a modular approach within which each lesson has a predictable structure.
- Students regularly participate in meditation, reflection, and collaboration to apply the skills taught through the program.
- Students create individualized action plans to determine how they will try out their newly learned skills in their daily life, and through peer coaching and reflection, students continually assess their progress and set new goals.
- The program utilizes gamification through midcourse and course end competitions to have students synthesize and present their learning.
- The program also comes with tailored communications for teachers and parents, which are sent prior to each module. These inform all teachers at the school, and the students’ parents, about the program and its goals so they can provide a support system to help learners to set and achieve these goals.
Above all else, this program instructs and encourages students to enthusiastically participate in their own learning and success.
The course has been thoughtfully crafted to be user friendly for teachers and creatively developed to engage students.
The program is built around the following fundamental strategies:
- Understanding the experience through the youth’s lens
- Fostering a Growth Mindset, Grit and Mindfulness
- Taking the time to teach Executive Functioning Skills
- Teaching skills the learner can utilize to address challenges
- Modeling these behaviors and skills
- Practicing these behaviors and skills
- Monitoring these behaviors and skills
There are specific skills that assist individuals in becoming better learners and stronger students. These important skills develop faster if they are explicitly taught – instead of waiting for students to spontaneously develop and evolve these skills over years.
- Increased metacognitive capacity
- Better planning & prioritization
- Stronger organizational skills
- Increased self-advocacy skills
- Enhanced mindfulness
- Increased impulse control
- Increased emotional control
- Better frustration tolerance
- Easier task initiation
- Better time management
- Stronger working memory
- Increased cognitive flexibility
- Better management of complex social interactions
- Goal-directed persistence, and ultimately
- Increased executive functioning
- Training the Brain (including study habits, self-control, and mindfulness)
- Executive Functioning Skills (including planning, prioritizing, and time management)
- Mindset (including growth mindset and grit)
Brain Training & Habit Building
- The program is designed to help learners train their brain to utilize Managing Me In Middle School techniques to become more effective and efficient in all aspects of their life, but especially in school.
- The program is designed to motivate learners to continually practice using these techniques and reflect upon that practice, so that these skills become habits.
- The program is designed to help students develop habits that are associated with higher levels of achievement in school and beyond.
- Students will complete class reflections and activities on their workbook documents. Depending on the school site, these may be physical or digital pages. The workbook will also provide lesson recaps, which will make these excellent resources during and after the course.
- The program is set up with elements of gamification woven in with the midcourse and end of course projects. These projects are competitions that ask students – either as an individual or on a team – to synthesize their learning as they complete the project and present it to their peers. The projects take on different forms depending on the year and point in the course.
- Each lesson follows a fixed “training” routine and structure.
- Meditate-Reflect-Teach-Do or Meditate-Reflect-Do-Plan
- Each lesson begins with calming music being played while students see a “Do Now” and the day’s agenda. Once everyone is present, students will do a brief meditation.
- Next, students will reflect on either the learning from the previous lesson or on how well they implemented their most recent action plan from the previous module. Reflections rotate from being collaborative (geared at helping students synthesize their learning of a new concept) and individual (geared at helping students reflect on their application of skills and how to help that skill become a habit).
- Then, students will either learn a new concept and later collaborate with peers to practice that new skill, or they will continue their practice from a previous lesson and then create an individualized action plan to apply this learned skill in their daily life.
- The fixed class routine is punctuated by a midcourse and end of course project where students work independently or as a team to demonstrate their learning and present it to their peers.
- Overall, classes are designed to be highly participatory. Participation is essential because the goal of this program is to continuously encourage students to practice behaviors and skills in class and out of class until they become natural habits.
Teacher & Parent Communication Guides
- The Teacher and Parent Communication Guides are a compilation of brief emails staged to go out to each group prior to a module, orienting them to the behaviors and skills being covered, suggesting strategies to integrate into their interactions with the students, and offering discussion points.
- These guides echo across multiple environments, offering opportunities for allied adults to reinforce what the students are working on, and draw meaningful connections between those behaviors and skills – and other areas of the students’ lives.
- These guides have been designed to ask all teachers at the school, as well as parents at home, to actively support learners in their Managing Me in Middle School journey to become better learners and stronger students. Specifically, these guides ask teachers and parents:
- Please echo back the lessons being taught in each class.
- Please continually encourage students to practice TEMPO behaviors and skills in class and out of class, so that they become natural habits.
Should your school join
the Managing Me family?
Managing Me is now taking applications for schools to be part of our team for the 2022-2023 school year.
Boosting Executive Function May Help Close Income-Based Achievement Gap.
– LilyBelle Deer, Paul Hastings, and Camelia Hostigar
Reframing of education for the 21st century
includes “Executive function skills such as
increasing attention and working memory” as critical content for curriculum.