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Case Study: Calli Dean of Springfield

Posted by Kali Orkin on

Case study for We Have Skills by IRIS Educational Media

 

Calli Dean, Behavior Specialist, Thurston Elementary

 

Calli Dean is an educator who was an expert advisor for IRIS Educational Media for the development of the We Have Skills curriculum. She assisted with the evaluation study and was able to witness first-hand how the program improved classroom behavior and development of social skills in students. She continues to support teachers teaching social skills curriculum in Springfield, Oregon.

 

What challenge did you see in schools before finding this solution?

Before the We Have Skills study, my school had no curriculum in place for helping kids learn social skills. After the latest economic downturn, many kindergarten students were coming into school without previously attending preschool or daycare where they would normally learn how to interact with others. We needed something that would help kids assimilate to social situations.

Now, all Oregon schools have a full day kindergarten schedule, and Springfield has decided to include social skills curriculum as part of the longer day. My district has approved two options for schools to use for their curriculum, and We Have Skills is one of the options.

What features of We Have Skills made it a good solution? The curriculum is enjoyable, the videos are engaging, and the songs are memorable. Another thing that makes We Have Skills stand out is the sensitivity to diversity, using a variety of music styles and starring people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The video lessons teach the skills, and there are other resources provided to reinforce them.

Children love the songs and ask to hear them often. They don’t always know that they are learning, which is fantastic.

What results have you experienced since seeing We Have Skills in action?

iris progress monitoring toolUsing the Progress Management Tracker (was called the IrisPMT - Progress Monitoring Tool), we were able to record scores based on children’s ability to demonstrate social skills. After the curriculum was taught, the scores were twice as high as the initial assessment. There was a noticeable difference in how children used their skills.

We used the tracker tool school wide (K-2 only), which allowed us to have a (We Have Skills gave us the common language) common language between teachers and staff. Anytime you use a program universally, it increases the likelihood of success even more.

I have noticed that even 2-3 years later, their soft (social) skills learning is remembered during a refresher session. They remember the songs and the lesson when asked about their social skills.

 

What results have you experienced since seeing We Have Skills in action?

Using the Progress Management Tracker, we were able to record scores based on children’s ability to demonstrate social skills. After the curriculum was taught, the scores were twice as high as the initial assessment.  There was a noticeable difference in how children used their skills.

 

We used the tracker tool school wide, which allowed us to have a common language between teachers and staff. Anytime you use a program universally, it increases the likelihood of success even more.

 

I have noticed that even 2-3 years later, their soft skills learning is remembered during a refresher session.  They remember the songs and the lesson when asked about their social skills.

 

What else should schools know about We Have Skills?

 It’s easy to pick up and teach. It doesn’t take much preparation time and reinforcing the skills is easy. There is guided practice with each lesson. It is also easy to customize, spending more time or less on certain lessons, moving it around, or eliminating some the skills that might be too advanced (such as working out strong feelings) to save for later. Once you have the DVD kit, you are set and ready to teach.

Want more details on We have Skills? See our product page here.