Launching Leaps District Wide, By Topic
Many of our schools report that the best way to get their Leaps program going district-wide is to set a value or topic for each month of the school year. This doesn’t mean that you can only access 9 or 10 topics overall – there are hundreds to choose from! But it does help get everyone on the same page, “all boats rowing in the same direction” and it helps reinforce the message across all classrooms.
In the Classroom
Let teachers pick the appropriate lesson plan for their students that touches on the Topic or Value of the month. They have options for grade level / maturity level and there are different ways to approach the same subject. They really only need to do one official lesson plan to get the ball rolling. From there, every day teaching and classroom activities can spark short reminders in conversations about other things. For example, if the topic of the month is about Respect for Others, then a teacher can refer back to their lesson on Respect for Others, or Respect for Personal Space when a related subject comes up another time in class.Â
At the School
You can put up posters and signs – or assign students to design art work or bulletin board collages – to keep that important topic top of mind through the halls. Morning announcements and newsletters can reference the topic saying “It’s Respect for Others Week” so that the message gets home too. (More on this below) Teachers can wear t-shirts about respect or play songs about respect.Â
At the District Level
Administrators can see that teachers across the campus are district are using the lesson plans and if warranted, adding notes or reporting data as needed. You can also monitor any changes in related behavior – likely improved – at the end of the month vs the beginning. it’s oftenÂ
We provide parent activity guides to help families with younger children keep the lessons going at home. We also encourage schools to include their value of the week or month in newsletters and flyers going home. And for families with kids in different schools across the district, it is especially impactful for them to see that the high school and the elementary school are united, focusing on the same topics. This makes it easy for parents to spark dinnertime discussions or to reinforce key values no matter what age their kids are.
Here are some suggested topics for a monthly plan to go district wide with Leaps. Mix and Match as you like and don’t forget, there are over 100 different lesson plans covering more than 40 topics, so you are not limited to those listed below. Each topic includes 10-15 different takes in Lesson Plans that are age appropriate for all levels of maturity.
September – Making Friends: Great for starting out the new school year
October – School Rules: Not just following the rules but appreciating your school
November – Managing Stress: Helpful before finals & holidays (stressful for some)
December – Respect for Yourself & Others: Resonates very well, address bullying too
January – Communication & Presentation: Come back from break and start back strong
February – Managing Emotions: Dealing with resentment, goes well with Valentine’s Day
March – Having A Social Life: How to manage with other responsibilities too
April – Managing Time & Attention: As summer approaches it’s good to keep focus
May – Decision Making & Consequences: Always a good lesson to learn
For those schools looking to implement the annual calendar, we have a collection of images, short text blurbs, poster designs and flyers for sharing with students, sending home to parents and for posting on social media. We’re trying to make it as easy as possible to manage what is essentially a campaign for your school. Here are a few samples and if you would like access to the library, just ask. It is free to Leaps users!
Content from Julia needed here.