Evaluation of We Have Choices, an Upper-Elementary Self-Management Program
With increasing pressures on teachers to prepare students to meet academic goals, students who can manage their own academic and social behavior may improve how well teachers teach. Even mildly inappropriate student behavior, especially when persistent, can frustrate teachers and other students, interfering with instruction and student attention. Young students do not often understand how their behavior affects their own success, teachers’ ability to teach, and the success of other students. Behaviors outside the classroom, such as completing homework the day before and arriving at school ready to learn, getting enough sleep, and eating a good breakfast, can also have an impact on student performance in the classroom.
Smolkowski and his team are evaluating the efficacy of the We Have Choices (WHC) program in upper-elementary classrooms. WHC teaches students eight evidence-based behavioral skills that are associated with academic success and gradually transfers management of those skills from teacher to students. Students learn to track behaviors that help or hinder their ability to meet their social or academic goals. This program could improve students' social and academic skills and reduce stress on the teachers and in the classroom.