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Becoming Successful in Middle School

Five Life Strategies for Successful Teens (#101)

This inspirational program profiles teens who are achieving their dreams: Liz Murray overcame a life of living on the streets to attend Harvard University; Jesse Laslovich became one of the youngest legislators ever elected in Montana; Aja Monet tells her story of winning a National Poetry Slam Competition; Clayton Lilliard created his own charity of donating bikes to kids whose parents are in prison, and Jennifer Howitt overcame a spinal cord injury to excel at basketball and win a gold medal at the Paralympic Games. [26 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Series Description: This series addresses a host of issues and concerns important to young teens such as handling difficult emotions, dealing with crises and coping with peer pressure. The programs also model important skills such as assertiveness, decision making, study skills and rules of common courtesy.

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  • Drama Queens and Tough Guys: Helping Teens Handle Emotions (#102)

    Intense emotions are part of every teen's life. Too often, however, these emotions spill over into "dramas" with groups of kids reacting to and escalating the impact of the drama. The by-product is a ripple of emotional chaos that extends beyond the group members and can negatively affect the atmosphere of the school. Using four "real life" scenarios, the program enables viewers to recognize emotional "drama" and helps them find legitimate ways to handle intense emotions. [19 minutes]

  • Coping with An Emotional Crisis (#103)

    Divorce, loss of a parent’s job, natural disasters, death of a loved one, harassment at school, failure in school, navigating difficult friendships—these and other crises have a profound impact on the mental and physical health of young teens and create emotional trauma most are not equipped to deal with. This program describes different types of crises that are typical of high school students, the stages of a crisis and resources and strategies that students can use. [24 minutes]

  • Standing Tall: Learning Assertiveness Skills (#104)

    Teasing, bullying, peer pressure are all behaviors that are challenging for middle school kids – especially shy ones – to deal with. How should they respond when bullies, cliques, and even friends make them feel bad or treat them disrespectfully? This program helps students learn to be more assertive and to speak up for themselves and others. [24 minutes]

  • Surviving Peer Pressure: You Can Do It! (#105)

    For many young people, staying true to oneself can be a challenge. This program presents five scenarios where teens are asked to make critical decisions in typical peer pressure situations: whether to raid a liquor cabinet; teasing and bullying a vulnerable kid; excluding a girl from their regular lunch table; being pressured to shoplift, and being tempted to cheat on an exam. In each scenario, the action stops at a critical juncture and students review steps to making the right choice. [21 minutes]

  • That's So Rude! 10 Rules of Common Courtesy (#106)

    This program presents strategies to teach and reinforce civility and common courtesy in and out of school. Scenarios range from classroom behavior to cyberspace etiquette, use of cell phones, interrupting, wise-cracking, public behavior and language, courtesy to teachers, and respect for people and property. Students learn strategies for interacting with teachers, parents and all adults to encourage positive, comfortable outcomes. [19 minutes]

  • Making Good Choices: Keys to Good Decisions (#107)

    Kids today have a lot of important decisions to make. Should I drink alcohol or smoke pot? Should I cheat on a test? Should I inform on a friend? This program introduces students to the four hallmarks of good decision-making: does it agree with what I know inside is right, what might happen as a result, might it hurt future goals, and will it hurt me or another person. Through real-life scenarios, students see others in the throes of difficult decisions with serious consequences. Applying these new decision-making strategies empowers students to choose the right path. [18 minutes]

  • Developing Good Study Skills, Pt. 1 (#108)

    This program highlights methods proven to help students study more effectively and achieve higher grades: how to prioritize and manage time, how to use the library to best advantage, how to study using textbooks, how to take better notes, how to listen effectively and how to take tests. The program explains several critical in-class skills and successful techniques for studying at home. Effective test preparation is covered in-depth. [19 minutes]

  • Developing Good Study Skills, Pt. 2 (#109)

    This program explores how to be more efficient in writing research papers and using the library or Internet appropriately. [17 minutes]

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