By Lisa Hertzberg, LifeSmarts Director
LifeSmarts is an established program in its 17th year, but it is also a program that strives to be “flat and flexible.” Our goal is to make LifeSmarts and all of our educational resources easily adaptable to meet the needs of the students and educators who use the program.
We regularly hear from creative LifeSmarts coaches who use the program in many different ways:
- Infusing LifeSmarts into their business, economics, family and consumer science, math, or vocational education curriculum
- Using it as an extracurricular activity with clubs or groups such as FBLA, FCCLA, 4-H, and others
- Using LifeSmarts in the classroom but allowing students to self-select whether they wish to advance to live competitions, and then practicing with the team outside of the school day
- Initiating teams at the community level with community educators as coaches
One new tool with many applications is the TeamSmarts online activity, which provides a 100-question quiz each month that students work on collaboratively. Educators can use TeamSmarts in the classroom or with small groups in extracurricular settings. This LifeSmarts practice tool allows students to compete against other teams from across the country, learn about a new LifeSmarts topic each month, and strengthen their teamwork and leadership skills. You can get started at TeamSmarts here.
We have some exciting new projects in the works as well. Our 2011 plans include producing a new LifeSmarts topic list (scope and sequence), an activity box, a LifeSmarts Toolkit, and a comprehensive vocabulary list. All of these components will be designed to help educators easily adapt the “flat and flexible” LifeSmarts program for various groups and settings. Stay tuned for more exciting developments!