IRIS Educational Media has been awarded a grant from the Institute of Educational Sciences to study the efficacy of the We Have Skills curriculum, a series of videos and tools to teach children from kindergarten through third grade important social skills.
The study will take place in Washington, Oregon and California. The goal of the study is to get participation from over 3,000 elementary students and 160 teachers.
We Have Skills comes with a DVD of the video episodes, a CD of the songs, 7 colorful classroom posters, and a good-job ticket pad. Numerous activities, practices lessons, and certificates for students and teachers are available online for easy printing. Take-home packets with songs and skill-building, practice-ideas get parents involved, too. The curriculum has been adopted by eight large to medium school districts in the United States and over 350 schools in the United States, Norway, and Sweden. It was recently licensed for commercial dissemination by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Riverside Publishing division.
Supported by funding from the US Department of Education, this research-based curriculum is a perfect blend of PBIS (Positive Behavior and Intervention Support) and RtI (Response to Intervention). Designed as a universal prevention strategy important for all children, We Have Skills also includes additional activities that support more intensive work with students who have challenging behavior.
The study on We Have Skills will show the efficacy on classroom behavior over a period of three years. Teachers in the comparison groups will continue standard instruction, while the study group will implement the curriculum and use the Progress Monitoring Tool (irisPMT). The irisPMT pairs with the We Have Skills curriculum to help teachers track behavior for each student. The tool helps teachers identify which students need extra practice for learning the seven essential social skills for learning success. The previous study on We Have Skills found that teachers who implemented the curriculum and the Progress Monitoring Tool showed significant classroom behavior improvement. That study was recognized by the What Works Clearinghouse as meeting the highest standards for research.
For more detailed information on the grant from the Institute of Educational Sciences, see the announcement on funded opportunities.