Helping you become all that you are capable of becoming!



D    Decide

D     Decide
Chapter 7
I AM A GOOD STUDENT Study Skills Program
By: Constance M. Messina, Ph.D.


When you DECIDE, you make choices. We, as teachers, can help our students make good choices through discussion, sharing of experiences and citing examples of good and bad choices and their subsequent consequences. The ultimate decision to use study skills should be the student's. We are empowering them. Hopefully, the extrinsic and intrinsic rewards will become important enough to them that they will make the extra efforts needed to successfully use a study skills program.


Elementary students are beginning to develop higher level cognitive abilities. They are able to reason, understand abstractions and beginning to view situations from alternative perspectives. We need to acknowledge these emerging skills and incorporate them into an overall plan for helping the student to help themselves.


Many of our students are exposed to a departmentalized structure in their school situation, which gives the student more freedom. Often that freedom manifests itself in the freedom to become lost in a crowd, to wander around a vast new world without knowing how to adjust and readjust constantly to the changing demands of teachers, classes, assignments, and schedules.


The students' freedom to become hopelessly frustrated because their disorganization has overpowered them are evident. Even the best of caring, interested teachers cannot keep tabs on every book, every assignment, every minute of any student's school life. It is crucial for students to develop coping skills for themselves. While they enjoy the relative freedom given to them, they must keep it under control or risk losing it. The teacher who truly wants to assist their students must realize that the students want and need limits; they can learn to structure those limits for themselves and decide to make good choices with appropriate consequences.


1. Discuss choice making and the student's relative freedom in the making of a decision or choice. Discuss, also the consequences of good choices and poor choices. 


2. Role play situations involving good and bad choices and their subsequent consequences.


3. Ask students to talk about their attitudes toward school and schoolwork and why they feel the way they do. Encourage them to express their real feelings with no fear of recriminations if they seem to have negative attitudes.

4. Relate personal experiences where choices are made and consequences are evident. Encourage students to share their experiences.


5. Have students illustrate examples of good and bad decision making and post the finished products.


6. Cooperative learning techniques provide an excellent vehicle to explore decision making and resulting consequences.


7. Discuss rewards - both extrinsic and intrinsic and the students' feelings about both.


8. Possible rewards for appropriate behavior could include some of the following: stickers, healthy snacks (pretzels, crackers, and fruit), privileges, special jobs, and teacher’s helper. Free time, computer time and/or library time.

Student Decide Worksheet on Decision Making


Name:                                                                              Date:




Decision making situations are listed below. Think of possible ways to handle each situation. Consider possible consequences for each decision.


1. You didn't do your homework. Your teacher just asked you about it. What do you say?


2. One of your teachers or classes is very boring. What is the best way for you to act?


3. Your teacher is going too fast. How do you ask your teacher to slow down?


4. Your teacher made a mistake and accused you of breaking a class rule. When is the best time for you to talk about the situation with your teacher? What do you say?


5. You are late for class. What do you say to your teacher? When do you say it? 


6. You don't understand something your teacher is explaining. How do you let your teacher know?


7. You lost your homework and gave your teacher an honest explanation. Your teacher punishes you. What is the best way for you to react?


8. You never answer in class. What can you do about this?


9. You feel your teacher has insulted you. You are embarrassed, hurt and angry. What can you do?


10. You want extra help or extra credit. How do you ask for it?