Sunday, May 21, 2017

When "Quizlet Teacher" Goes On Sale

Hey teachers, prevention specialists and lovers of words in general-

If you checked out the last post on Quizlet, hopefully you had a chance to try it out, or perhaps you're already well versed in this fantastic vocabulary-building ed tech tool. But DID YOU KNOW that you can now power up to the premium version of Quizlet for a fraction of the normal price?

Here's why I think Quizlet Teacher (the name they give their premium version of Quizlet) is worth it.

1. Extra features for you and your students. You can view class progress, and you can see which terms are easier (or harder) for your students via a percentage correct figure on the left margin of your teacher page.

2. Voice recording. You can record your own voice - OR YOUR STUDENTS' VOICES (great hook!) for each term you enter in each list.

3. Upload custom images. The basic version of Quizlet has a limited number of images, and sometimes they simply don't offer any that are appropriate. Being able to upload custom images means that students can potentially learn vocabulary faster and more effectively. And if you're super clever, you can create a lesson in which students create visualizations of terms and then upload their images! Student-created content! HOW COOL.

4. Create unlimited classes. You can create vocab sets for all of your Lifeskills lessons as well as for every single other course/class you teach. No boundaries. Even cooler.

Many teachers have end of year funds that they're looking to spend now. If you're in that position, and you want 20% off the normal subscription price of $34.99, and  you want a year's worth of everything in the list above, then click the link below:

If you go for it, leave me a note in the comments section!

Yours in prevention,


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Activity Idea #2: Quizlet

I use Quizlet in my Health classroom to support the acquisition of key vocabulary from the Lifeskills curriculum. If you're a teacher and you haven't discovered Quizlet, read on.

Quizlet is an essential part of the 21st century classroom. One of the best things about Quizlet is that it's FREE, and it can be used in pretty much any subject or discipline. Once you make an account, you simply start creating vocab sets. The image above shows the main page for the list I created using words from the (you guessed it) Drug Abuse & Violence: Causes And Effects lesson. Actually, what I had done with my students was to introduce the unit by doing a shared reading using the student guide. We then had a short discussion, went through a brief activity, and then I asked my students to "be the teacher" and identify words that they felt were important to know from this lesson. "If you were teaching this lesson," I said, "which terms would you want your students to learn?" Students paired up and generated lists of 8-10 terms. We then shared out as a class and decided on the top 12. Those got entered into my Quizlet account, and then the students got studying. Which, on Quizlet, is a lot like playing.

This image depicts the "Gravity" game in which students see, one at a time, vocab terms for which they then have to type in the definition before the asteroid falls to Earth. Students can compete to see who gets the fastest time. Other games include Match, Spell and the more traditional Test. And then, there's LIVE. Which they absolutely LOVE. No exaggeration.

Students open a new tab and enter and then I, as the teacher, click LIVE on my Quizlet teacher page (projecting my screen onto my Smartboard for my students to see). I then click "Create Game" and a six digit code appears, which students then enter in order to access the Quizlet Live session. Students then enter their first names (you need at least six students to play Live). Once all students are entered, the teacher hits "Play Game" and the game begins.

This image is a demo version of what the student screen looks like. Students are randomly assigned to groups, and each group is given an animal name and image. For each term posted, the student is given a list of four possible definitions. If the student sees the correct definition, s/he clicks it and earns a team point. The student may not have ANY of the correct definitions, in which case it's up to a teammate to select the correct one. Teamwork and effective communication are a key component here. If a student clicks an incorrect definition, the team loses all points and they start again at zero. The team that gets to the maximum number of points first is the winner.

Have you ever seen students totally engaged and enthusiastic about an activity in your classroom? Quizlet Live produces this effect, almost like magic. It's awesome to see, especially knowing that they are simultaneously learning essential vocabulary.

If you haven't already, give Quizlet a shot. If you have, I'd love to hear what you think!

Yours in prevention,


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Activity Idea #1: Get KAHOOT!!

Hey Western Mass LST Network!

I've reached out to you all recently to get your questions and feedback on using Lifeskills in the classroom, and several of you have asked about ACTIVITIES. "How can I weave activities that get my students up and moving around into the Lifeskills program without losing control of a classroom?"

Today's blog post offers up the first of several ideas in response to this very question! Back at the training in September in Greenfield, MA, the web-based resource Kahoot was mentioned as a great way to review concepts in a unit. Here's a way that I've taken the content in LST lessons and worked it into a really fun and engaging Kahoot activity!

Once you create your Kahoot and display a "Join Kahoot" code on your Smartboard or projector, students join the class Kahoot session using a laptop, Chromebook, iPad or smartphone. As the teacher, you create the questions and answers. It's easy to take any concept or objective in LST and turn it into a Kahoot question. See my example below:

After they see this question screen, another screen appears with four possible answers (one of which you previously designated as correct)

Clearly, you all know the correct answer...right? Students key in their responses within a 30 - 60 second period of time. Points are awarded for both QUICK responses as well as correct answers.

My students LOVE Kahoot! I use it either to introduce new content, or as a way to review before an assessment. Another great activity comes from having the students WRITE the Kahoot questions themselves, which is a great higher-order thinking activity. As the teacher, you can then collect their questions, edit if necessary, and use these to create your Kahoot. Students feel incorporated into the teaching/learning/assessment process. I've found this to be a great hook.

Have you used Kahoot already? Got questions about using Kahoot? Tell us what you think!

More posts coming up soon about ACTIVITIES in the LST classroom!

Yours in prevention,


Saturday, March 11, 2017

How Lifeskills Training Can Keep Kids Healthy and Drug-Free

Webinar: How LifeSkills Training can Keep Kids Healthy and Drug-free

(republished from
Join us on this free webinar to learn more about the highly effective Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) program and how it can positively impact the lives of youth in elementary, middle, and high school. Explore the LST structure and learn how it can be an effective, enjoyable, and easy-to-teach program!picture1
Botvin LifeSkills Training:   A Proven Program for Drug-free Youth
Space is limited! After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the training.
School districts, individual schools, and their partner agencies are challenged now more than ever with a number of social, emotional, and environmental needs that impact the lives of the youth they serve. Time and resources are at a premium which demands an approach that is not only diverse in it reach, but delivers multiple outcomes, meaningful change, and results.
In fact, the Surgeon General recently named LifeSkills Training (LST) as one of the most effective school-based programs for adolescents aged 10 to 18.*  The LST program is research validated, has universal appeal, is age and developmentally appropriate, will change the lives of the youth you serve for the better.
Join us to learn how the Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST)  has been proven to reduce alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other drug abuse. In addition, research on LST demonstrated reductions in violence, delinquency, and most recently, prescription and opioid misuse among middle school aged-youth.
*Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, 2016

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Lifeskills Training Webinars

Western Mass Lifeskills Training users! Check out the free webinar that's being offered on Wednesday, January 25 at 12:00 noon!! Share with administrators, colleagues, and anyone you know who works in the field of prevention! Keep spreading the word about this RESEARCH and SCIENCE-BASED program that is continually proving its positive outcomes!! Click the links below to register!

The Surgeon General recently named LifeSkills Training as one of themost effective school-based programs for adolescents aged 10 to 18*

transparent back MS
Join us for this complimentary webinar to learn more about the how the LifeSkills Training Middle School Program can positively impact educational outcomes, reduce violence, and decrease opioid misuse as well as other drug use.

Register: Wednesday, 1/25 at noon ET (space is limited)

*Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, 2016

Ready to implement the program? Check out our training schedule to register for a Provider Training workshop, or email to schedule a workshop either online or in-person for your group.
Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter    View our profile on LinkedIn    View our videos on YouTube    Visit our blog    

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Link to Western MA Lifeskills Segment on Mass Appeal!

In case you missed it, here's the link to the segment that Kat Allen and I did on Mass Appeal to talk about the great stuff happening in our middle schools in the Franklin/Quabbin region!

Thank you to everyone for your continued hard work and enthusiasm for Lifeskills! It's working!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The MASS APPEAL of Lifeskills Training!

Happy 2017! We're ushering in the new year with a renewed energy that we're about to share throughout the Pioneer Valley. On Wednesday, January 11, Kat Allen of FRCOG's Partnership For Youth and Frontier Regional School's Kate Blair (yours truly) will be featured on WWLP's Mass Appeal to speak about the Lifeskills Training Program and its adoption in middle schools throughout the Franklin Quabbin region. This segment airs between 11am and noon, so tune in and hear updates on this fantastic prevention program that we're fortunate to have in so many middle schools in western Massachusetts! In case you miss it, check back to the blog - I'll post a clip of our segment!

Yours in prevention,