Advisory / Exploratory
The House System
For our Junior High students, a House System is used for the Advisory experience to build camaraderie while developing virtues, improving study skills, and having fun.
Each House is named for one of the four cardinal virtues, and they work to develop that particular virtue, understanding that virtues must be taught and practiced.
A typical Advisory period would find students and advisor checking grades and planners to make time management plans for the coming week, engaging in conversation about positive and negative things that might be happening, working toward exemplifying their House virtue into their lives, and other problem-solving techniques. Another aspect of the Advisory period is incorporating The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. The junior high is using The Choice Is Yours: The 7 Habits Activity Guide for Teens to help introduce and teach critical behavioral and learning skills that they will find useful throughout their lives.
From a list of over 20 choices, students choose which courses they want to explore. Led by a staff member, these quarter-long or half-quarter-long courses cover a wide range of topics. From a student perspective, the benefits are significant:
Students are able to investigate a variety of courses helping determine what interests them for future study in high school and beyond.
Students engage in hands-on activities and learning experiences beyond the core subjects.
Students try new subjects for a short period of time to account for changes in development, attitudes, and preferences.
Students explore areas for future career options, basic life skills, and activities they may participate in for fun as adults.
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