Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL INFORMATION

What is AIA?

AIA stands for Nick Vujicic’s Attitude is Altitude Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum. AIA is a CASEL-aligned, holistically integrated curriculum designed to meet the needs of the whole-child actively and digitally.

Nick Vujicic, a world-renowned motivational speaker, launched the initiative to helpguide and inspire students with Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) after experiencing a childhood of hardship due to bullying. He worked with educational professionals to develop a curriculum that not only aligns with CASEL but is easy for teachers to use.

Why choose AIA?

Nick Vujicic’s influence is felt throughout and makes AIA unique. As a successful inspirational speaker who has faced physical, social and emotional challenges in every phase of his life, Nick’s life-affirming, positive and hopeful approach makes teachers and students naturally gravitate to his message. His story is relatable, strong, and most of all, very human. Nick, as a guide throughout the AIA experience, leads a program that is proven to raise academic results with strong cross-curricular connections in writing as well as reading, language arts, math, social studies, science, technology, yoga and the arts.

Does AIA have an overall theme?

Yes, the theme of AIA is to “Be the Author Of Your Own Life.” Students are taught how to write their own life story —how to take control of their own emotions, their own behaviors, their own learning, their own success and ultimately their own happiness. Like Nick, students also learn to use challenges as strengths to be the best versions of themselves.

What do students learn in AIA?

The AIA Curriculum is aligned to the competencies developed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) as well as the initial three SEL goals, learning standards and grade band standards released in Illinois in 2004.

All content has also been cross walked with the SEL standards in the states that have published SEL standards of their own.

What is the AIA Experience?

Our mission is to help make every school an AIA school where students develop the skills, mindsets and literacies to be their best selves in school and in life. The AIA Experience includes:

  • AIA’s Intentional Implementation Approach
  • The Noble Shifts, Actions and Techniques
  • The Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum for K-12

AIA was developed using a SAFE evidence-based approach. What does that mean?

The AIA Curriculum applies a SAFE approach to support social-emotional development:

  • Sequenced: AIA includes connected and coordinated activities to foster skills development.
  • Active: AIA prioritizes active forms of learning to help students master new skills and attitudes.
  • Focused: AIA emphasizes the development of personal and social skills.
  • Explicit. AIA targets specific social and emotional skills.

Who developed AIA? How?

In partnership with Nick Vujicic, AIA was developed by a diverse team of educators with leadership and teaching experience in elementary, middle and high school in rural,urban and suburban as well as traditional and online school settings throughout the United States and beyond.

The AIA development team used curriculum design process that began with a needs assessment and deconstruction of SEL standards.

Additionally, four core areas drove the creation process:

  1. Audience / learner profiles
  2. AIA’s unique identity
  3. Foundational and current SEL research, standards and best practices
  4. AIA’s 2016 -2017 pilot study findings

What were the main findings of AIA’s 2016-2027 pilot study?

AIA promotes positivity and inspires students to be their best selves.

The curriculum taught students to approach situations with a more positive attitude. Nick’s inspiring story helped students to turn challenges into opportunities, to spread positivity and to control their attitudes.

AIA develops a sense of community and respect for others.

Students reported that the curriculum helped them to become more grateful for what they have as well as to embrace differences. Students reported that the curriculum facilitated awareness of self and others.

AIA breaks down barriers, strengthens relationships and builds an environment of trust.

Studies show that improving students relationships with teachers has important,positive and long-lasting implications for students' academic and social development. Across all three grades and in both schools, students indicated that the program helped them to learn and to connect better with their peers, teachers and other adults.

AIA empowers students to speak up for themselves and for others.

Students from both schools commented on how Nick’s curriculum helped them to prevent bullying and develop an understanding of the serious impact of bullying. Students also discussed the importance of talking to an adult and to not keep things to themselves.

AIA provides conflict resolution & self control strategies: Think before you act.

One of the main takeaways for students was that the way you approach a situation will influence outcomes. As reported by a student “it is not the problem itself, it is your attitude about the problem. Everything Depends on your attitude... be positive.”

What is AIA’s instructional delivery model?

AIA Curriculum is written in grade bands and organized by SEL learning targets as chapters. Each of the five core competencies are interwoven throughout each chapter, never being taught in isolation.

In grades K – 2, instruction is delivered through teacher-facing lessons (i.e. whole group, small group, centers, etc.).

In grades 3 – 12, instruction is delivered through a blended delivery model that includes individual and team online student tutorials, teacher-facing lessons and student-led learning experiences.

What is the AIA experience for grades K-2?

In AIA, young students learn about and develop their social-emotional skills through:

  • Direct instruction and teacher modeling
  • Nick Vujicic video messages
  • Intentional social interactions
  • Purposeful play
  • Self-exploration
  • Hands-on learning
  • Repeated practice of Noble Techniques
  • Literacy-rich lessons that introduce children to characters who help them find their way in the world

Nobly and a cast of characters teach students how to:

  • Be a NOBLE student in a NOBLE school
  • Observe the world through their five senses
  • Understand the difference between wants and needs
  • Spot and respond to unsafe conditions;
  • Manage their emotions
  • Identify what makes them unique
  • Identify what makes others unique
  • Make friends, take turns and resolve conflicts
  • Make safe and healthy choices that help themselves and others

What is the AIA experience for grades 3-8?

In AIA, students in grades 3 - 8 learn about and develop their social-emotional skills through a holistically integrated approach, including:

  • Direct instruction & teacher modeling
  • Nick Vujicic videos
  • Intentional social interactions
  • Self-exploration and discovery
  • Cooperative teamwork
  • Collaborative discussions
  • Class Check-Ins
  • Repeated and integrated practice of Noble Techniques
  • Writing – with an emphasis on narrative writing
  • Literacy: information, digital/media, civic,health, etc.
  • Project-based learning / Service learning

What is the AIA experience for high school?

For high school, AIA is structured as a 1-semester elective course: one per grades 9 & 10 and one per grades 11 & 12. Students Continue to develop and apply their Skills through activities that vary based on grade band such as:

  • Nick Vujicic videos
  • Reflective journaling
  • Nutritional / physical activity planning
  • Research
  • Goal setting and tracking
  • Ethical decision-making
  • Resume building
  • Strategizing and budgeting
  • Analyzing social policy and human rights
  • Creating a Request for Proposal

Where can we fit AIA into our busy school day?

AIA’s Implementation Guide for School Leaders includes several suggestions for how a district or school might implement the Curriculum, including the benefits, cautions and considerations of each approach.

What is an AIA School?

Everyone—school leaders, teachers, students and parents—understands the importance of social-emotional learning and intentionally applies SEL skills (The Noble Techniques) in both school and in life.

  • School leaders model social-emotional skills in their daily leadership.
  • Teachers model and help students develop their SEL skills as an integral part of classroom instruction.
  • Students learn, practice and develop their SEL skills in and out of the school setting.
  • Parents understand and support the SEL skills their children are learning to develop

In K-2, students learn that an AIA School isa noble school. They learn to be noble students in a noble classroom.

What are the Noble Shifts?

The Noble Shifts define the shifts in beliefs, attitudes, mindsets and behavior that students learn to make as they develop their skills in the 5 SEL competencies of self awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.

  1. Shift 1: To be more confident and selfaware.It is about developing a growth mindset. Smart is what you achieve with hard work.
  2. Shift 2: To be more proactive, self reliant and in control of one’s emotions and behavior. It is about helping students learn to help themselves.
  3. Shift 3: To be more respectful and compassionate… with everyone and notjust with friends and family.
  4. Shift 4: To develop more positive relationships… make more good friends.And be true to oneself.
  5. Shift 5: To be better decision-makers. It is about understanding the importance of thinking through short and long-term consequences of what you say and do.

What are the Noble Actions and Techniques?

To support the Noble Shifts, students learn about and apply 8 Noble Actions that align to the five SEL competencies. The Noble Actions provide the framework or umbrella for the Noble Techniques, or SEL skills, that students repeatedly practice throughout the AIA experience.

In grades K – 2, 14 Noble Techniques are introduced, taught, practiced and monitored:

  • Teacher Lesson Plans
  • Community Circle / Class Check-Ins

In grades 3 – 8, additional Noble Techniques are introduced, taught,practiced and monitored in:

  • Teacher Lesson Plans
  • Online Student Tutorials
  • Student Action Steps

Some of the techniques grow in sophistication in new grade-levels while others remain the same over time. Most of the techniques introduced in K – 2 are also taught and practiced in grades 3 – 8.

In high school, the Noble Techniques Translate into applicable, real-world actionable skill-sets for strategic and innovative thinking and solutions-oriented approaches to problem-solving. These skill sets are referred to collectively as a Noble Focus.

PREPARING & TEACHING AIA LESSONS

What is the average length of each lesson?

Most lessons range from 20 to 60 minutes. Each lesson activity includes the time, too, so you can prepare accordingly. The Lessons for high school are setup as days of instruction since the AIA courses for high school are semester courses.

How do I prepare to teach a K-8 lesson?

Most lessons can be prepped for in 15 minutes or less. To start, download the lesson plan. All lesson plans begin with a summary of the lesson, the learning target(s) and success criteria, the materials needed to conduct a lesson, what you should prepare before starting the lesson and any critical content, such as vocabulary,to build your own understanding.

Lesson preparation might include:

  • Previewing a video or story
  • Printing student handouts
  • Cutting materials (Grades K-2)
  • Arranging the room to conduct an active lesson or for students to learn in teams
  • Preparing an anchor chart (Mostly Grades K-2)
  • Creating a sample of key learning relevant to your students
  • Arranging for student access to technology (Grades 3–8)
  • Previewing websites or sources for research (Grades 3–8, Chapters 6-8)

How do I know what materials are needed to conduct a K–8 lesson?

The lesson materials for students and teachers are listed on the Chapter At-A-Glance documents and on individual lesson plans. Most materials are downloads from the teacher/student resource folders in CANVAS. In K-2, lessons also include the use of the books and materials that came in your AIA box upon purchase.Some lessons also call for classroom materials such as paper or markers. Additionally, a few lessons require common household items for optimal hands-on learning.

In grades 3-8, students also engage in SEL through online student tutorials. What is their purpose?

The online student tutorials take students through a journey of self-discovery and challenge them to become not only contributing members to their family, school and community, but also challenge them to listen to one another as critical receivers of information.

The alignment to relevant, real-world scenarios and other subject-matter also sets the stage for them to improve academically while engaging in cooperative teamwork and solutions-driven problem solving.

NAVIGATING THE PLATFORM

Where do I find the At-A-Glance for each chapter in grades K-8?

Click on the chapter landing page. For K-2, the At-A-Glance document can be downloaded and printed by clicking on the box that is a hyperlink at the top of the page. For Grades 3-8, the box (hyperlink) is at the bottom of the page.

Educators also can download all At-A-Glance documents at one time. They are found under the following Course Navigation tabs: “Files” for K-2 and “Modules” for Grades 3-8.

For Grades 3-12, how do I view the course as a student?

On the course landing page, look to the navigation pane on the right side. Find and click on the “Student View” button.

For Grades 3-12, how do I view and grade student work submissions?

On the course landing page, look to the navigation pane on the left side. Find and click on the “Grades” button.

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According to CASEL, every $1 spent on SEL has an economic return of $11. AIA is an investment in educators, children, and the future, with a return of better understanding, more collaboration and a more successful, inclusive learning environment.

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