Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic, and FACS?!

By Donna Corder, National Consultant Team

Reading, (w) Riting and (a) Rithmetic has been a part of education for a very long time.  Most of us grew up learning about the three R’s and how they fit into a student’s learning curriculum.  In fact, it has been stated that if education was a three legged stool, the three R’s would be the legs holding education together.   So, what does that have to do with Family and Consumer Sciences and FCCLA?

The FACS and FCCLA curriculum is the seat, on that three legged stool, that allows the core curriculum to stand.  Through the in-depth projects and classroom activities, FACS and FCCLA provide the other three R’s to complete a balanced education:  Rigor, Relevance and Relationships.  (Check out the March 13 blog for ideas of how to incorporate core subjects into your classroom.) 
The core curriculum is the basic essence of FACS education.  Can you imagine preparing a catered dinner in Culinary Arts without math skills, reading skills or even writing skills?  What about designing a garment for a fashion show or teaching and working with children?  Even in FCCLA, members are required to write and read and do math in many of the STAR and Demonstration Events.  FCCLA officers write letters, complete budget forms and read on a daily basis.  The stronger the core curriculum is in our students, the better they perform. 

Through the FACS and FCCLA curriculum students practice these core skills, as well as develop the other three R’s that employers are searching for in their future employees.  Through Bloom’s Taxonomy, students are challenged to develop their thinking skills through analysis, synthesis and evaluation techniques, adding rigor to the core curriculum.  FCCLA/FACS adds relevance to the core by applying students’ knowledge across different disciplines and to real-world predictable and unpredictable situations.  Relationships are developed between the student, the teacher, and the subject matter.  Students learn to love the core disciplines through the activities in FACS classes and FCCLA events.  FCCLA provides opportunities for students to practice these skills OUTSIDE of the classroom therefore bringing in the final element for preparation for a positive and successful future.  

Yes, Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic are the three legs of the education stool and the foundation for our students basic education.  However, without Family, Consumer Sciences and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, there is not a seat to hold these core skills together.  Through FACS and FCCLA, students gain Rigor, Relevance and Relationships to complete their education and preparation for their future.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


By Cathe Felz, National Consultant Team

I have been thinking a lot about STAR Events and National Program applications this last month, as I am sure many of you have as well. It seems that once the year starts and the hustle and bustle of getting things started ends, it is time to start putting everything together for state competitions in STAR Events. This year, in particular, I feel a bit overwhelmed. In evaluating what needs to be done in the next month, my calendar is packed with STAR Event work nights, basketball tournaments, teacher meetings and community activities. I am wondering where all the time went and exactly what we accomplished this year.

For our chapter the hardest challenge is pulling all the activities we have held throughout the year together into finalized projects. My FCCLA members are stressed with science fair, Academic Olympics and other extra-curricular activities and many start considering just not finishing their projects. The challenge I face is keeping them motivated to see the project through to the end. What sounded good in August now sounds like too much work to complete.  Every year students begin to lose their motivation to complete their projects. And the cloudy, cold, grey weather does not help with student or adviser motivation.

During FCCLA week, our chapter highlights one project each day.  This gives the students an opportunity to share what they have been working on with classmates and staff members. These activities also provide one more opportunity to educate their peers about various teen issues. An example of some of the activities we have done during lunch are set up a wii for students to participate in our distracted driving project, passed out bottled water when we were working on a project for Africa, or held a distracted driving scavenger hunt. Students who are not involved in FCCLA have a chance to participate in our projects, we take pictures and everyone involved learns a little bit about our projects.

Some students complete their events in the classroom.  For example, the fashion design class is studying color so students tie dyed cotton pillowcases to learn how to mix colors, then made pillowcase dresses for Haiti out of the pillowcases. The students learned about color, Haiti and basic construction techniques. Students worked in groups to put together a manual about their project. Two of the girls will present the class project at the State Leadership Conference in March. Another example of a class completing a project together is the Healthy Hallways project the culinary arts class is working on to teach elementary students about the importance of fitness and good nutrition. They did an exercise assembly with elementary students, purchased pedometers for the elementary walking program and will be preparing nutritious snacks for elementary classrooms in January and February. Each participant receives a grade based on their participation during class.

What are some ways you help motivate your students to complete projects and compete in STAR Events?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

FCCLA Projects and Core Academics

By: Rachel VanPelt, National Consultant Team

“Why do I need to know this?  When am I ever going to use this in my life?  How does this apply to the real world?”  Some students may frequently ask these questions … But not FCCLA members!  FCCLA members know their projects are relevant and meaningful.   As FCCLA advisers, we too know that FCCLA projects provide members with opportunities to enhance their learning and skills through the integration of core academics.

Integrating core academics in FCCLA projects is not as intimidating as it might sound.  Here are a few examples of how core academics can be integrated through STAR Event projects:

  • Food Innovations:
    • Math- Evaluating and computing nutrition information from multiple ingredients to create a nutrition label
    • Science- Develop and modify a prototype formula using the scientific method
    • Language Arts- Communication skills are utilized to create a marketing plan
    • Social Studies- Market research of a population to determine a potential target audience
  • Environmental Ambassador:
    • Math- Analyze current data to support the project concern
    • Science- Examine the environmental impact and sustainability of our lifestyle choices and ways we can counteract environmental problems
    • Language Arts- Implement inquiry skills to document background research about the project concern
    • Social Studies- Investigate the historical significance of an environmental concern and make projections about how lifestyle changes could impact future generations
Integrating core academics into FCCLA projects is vital to the success of our programs.  Blending FCCLA projects and core academics demonstrates the importance and relevance of our programs in today’s society.  Don’t be afraid to share with your colleagues and administrators the ways that your FCCLA chapter incorporates core academics into your activities and projects.

Be sure to submit your application for the Integration of Core Academics Award by April 1.  Find the application here:

Post a comment to share how your chapter integrates core academics into your FCCLA projects.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Teen Times in the Classroom

By Molly Brock, National Executive Council Adviser

You are in the teacher’s lounge or mail room.  You see the plastic wrapped stack of Teen Times shoved into your mailbox.  You’ve got mail!  But you also have an amazing classroom resource at your fingertips.  So how can you use Teen Times to get your students excited about FCCLA?

·         FCCLA in Action- This showcases chapters all over the country who are making a difference in their community.  You can use this to inspire your chapter members as well as get some great ideas to use with your chapter.
·         It’s a Date- All of the important upcoming dates are right in one convenient place.  Discuss these with your students and share with them all of the upcoming due dates and deadlines for the wide variety of activities that FCCLA has to offer.
·         There’s an APP for That- Yes, your principal wants you to integrate technology into your classroom—have students download the app, scan other QR codes in the magazine, and discuss why technology is a great way to market yourself!
·         Advertisements- These feature organizations, our outreach projects and national programs that we support.  What are these ads promoting and are they effective?  What a great way to introduce cross-curricular activity!
·         CTSOs?  What are those?-  Just in case you have told your kids and you have told your kids, and they are still looking at you like you are talking in a different language, Teen Times gives you great tools to help your kids talk to community members, board members, and kids that are not involved.
·         Scavenger Hunt- Create a scavenger hunt with the magazine that your students can complete in class.  More than likely, you and your students will find lots of items to discuss!

How do YOU use Teen Times in your classroom?