Group 8Group 13

ICONz Associates, LLC

Watch Your Speed
Get the Big Picture
Talk to Your People
Take Your Turn
Flex Your Mind
Find the Middle Ground
Take Another Look
STOP (Yourself)
Change is O.K.

Learner Introduction to the ICONz® Middle School Curriculum

This “Introduction to the ICONz® Middle School Curriculum” provides important information and should be reviewed before beginning the curriculum.

Welcome to the ICONz Middle School Curriculum! In it you will learn nine keys to unlocking a way of understanding the world that makes it easier for you to deal with situations that make you confused, angry, or nervous. The name of the keys is the ICONz.

As you study the lessons in the ICONz Curriculum, you will meet Cody, Kelly, Teresa, Peter, Michael and TJ, six middle school kids very much like you. Each of them wants to have friends, wants to learn how to make new friends and keep them; and wants to get along better with other kids, teachers, and with their families. 

Because they are in middle school, the characters are learning about all kinds of new subjects like math and literature and science and history, just like you are. But they are still learning how to get along with others, and that’s what the ICONz Curriculum helps them to do. 

Sometimes things happen with other people that are hard to understand.  It’s not clear why someone says or does something that’s different from what we expect.  It also can be a surprise when people react differently than we thought they would.  Not knowing what to expect from other people can be hard to handle and leave us feeling confused, angry or nervous. 

Each of the kids in the stories faces the kinds of upsetting social situations that happen to kids every day. They want to do what their parents and teachers and friends expect, but sometimes other people surprise them in ways that confuse or frustrate them.  The good news is that, even though they may get upset, Cody, Kelly, Teresa, Peter, Michael and TJ don’t give up. They try to understand what is happening around them using the ICONz and what they can do about it.  They want to learn how they can handle situations better, when they should ask for help, and who they can talk to.  You’ll see how the characters use the ICONz to make their lives easier.  You’ll learn this as you meet the characters and learn about their lives.  In some ways, you’ll see that they are like you. 

As you meet the six middle school kids in the Curriculum and learn about some of the things that happen to them in school, at home and in their communities, they will teach you the different ICONz they used to manage their frustrations and how you can use those same ICONz when you are in a situation that is hard to understand.  By the end of the stories, you’ll know these six students, what they like to do, what’s important to them and how they learn to be better sons and daughters and students and friends. 

It’s best to use this Curriculum with other people—parents, teachers, family members, other kids, and people you know and trust.  This is for two reasons: first, you can get another person’s point of view about the stories, and two, other people can often see better than you can how the stories can fit into your life.  It might surprise you to see how other kids and families have a lot of the same ideas (and problems) as you and your family have. You might think this is a “TALL ORDER,” but give the stories a chance and see. 

Many students have said that they don’t understand what other people (like their parents, teachers, friends, neighbors, teammates or coaches) expect them to do or why they expect it. When these students learn to use the ICONz (any time, any place and with anybody), they say that it gets easier to get along with others and they enjoy themselves in new ways. 

I hope you enjoy the stories, and I hope you’ll let me know what you think about them. 


Dr. Russ Johnson 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

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