Middle School Confidential 1: Be Confident in Who You Are
- forming arguments
- asking questions
- conveying messages effectively
- friendship building
- handling stress
- identifying emotions
- identifying strengths and weaknesses
- personal growth
- perspective taking
- problem solving
- asking questions
Key Standards Supported
Speaking & Listening
|SL.5: Comprehension and Collaboration|
|SL.5.1||Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.|
|SL.5.1b||Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.|
|SL.5.1c||Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.|
|SL.5.1d||Review the key ideas expressed and draw conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.|
|SL.6: Comprehension and Collaboration|
|SL.6.1||Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.|
|SL.6.1b||Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.|
|SL.6.1c||Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.|
|SL.6.1d||Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing.|
|SL.7: Comprehension and Collaboration|
|SL.7.1||Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.|
|SL.7.1b||Follow rules for collegial discussions, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.|
|SL.7.1c||Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.|
|SL.7.1d||Acknowledge new information expressed by others and, when warranted, modify their own views.|
|SL.8: Comprehension and Collaboration|
|SL.8.1||Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.|
|SL.8.1b||Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.|
|SL.8.1c||Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.|
|SL.8.1d||Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented.|
ProsThe authentic peer-to-peer narrative emphasizes tolerance and empathy in a relatable way.
ConsThere's no audio support for this text- and graphics-based story.
Bottom LineA hip, compelling read for tweens and teens looking for guidance and understanding of common social situations.
Graphite Expert Review
Common Sense Graphite Reviewer
This compelling graphic novel uses real-life kid language and attitudes to draw tweens and teens into the story. Hand-drawn graphics are charming but grown-up enough to appeal to teens.
Kid-based narrative helps kids feel comfortable considering sensitive issues. Story line emphasizes peer group empathy and tolerance. Kids learn by watching others and reflecting on what they see.
While the app's missing a tap-to-advance feature, kids can zoom in on the scenes they want to examine further.
Middle School Confidential 1: Be Confident in Who You Are is a graphic novel app about a group of friends -- Jack, Jen, Abby, Mateo, Chris, and Michelle -- helping each other cope with middle school and their own self-doubts. Mateo gets teased about his height. Abby gets drift from her mom about her weight. Michelle makes mature observations and asks tough questions but has her faults, too, including when she flips out on Abby and tells her to shut up. When Michelle apologizes, Abby shows her how to say “I'm busy” in a nice way by doing it. The variety of troubles each character must deal with should appeal to youngsters who are undoubtedly facing similiar challenges.
The app version of a graphic novel that adds chapter navigation, audio, and zoom to the experience, Be Confident in Who You Are's watercolor-painted illustrations are hip and well-drawn. The info page, which acts as a main menu, explains navigation controls and gives chapter icons for jumping around its eight chapters. Kids can double-tap to zoom in or out of panels.Read More Read Less
Through a discussion-rich narrative and some action, kids can learn to identify emotions, reflect on personal strengths and weaknesses, respect peer viewpoints, build friendships, persevere through difficulties, and put their troubles into perspective. Kids consider issues with the characters such as popularity, patience, put-downs, homework, candor, and self-confidence. The story carries tween and teen lingo most of the time, making it easy to accept as authentic. Navigation is well-explained, and kids can jump to the eight chapters via icons.Read More Read Less
Getting tweens and teens to talk about personal and social issues can be like pulling teeth ... adult teeth. Administrators and classroom or subject-area teachers could recommend this as an at-home resource for parents expressing concern about the middle school transition or who are seeing mood changes since school started. English or social studies teachers might go one step further by leading group discussions following a group read. They can use the opportunity to help students practice speaking and listening skills like defining roles, acknowledging contributions, and demonstrating multiple perspectives through reflection. Kids could be assigned in groups or individually to create graphic novels on social topics of their own choosing or to write alternate endings for the scenarios in the app. Adult or peer counselors could use the stories in a similar way or to spark individual conversations or appointments at a later time.Read More Read Less
See How Teachers Are Using Middle School Confidential 1: Be Confident in Who You Are
Field Notes Field Notes are reviews by teachers for teachers. In Field Notes, teachers rate products as well as share their hands-on experience with using the products in the classroom.
- It is valuable to use with students who are struggling with the transition to middle school.Carolyn H.
Nagel Middle School
Cincinnati, OH3November 3, 2013