Education Kits and Soft Skill Lessons Are a Perfect Match

Have you heard of the education kits that we offer? These great products offer out-of-the-box learning experiences for your students. Each one includes curriculum, interactive student activities and hands-on learning tools that will bring your lessons to life

How can these kits benefit your classroom?

  1. Hands-on tools quickly engage students and provide tactile learning
  2. Manipulatives give students a deeper understanding of complex concepts
  3. Students are able to interact and learn from one another
  4. Lesson plans are provided for easy implementation
  5. Activities and assessments integrate different learning methods to reach all students

Four of the kits we have available are for teaching topics related to plant science, welding, child care and food safety.

We have recently released a series of pathway-specific scenario cards to teach students those soft skills that are essential for entering today’s workforce. Right now you can get a free set of scenario cards with the purchase of one of four educational kits.

Research continues to tell us that across the country, businesses of all kinds are prioritizing soft skills like problem-solving, time management and work ethic over technical, job-related skills. Check out the webinar below for more great information and activities to help you incorporate these essential soft skills into your lesson planning.

5 Great Ways to Bring Soft Skills into the CTE Classroom

Soft skills, employability skills, people skills… however you refer to them, soft skills are critical to career success. Research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center concluded that 85% of job success comes from having well‐developed soft and people skills, and only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge.

So how can we ensure that skills are being taught in every CTE class?

Realityworks created its own program: the RealCareer™ Employability Skills Program. Through our research, talking with educators and confirming information with business owners, we found a lot of great ways to not only engage students in this topic but to help them carry these skills on in life.

We know that adding additional topics to your curriculum can be scary. We also know educators do not have a lot of time and sometimes are unsure how to start incorporating this topic into their program.

Use the 5 ideas below to incorporate soft skill development into your classroom without stress.

Keep in mind, these ideas could work for different CTE areas, including engineering, nursing, Family and Consumer Sciences, welding and business. The goal is to start addressing these skills in your classroom!

  1. Create Conversation Cards. Write a variety of conversation topics onto note cards: “Describe the last book you read,” “Discuss the previous assignment and how you handled the questions,” or “What do you want to do after high school?” Then take 5 minutes of each class to pair students up with one conversation card and have them discuss the topic. Use this activity to teach communication skills and show your students how to converse with their peers.

Great for: ANY PATHWAY!  Make your cards about topics in class or make them generic!

  1. Bring in guest speakers. Ask community members in your area of education to speak to the class on soft skills topics. Recommended questions include: “What soft skills are important to your profession?” “What soft skills have you used in the last week at work?” “How can working on soft skills get me a job?”

Great for: ANY PATHWAY!  Invite someone in that has a career your students might want someday.

  1. Take time to reflect. If you are working on specific soft skills, make sure you give students a few minutes at the end of class to write about what went well, what could be improved on and what they noticed. For example, if they are working in a group, they are developing the ability to work on a team. Have them reflect on what it is like working in a team. If they just presented on a topic to their classmates, have them reflect on how they felt presenting, what could have made the presentation go better and what they did right.

Great for: ANY PATHWAY!  Reflection time is working on critical thinking – one of the big soft skills needed in today’s workplace.

  1. Create responsibility in the classroom. This could mean:
    1. Having students use day planners to help with time management (encourage blocking time for homework)
    2. Having students take care of a plant for the semester – plant it, water it, feed it and care for it. While simple, this is great for responsibility!

Great for: ANY PATHWAY! No matter what class you teach, your students need to show up on time, prepared and ready to listen and participate in class. These are all soft skills.

  1. Get the RealCareer Employability Skills Program. This program is filled with activities that hit on the KEY soft skills needed to succeed. It includes a full curriculum, workbooks, scenario cards and presentation slides. This out-of-the-box program makes it SIMPLE to incorporate soft skills in ANY CTE pathway.

We have also recently added pathway/occupation-specific workplace scenario cards for Agriculture, Child Care, Culinary, Geriatrics, Nursing and Welding careers.

We’re also excited to be celebrating CTE month. Make sure you click here to download our free CTE infographic today!

Sneak Peeks and Presentations Coming Your Way at VISION 2018

We’re getting excited to see everyone at  ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2018. This year we will be introducing new innovative learning tools as well as giving you a peek at products that will be coming in 2019. We’ve recently added new products to our Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Health Sciences pathways, including:

Bovine Breeder artificial insemination simulator with pregnancy palpation

Twin Pregnancy Model KitDiabetes Education Kit

Coming in 2019, Realityworks will be launching:

  • Bovine Injection
  • Child Care Center Design Kit
  • Cow Anatomy Flip Chart
  • Ostomy Trainer
  • New Anatomical models
  • and so much more!

Not only will we be giving attendees a sneak peek at new products, we will also be giving 6 presentations this year.

Make sure you stop by booth 723 and try out all of our interactive training tools for yourself!

5 Facts about Soft Skills

What are Soft Skills? Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. Recent studies have found that employers think personality skills are just as important, if not more important, than hard skills.

46% of managers said young workers would do well to hone their communication skills and 56% said recent grads do not pay attention to detail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

44% of managers reported a lack of leadership qualities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

36% reported lower-than-needed interpersonal and teamwork skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

60% of managers claim the new graduates they see taking jobs within their organizations do not have the critical thinking and problem-solving skills they feel are necessary for the job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

57% of manager say they look for a candidate who is organized and can manage multiple projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about soft skills and how to implement an employability program in your Career and Technical Education classroom check out this webinar:

15 Ways to Teach Soft Skills in Your CTE Classroom

What are soft skills?

Soft skills, employability skills, job-readiness skills, emotional intelligence… there are many phrases used to describe these skills, but they all mean one thing: they are the personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. They’re considered the “bedside manner” of the workplace.

We’ve heard others say, and we agree – hard skills might get you in the door for an interview, but soft skills will help you get, and keep, a job. And most importantly, that concept applies for ANY job – soft skills are vital for all career paths.

What makes them so vital?

According to a 2016 PayScale survey of more than 60,000 managers and 14,000 recent graduates:

  • 46% of managers said young workers would do well to hone their communication skills
  • 44% of managers reported a lack of leadership qualities.
  • 36% reported lower-than-needed interpersonal and teamwork skills.
  • 60% of managers claim the new graduates they see taking jobs within their organizations do not have the critical thinking and problem-solving skills they feel are necessary for the job.
  • 57% of manager say they look for a candidate that is organized and can manage multiple projects.

Research like this can be found everywhere – and what’s more, educators are seeing it firsthand.

So what can you do to help your students learn these vital skills? You may not know it, but you are already teaching soft skills all the time – it might simply be a matter of emphasizing particular skills, adding time for reflection, etc. Here are 15 ways that you can address soft skill development in your classroom, building on what you’re already doing and incorporating new ideas, to help your students develop those important job-readiness skills no matter what pathway they’re on.

15 ways to teach soft skills in your CTE classroom

  1. Keep soft skills top of mind!
  2. Begin each class with a handshake
  3. Role play workplace scenarios
  4. Practice professionalism on a daily basis
  5. Implement networking activities
  6. Make intentional assignment tweaks
  7. Regularly assign collaborative work
  8. Remember to reflect
  9. Informal and formal oral speaking opportunities
  10. Use small talk conversation cards
  11. Practice giving and receiving feedback
  12. Use video diaries
  13. Coordinate mock interviews
  14. Use student planners
  15. Consider the RealCareer™ Employability Skills Program

Watch the webinar below for more details on these 15 key tips for incorporating soft skills in your classroom:

Top 5 Ways to Interact with Realityworks at CareerTech VISION 2017

5. Check out our Presentations

4. Find out what it feels like to age

3. See how fast you can put together our Cow Model!

2. Try your hand at virtual welding

1. Learn all about the new products we have in store for 2018!

We’re going to be launching new Agriculture and Health Science training tools in the coming year. Make sure to come visit for a sneak peek at the new line-up!

Stop by booth 401 to learn more about how our innovative learning tools for skills training can enhance your programs!

It’s Time to Focus on Time Management

By Denise Bodart, Realityworks RealCare Product Manager

TimeManagement

All day, every day, we take steps to manage our time. From coordinating calendars and communicating with loved ones to prioritizing tasks at work and home, we are challenged on a daily basis to balance the time we are given each day. Time management is so important, in fact, that February is National Time Management Month!

Time management is an important skill that helps keep personal and professional priorities under control. It also helps reduce stress. You’ve heard the saying “time is money.” As all employers know, wasted time is indeed a waste of money – and a drain on resources for employers.

Today’s students need to be aware of their own time management skills and how they can strengthen areas that may need improvement, no matter what career path they enter. Resources like our RealCareer™ Employability Skills Program can help students learn the importance of time as a finite resource, and how to manage it well.

You can learn more about how our soft skills program addresses time management by downloading this free lesson, which challenges students to prioritize tasks and overcome barriers to time management.

How are you helping your students develop good time management skills? Share your feedback in the comments!

6 Reasons to Download our New Employability Skills Curriculum

By Denise Bodart, Realityworks RealCare Product Manager

Soft skills are necessary for getting, keeping and performing well on a job – according to a recent CareerBuilder.com survey, 77% of employers believe that the less tangible soft skills associated with one’s personality were just as important as hard, or technical, skills. Across the country, schools are being mandated to make their students college- and career-ready, and part of that career-readiness is the teaching of employability skills such as time management, organization, teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking and leadership. After all, finding workers who have employability or job-readiness skills that help them fit into and thrive in the work environment is a real challenge for current employers.

That’s why we are excited to offer a FREE employability skills curriculum to help teach these important skills, which you can download at no cost by clicking here. Our six-lesson RealCareer Employability Skills Program can be used as a stand-alone unit on soft skills, or as a supplement to an existing career exploration program.

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Realityworks’ six-lesson RealCareer Employability Skills Program can be used as a stand-alone unit on soft skills, or as a supplement to an existing career exploration program.

Aren’t convinced yet? Here are 6 reasons you should download this new curriculum for your program:

Reason #6: This curriculum will help your students understand time management at work. Lesson 6, “Time Management at Work,” covers the benefits of what improved time management, practical information on identifying and overcoming barriers to time management, and more!

Reason #5: This curriculum will help your students use technology in the workplace. Lesson 5, “Using Technology in the Workplace,” explores the impact of technology in the work place and gives hands-on work with technical skills by creating PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, using the Internet and more.

Reason #4: This curriculum will help your students learn to use critical thinking skills. Lesson 4, “Problem Solving and Critical Thinking,” discusses the steps to solving a problem effectively through hands-on practice with critical thinking skills used in the workplace.

Reason #3: This curriculum will teach your students how to utilize teamwork in the workplace. Lesson 3, “Effective Teamwork in the Workplace,” presents a series of teamwork tasks versus individual solutions and shows how effective teamwork skills can benefit the workplace.

Reason #2: This curriculum will teach your students effective communication skills. Lesson 2, “Effective Communication Skills,” provides opportunities to practice verbal and non-verbal communication skills, as well as examine how we communicate with family and friends, employers and colleagues.

Reason #1: This curriculum will help your students prepare for job interviews. Lesson 1, “Preparing for a Job Interview,” teaches the stages of a job interview and specific tips for preparing for a job interview including standard questions to and writing a proper thank-you letter.

The importance of soft skills in the workplace cannot be underestimated. After all, your student’s technical skills might get them in the door of a future employer, but their soft skills will help them maintain that job and turn it into a career. Click here to access our full RealCareer Employability Skills Program or individual lessons. 

How do you plan to use this curriculum? Let us know in the comments!