SMART Kids provides young children with instruction in social grace, good old-fashioned manners, and how to talk respectfully. These are the skills that hold young people in good stead as they move through the school system and into the world of work.


2010 / 256 pp. (spiral bound) and downloadable reproducible materials
For Grades:
  • Susan L. Mulkey
  • Marilyn Sprick
Area of Focus:


SMART Kids is all about teaching children skills that open doors and provide them with multiple opportunities. SMART Kids gives children a smart start.

Lessons are designed specifically to meet the needs of young children—complete with direct instruction lessons and age-appropriate activities and games.

SMART Kids includes 18 five-day lesson plans. Each lesson requires only about 15 minutes, providing great cushion activities to complete when there’s just a little extra time in the day. The 18-unit program can be conducted across the year or provided as a daily half-year curriculum.

Units of whole-class instruction teach children the following social skills:

  • Requests, Compliments, and Thank Yous
  • Introductions and Making Friends
  • Accepting No, Relaxing When Something’s Frustrating
  • Apologizing and Accepting Apologies
  • Interruptions, Disagreeing, and Problem-Solving

Lessons incorporate how to provide explicit instruction, role-playing, puppet play, and repeated practice in natural contexts.

For schools using CHAMPS and/or Foundations, lessons include how to provide positive descriptive feedback, how to incorporate your school’s guidelines for success, and how to use SMART intermittent celebrations.

SMART Kids includes reproducibles for making posters, SMART Books and coloring pages, stick puppets, recognition cards, and more.

  • Susan L. Mulkey

    Susan L. Mulkey is an author and trainer in social skills, behavior management, effective instructional practices, reading strategies, classroom coaching, and collaborative teaching. Susan has more than 30 years of experience across several educational settings, including elementary, middle school, and high school. She conducts more than 50 workshops and staff development sessions each year in Utah and across the United States. She spent six years conducting training for Department of Defense schools in Germany, Japan, and Korea. She is a former project coordinator for a statewide staff development center, university instructor, consulting teacher, and special/general education teacher. She continues to consult independently for schools and school teams participating in Positive Behavior Supports. She is currently involved in a variety of classroom coaching activities and demonstration teaching related to the use of effective instructional strategies, prereferral interventions related to RTI, schoolwide social skills, and behavior management. Susan has coauthored TGIF: But What Will I Do on Monday?, TGIF: Making It Work on Monday, Cool Kids: A Proactive Approach to Social Responsibility, One-Minute Skill Builder, TRIP: Translating Research Into Practice, Working Together: Tools for Collaborative Teaching, and a video, Working Together: What Collaborative Teaching Can Look Like.

  • Marilyn Sprick

    Marilyn Sprick has been a general education teacher, special education teacher, and Title I learning specialist. As an educational consultant, Marilyn has provided training in literacy, curriculum adaptation, and collaborative instruction for thousands of teachers throughout the United States and Canada. Marilyn’s focus is on scaffolding and differentiating curriculum, explicit instruction, motivating students, and diagnostic prescriptive teaching. She is well respected for her ability to inspire teachers and translate research into classroom practice. As a literacy expert, Marilyn is the lead author of Read Well K-2 (a scientifically based early reading program) and The Third Quest—a reading intervention for adolescent struggling readers. Marilyn is also author of “Preintervention 2: Assessing and Adjusting Academic Support” in Early-Stage Interventions and a coauthor of Meaningful Work; The Tough Kid On-Task in a Box, part of the Tough Kid series; SMART Kids, a social skills curriculum for grades K-1; and First Step NEXT, a Tier 2 behavioral intervention for young children. Sign up here to subscribe to Marilyn Sprick's Newsletter for Literacy Nerds.