User Spotlight Kelly Metzger – Guidance Counselor Huntington, Indiana


January Spotlight Kelly Metzger with her students.

Meet Kelly Metzger, the person behind this edition of SiLAS User Spotlight. Kelly is one of our earliest users. She has been implementing our curriculum in both Tier I and Tier II settings. Below are Kelly’s thoughts on SiLAS:

My Name is Kelly Metzger, and I am the School Counselor in an Elementary K-5 building. I use SiLAS in general education classes, with small groups, and one on one.  Some of the things I use the program for are bullying, conflict mediation and behavior modification. When I was introduced to SiLAS I was very excited about the fact that it used gaming controllers because these are things that kids can relate to. The kids love the lessons, the script writing and recording. They are so proud of themselves when we view the finished video. One of my favorite stories is about a student I worked with on behavior modification. We did lessons on what the desired classroom behavior would look like. Then we wrote a script with the behavior he was exhibiting in class. We then wrote a script with the desired classroom behavior. The interesting thing about this story was that the student did not want to record the script with the problem behavior that he exhibited in class. He said it was too embarrassing! It was a quite an “aha” moment for the student and for me. I think SiLAS is a great tool and I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to use it.

What is Specifically Designed Instruction?

Specifically Designed Instruction (SDI) – SDI is the required instruction developed specifically for a student eligible for special education supports and services.

  • What does SDI Actually Mean?

    • Each student eligible for special education services and supports receives assistance in order to provide the greatest opportunity for advancement in both academic and functional skills.

    • The intent of SDI is to “close the gap” between disabled and nondisabled peers.

    • Students in special education must receive both “high quality” instruction and services.

CASEL Competency: Self-Management

Effectively manage stress, control impulses, and motivate yourself to set and achieve goals.

SiLAS Self Management Lessons:

  • Patience

  • Goal Setting

  • Power of Yet

  • Growth Mindset

  • Perseverance

  • Coping Skills


Teacher Tips – January 2020

Happy New Year!  To start the new year off right, we wanted to share some recent updates as well as offer helpful pointers! The points below will help make your social animations that much better!

New Backgrounds! 

SiLAS loves receiving suggestions and questions about our platform. You asked, and we listened! We added more backgrounds. SiLAS now includes the following settings; the classroom, the inside of the school bus, a restaurant and a restaurant kitchen. As always, keep the feedback coming! If you find you are having issues, reach out and we will get right on a fix.

The Keyboard!

Did you know users have the option to use the keyboard to perform the same functions as the controller? With the keyboard, users are capable of choosing two avatars when creating animations. We also surveyed a sampling of learners for their input as well. Many students already use the keyboard to play PC games like Minecraft and Fortnight.  If you believe the keyboard would improve speed and ease of the platform, click the link below to download the SiLAS Keyboard Cheat Sheet.  You can also find it in the Teacher Resources tab.  You may also want to consider starting users on the keyboard with the opportunity to “graduate” to the controllers.


Over the course of the last couple years we have made movies with thousands of students of all ages and abilities.  Our goal has always been to ensure recordings are of the highest visual quality and sound. We want to make recording easy and sound as good as possible for everyone.  We found using this new recording technique to be both fun and simple. Because of this, we couldn’t wait to share it with each of you! Please Click the link below to see 4 year old Spider-man record his movie with ease!

UDL and SiLAS in Action:

The chart highlights the integration of each of the three principles of UDL with SiLAS.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL): UDL is a teaching approach offering learners equal opportunities to succeed. Flexibility in lessons provides alternate ways for students to access information. 

UDL is Comprised of Three Principles:

    1. Provide Multiple Means of Representation-Content and information is Presented in Different Ways
    2. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression-Differentiate the Ways Students Can Express What They Know
    3. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement– Stimulate Interest and Motivation for Learning