Character Education - Social and Academic Skills in the Classroom

8/12/2018 / Leave a Comment
In my first year of teaching I taught a 5th grade class that benefited greatly from social and academic support.

In the beginning, I would choose a word for them and tape it to their desk. It was a reminder of the skill they were focusing on that week.

The word might be persevere if they were having a hard time staying focused on a task. Or patience, if they were quick to react to situations.
After a few weeks, I began to see that a lot of their goals overlapped. Rather than taping the same word to 26 desks, I created character education posters that I would display each week.
My class really enjoyed discussing these words and their importance not just in school, but in the world! It became one of their favorite parts of our morning meetings each day.
We talked about how these qualities fit into all careers and lifestyles - how athletes had to strive to meet their goals, and stay humble if they want to have the respect of their fans, teammates and rivals.

How you need to find ways to motivate yourself to finish something - even when it is not the most exciting part of your day, because the end results are worth it.
I would alternate between a social and an academic word each week. I think the social ones were the most beneficial. Learning about integrity, gratitude and empathy can never start too soon. I noticed a change in the way most of my class spoke to everyone around them.
Once they started to make social growth, the academic growth was quick to follow. They grew to love this routine, and would be excited to see each new word on Monday morning.
We even tied the vocabulary into our reading lessons. They loved to find characters that exhibited these qualities in all the chapter books we read.

If you are interested in learning more about this resource, including a closer look at the words lists, please click here.
How do you incorporate character education into your classroom?

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