Title of Best Practice: ‘Kid Conversation’ Lesson
Plans and 7 Habits of Healthy Kids, ‘Leader in Me’
Primary Principles Emphasized:1, 2, 4, and
Students will have an understanding of the principals of good leadership
decisions and character values to guide them in their relationships and
Principle 1: Promotes core ethical values
as the basis of good character: The School Counselor provides character
education lessons using the ’Kid Conversation’ Puppet shows
on the following character traits: Acceptance, Compassion, Courtesy, Fairness,
Forgiveness, Honesty, Respect, Perseverance, Self-Discipline, and Respect.
These lessons are delivered to all grades throughout the year. Parents
are encouraged to support the value of the month, through newsletter articles
and school-wide events, such as ‘Make a New Friend Day,’ during
which students are encouraged to sit next to different person to get to
know them and understand them better, to support the value of ‘Acceptance’
and Anti-Bully Week.
Principle 2: Uses a comprehensive, intentional,
proactive, and effective approach to character development: Then entire
school teaches the 7 Habits of Healthy kids and promotes those habits
whenever there is an argument or issue in the classroom. The 7 Habits
of good leadership are in the language and culture of the school. Classroom
meetings and behavior ladders incorporate these habits. Administrators
and support staff use this language and promote leadership values in helping
students with daily choices. The School counselors’ lessons have
a leadership component. We have a school-wide extended behavior ladder
that goes from Red to Pink. The pink section says, “You found the
leader in you today!” All teachers conduct classroom meetings to
promote these same habits, asking how students demonstrated each habit
that week. The counselor and administrators reference and incorporate
the 7 Habits in their interactions with students to promote positive behavior
choices and social/emotional issues.
7 Habits: 1. Be proactive. 2. Begin with the end in mind. 3. Put first
things first. 4. Think win-win. 5. Seek first to understand, then to be
understood. 6. Synergize. 7. Sharpen the saw. (source- “The Leader
in Me” by Stephen Covey)
Principle 4: Creates a caring school
community. An assembly promoting the 7 Habits begins the school year at
Warren Elementary. In it students from our school are seen performing
skits explaining and demonstrating the habits. The character traits of
the month support the students and staff in whatever the focus is at that
time of year. For example the value of the month for September is ‘Responsibility,’
just when students are getting used to the routines and establish their
habits for having their materials and doing homework. In October the value
is ‘Cooperation’, and it is ‘Acceptance’ in November,
just when anti-bullying lessons are done throughout the grades and the
Anti-Bully Month (October) and Red Ribbon Week/ Good Decision-making week
(late October) are in full swing.
Peer Mediators help to promote these initiatives through
announcements and Anti-Bully banners are placed in every hallway and throughout
the school, so that kids can write positive messages to each other. The
teachers and all staff promote these values and make an effort to be good
role models for students in every way. Our staff is incredibly supportive
of these initiatives and one another. If there is a concern or behavior
issue, all support staff, administrators and the grade level team of teachers
work together to help the student and to support each other.
Principle 5 - Provides students with
opportunities for moral action.Our school has Anti-Bully and Random Acts
of Kindness banners in every hallway with statements students wrote to
encourage each other and to promote kind acts and standing up for each
other. Teachers, administrators and support staff reference the values
of Perseverance, Compassion, Self-Discipline, Acceptance and Honesty,
lessons about which are taught by the School Counselor, when they discuss
behavior with students. Similarly all staff members are committed to the
7 Habits as measures for behavior and vehicles for discussion when encouraging
students to get along with others and to make healthy, daily decisions
in discussions and weekly classroom meetings. The habits are posted all
over the halls and in every classroom. At the end of the year Peer Mediator
meeting this year, the Peer mediators (30 4th and 5th grade students)
all reported enjoying being mediators and helping others solve problems.
Their only disappointment was in not having more mediations, but they
said how pleased they were that there were not too many conflicts at school.
Additionally several students are involved in mentoring younger students
to help them with social skills and appropriate behavior. Without exception,
the mentors involved are very excited and motivated to have the opportunity
to work with younger students and to help others. It is apparent from
the friendly climate that all teachers and staff members support each
other and uphold the core values we promote by the way people come together
when there is an issue and the way everyone wants to help others.
Best Practice:‘Fairness Fuels the Fun’
Primary Lesson Plan
Learning Objective: Today we will learn why it is important
to show Fairness, so that we can get along with others.
Leadership Goal # 5: Seek first to understand, then
to be understood.
- Lead a discussion in which students talk about how
it feels when situations are unfair, as opposed to how they feel when
situations are fair to them and everyone involved.
- As students to give examples of fair and unfair situations. (Record.)
- Model changing each situation from unfair to fair.
- Have students brainstorm ways to make the following given situations
fair. Situations: 1. Sherry always plays with Tara at recess, and Shanae
is left out. 2. Your friend always has a snack at lunchtime, and you
do not. 3. The teacher calls on Collin more than anyone else. 4. At
recess Lidia and Taylor always have to play what Lidia chooses.
- Have students work in groups to solve one of these given situations.
- Share answers and role-play if possible.
- Show ‘Kid Conversation’ puppet show on ‘Fairness.’
Assessment: Students will be given the following situation:
At playtime, Jackson, Brandon, and De’Shawn play together every
day, but they won’t let Javon play. The students will be asked to
write a sentence and draw a picture showing how they would solve this
problem. Students will be encouraged to use speech bubbles and could use
Wixie or Phrase It for this assessment.
The Maryland Center for Character
Educationat Stevenson University
School of Education, 1525 Greenspring Valley Road, Stevenson, MD 21153