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5 New Ways to Practice Character with Your Students

With all the social and peer pressures that your elementary school students face, it is important to remind them of what they can do and be. Teach your students the importance of character and self-talk during Character Week. Use one character trait for each day of Character Week and encourage students to practice that trait and use their own unique skills to be the agent of change in their lives as they deal with the social pressures of school.

Day 1: Trustworthiness trustworthy_award_pin

Trustworthiness is a great character trait to kick off Character Week. Start a class discussion about trust and what it means to your students. Between keeping a friend’s secret to being noticed as more mature by adults, trust can mean a lot of different things.

Tip 1: Hand out character award pins and dog tags featuring this character trait and have students present them to someone they trust.

character_pledge_muralDay 2: Fairness

Fairness is one of several character traits that can conquer bullying. It’s all about being objective and non-judgmental of others.

Tip 2: Have your elementary school students sign a pledge mural on day two of Character Week. By signing the mural, students will declare, in writing, that they will be fair with others in school and online.

Day 3: Respect character_columns

Respect may be one of the most important character traits. Engage your students with a discussion about different ways that respect is earned and given. Reinforce this mantra with wearables like wristbands and buttons.

Tip 3: Display character columns in your elementary school lobby, classrooms, and cafeteria to make the message stick.

kindness_pencilsDay 4: Kindness

Being friendly and kind are always important character traits to have. They are also easy to incorporate into your elementary school.

Tip 4: Stock up on pencils with the Kindness character trait to hand out when you see students exhibit this trait toward others. Some “random acts of kindness” that deserve recognition are raking leaves for the elderly, holding doors for people, and sitting with a new student at lunch.

Day 5: Responsibility i-am-responsible-wristband

This character trait is a great one to cap off Character Week. Elementary school students are at an age that gives them more responsibility. So, reinforcing the trait is important.

Tip 5: Hand out “I Am Responsible” wristbands at the beginning of the day and instruct students to wear them inside out. When they demonstrate that character trait (by being to class on time, handing in homework assignments, etc.), they can turn it right side out.

Use these all of these cool ideas to promote your elementary school Character Week and reinforce the lessons in your classrooms. After all, character is not just limited to one week. Good character lasts a lifetime.

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