Character Strong November - RESPECT
This month we’re talking about the character trait of Respect. The
dictionary defines it as the value of admiring another person for who they are
and what they do. The definition we are using at school is:
Respect: seeing good in people and
things (and treating them with care).
We are also talking about Respect in the context of using good
manners, not using inappropriate or offensive language, being courteous to one
another, resolving conflicts peacefully, and treating one another as we would
want to be treated (and how they want to be treated!).
Talk with your child about what it means to be respectful, to be
courteous and to use their manners, to solve conflict peacefully, and what it
means to treat others the way they want to be treated.
The core value of Respect invites us to celebrate differences,
offering us a beautiful opportunity to work with our children to break down
stereotypes. Ask what they think of when they think about grandparents, for
example. Expect answers like “they’re old, they’re slow, they’re forgetful,
they’re nice, they’re understanding, they’re generous.” Let them share without
judgement, to get all of their thoughts out. Then have a conversation about how
these are stereotypes that may or may not be accurate for all grandparents and
why thinking about people as individuals instead of in groups can be an
exercise in Respect.
If Respect means making others see good in people and making people
feel cared for, how do we already show Respect at home? How can we do a better
job showing Respect as both kids and adults?
Questions You Could Ask
What do “good manners” look like in our family? How does using
good manners show Respect?
How does it feel to be respected? How does it feel to be
disrespected? Who are the most respectful people you know?
Is it easier or harder to Respect someone who is very different
from us? Why?
What do I do that makes you feel respected? How else does that
make you feel?
Books about Respect
Hey, Little Ant by
Phillip and Hannah Hoose
To squish or not to squish? A child has a chance to squish an ant, but before
doing so, the ant pleads its case.
A Bad Case of Stripes by David
Will Camilla Cream survive loving lima beans even though none of her friends
The Colors of Us by Karen
Take a walk with Lena and her mom to see and discuss the different colors and
shades in our skin tone.
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles
A touching tale of Gerald the giraffe, who wants nothing more than to dance.
With crooked knees and thin legs, it’s harder for a giraffe than you would
think. Gerald is finally able to dance to his own tune when he gets some
encouraging words from an unlikely friend.
Whoever You Are by Mem
This book teaches that all humans are alike, even though we may look and think
differently. Students will learn even though someone is different than you,
they should still be treated with Respect.
Hang a ruler somewhere in the house or make one out of a piece of
paper and call it the “Respect Ruler.” Talk with your child about what each end
of the ruler means – on one end is “disrespectful” and on the other is
“respectful.” Anytime your child makes a choice that is disrespectful or
respectful towards themselves or others, walk them to the “Respect Ruler” and
have them self-identify where they think that choice was on the scale and why.
Anytime your answer is different than theirs, talk about why!
Character Strong June- Creativity
month we are talking about Creativity! Creativity is more than just making
things or creating art – it is about exercising our imagination to help make
the world better! This is how we are defining creativity: Using
your imagination to create something or solve a problem. One
of the best things about being a human being is our ability to imagine! We get
this cool part of our brain that allows to not just think about survival, but
also about sparkly space pigeons or colorful caterpillars or a cardboard box
that is secretly a rocket ship. Kids regularly use their Creativity to
entertain themselves (and us!) with all the wacky and wonderful ways they view
the world. Let’s make sure they never lose that curiosity! It is that same
imagination that makes a sandbox into the moon that can imagine the world’s
problems as opportunities for new, bold, innovative solutions. This month, we
will be talking about and practicing solving problems, working in teams, and
dreaming up new perspectives! The only way we change the negativity in our
world is to have the Courage and Creativity to think differently!
to talk about as a family
Sometimes, when we are being creative, we can get frustrated if
things do not go as planned. What strategies can you use if you begin to feel
frustrated? How can you help someone else if you notice them getting
you think it means to think “outside of the box?” What’s something you’ve
thought about that might be “outside the box?”
the book Not a Box written by Antoinette Portis that you can find at
your local library or listen to on YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMCKXaFsmCA
Then find a large cardboard box and unleash your
inner child as you work together with your family to create something new! What
can the box become? Perhaps it will be a spaceship, an ice cream shop, a fairy castle,
or a race car. Using craft supplies, work together to use Creativity to turn
the box into a new creation.
For Your Reading: Read
these articles for parents
10 Secrets to Raising Creative
Kids by Jennifer King Lindley
How To Encourage Creativity In
Our Children via The Parenting Junkie Blog
Character Strong May- Cooperation
month we are talking about Cooperation! Cooperation is about making sure we
know how to be on a team or work in a group towards a common goal. Here is the
definition we are using for cooperation: Working
together and helping others. We want young
people to know how to work hard on their own. But, just as important, we want
them to know what it looks like to be a part of a really supportive, helpful,
empowering team. We will be thinking about the skills needed to work together
well and how each of us contributes to a group in big and small ways. We will
think about our strengths and our areas of growth. We will take part in fun
challenges to put our teamwork to the test and grow, together, toward the
common goal of a more helpful, kind, cooperative world!
Ø What are some activities
where it’s easy for you to practice Cooperation? Which activities make it
difficult? Why do you think that is?
Ø When we are working with
others, it can be tough when a teammate is not cooperating. How do you deal
with that frustration? What can you say to the teammate to tell them how you
Ø Talk about a time when
you worked on a really effective team. What were the ingredients? What did you
contribute? How did they help you?
Here are a few books that you can read or listen to about
Frankie by Mary Sullivan
Frankie, the dog, was so excited to be adopted into a new family. When he gets
to his new home, he meets Nico. Nico has lived here for a while. See how Nico
and Frankie learn to be friends.
Swimmy by Leo Lionni
The tale of a little fish who finds his purpose when he discovers the need to
Code 7: Cracking the Code for an Epic Life by
Bryan R Johnson
Throughout the book, each character learns an important lesson about themselves
when faced with a challenge. At the end of the book, you are left with 7 code
words from each character’s story that can help to make a life epic! Working
together to accomplish a goal takes teamwork and Cooperation.
Goal! by Mina Javaherbin
In a dusty township in South Africa, Ajani and his friends have earned a
brand-new, federation-size soccer ball. They kick. They dribble. They run. They
score. These clever boys are football champions! But when a crew of bullies
tries to steal their ball, will Ajani and his friends be able to beat them at
their own game?
SPRING CLEANING COOPERATION CHALLENGE:
a household, brainstorm a list of chores that help keep the home in order. What
are some things that would really make the home feel more peaceful, beautiful,
or inspiring? After brainstorming, each person chooses a role to help tidy or
decorate the home. Throw on some music that everyone enjoys and get to work
beautifying your home. Better yet, make it a game! Have points associated with
how quickly (and how quality) each person can clean each thing. Keep track of
the score and have a prize waiting for the Clean Up Champion.
Here are some links to articles that you can read about fostering
cooperation in your child:
Yet Powerful Ways To Get Kids To Cooperate by Erin Leyba
To Encourage Cooperation by Susan Brunk
Character Strong- Honesty
month we’re talking about Honesty! definition we are using at school is: living truthfully in
your words and actions and thoughts!
is a lot more than just telling the truth – it is also about thinking and
acting in a way that feels consistent, kind, and sincere. What do we do with
honest thoughts that aren’t very nice? How do our actions in Honesty help or
hurt our relationships. We need to be honest with both our actions and our
words. We wil discover new games and techniques to make us more honest
competitors and more thoughtful friends. It will be a time of challenging, but
Sometimes, people cheat or do no not play by the rules when they
are playing a game. How do you think they feel if they win the game by cheating?
Do you think it is better to cheat and win or be honest and lose?
Share a time when someone was dishonest with you. What happened?
How did that impact your relationship with the other person?
important is it to you that your friends are honest? When your friends are
dishonest with you, how does it make you feel? What should you do about it?
Ø When is
it most difficult for you to tell the truth? Have you ever felt like I’ve lied
to you? How did that make you feel?
and discuss the classic story THE BOY
WHO CRIED WOLF, READ ALOUD BY MS. CECE - YouTube of together
as a family. Or, retell the story in your own words! Then, when you feel
tempted to not tell the truth, ask yourself, “Am I crying wolf?” and, if so,
what’s a more honest choice for me to make right now?
For Your Reading
The Honest Child: How To Teach Honesty by Mary VanClay
12 Tips For Raising Truthful Kids by Charity Ferriera
Turning Lies Into Lemonade: How to Encourage Honesty by Jessica Graham
Character Strong- Gratitude
month we are talking about the character trait of Gratitude!
the month of January we are focusing on the character trait of Gratitude
at FES. The definition we are using is:
Choosing to notice and appreciate things
in our life, things in others and things in the world.
We will be sharing with students that Gratitude is: 1) a
choice that we get to make over and over again on where we put our focus
and 2) doesn’t always have to be about something positive.
We can feel grateful even for tough or challenging things in our life! There is
plenty of research that shows a strong connection between Gratitude and reduced
anxiety, increased happiness, and better relationships. Over the course of the
month, we will talk about amazing people who demonstrate Gratitude in various
ways. We will talk about what we are grateful for in ourselves and in others.
And we will even find Gratitude in some things we would not expect to be