Tagged “Character Education”

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Teaching Students, Not Subjects

Magnolia Elementary serves 497 students from grades preK–five in suburban Baltimore, Md. The school is classified as Title I and 90 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch. A staff of three administrators, three school counselors, 44 teachers, and 10 support personnel ensure a well-rounded learning environment is established for each child.

The school is committed to improving the physical and social-emotional health of each student. Since many of the students' home neighborhoods are not considered safe for outside play, the school has reworked its master schedule to allow for increased physical education periods and additional free play time connected to lunch periods. Magnolia Elementary also conducts movement sessions via its after-school intervention program.

The school has a mental health cohort that meets six times per year to evaluate the support the school is providing to teachers, staff, and students. As a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (or PBIS, as it's often known) school, Magnolia Elementary believes in emphasizing positive behaviors and teaching character. To build a greater sense of school community, the school has created five "houses" on campus, and each house aligns with a specific character trait: responsibility, respect, cooperation, encouragement, and perseverance.

For this tremendous dedication and its many accomplishments, Magnolia Elementary is the 2015 winner of the Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award. On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, you’ll hear from Principal Patricia Mason, Assistant Principal Stacey McCord, Title 1 Teacher Specialist Tara Sample, and teachers Kimberly Wheeler and Lauren Donnelly.

Listen to the episode below or download here.

How are you creating a culture and climate of support and success in your school? How do you know that you're succeeding?

Magnolia Elementary School is the sixth recipient of the Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award. Listen to previous award-winning schools as they share their stories and explain how they ensure that each child in their community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged:

 

Kevin T. Goddard

Motivation Matters

Middle school kids are a different breed. If you aren't motivating them, they are not learning. In fact, they are probably tearing something up if motivation isn't in the picture. During my years as a middle school principal, I figured out that building a school culture with character education, fun, and a sense of belonging was key to improving student achievement.

The year before I arrived at a junior high of 510 students, teachers sent students 5,090 times to the office for disciplinary infractions. Discipline was handled in three different ways: kick the kid out, let the kid sit on the bench outside the office and go to their next class with no consequence, or paddle them. The school board was very adamant that this building culture change.

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Dru Tomlin

Creating a Better Tomorrow Today in the Middle Level: Lessons from Donald Sterling and the Los Angeles Clippers

Most of us know the story by now. Donald Sterling, the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was recently caught making inflammatory racial comments that stoked the cinders of hatred, burning through the NBA and creating a firestorm in the media and the nation.

When I heard about this story, I recoiled and surged with anger. And then, as a middle school teacher and administrator, I looked for the lessons. What could we learn from Mr. Sterling? What could we learn from the team? How could this experience inform middle level education as we reach and teach young adolescents who are creating their tomorrows today?

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Integrating Common Core and Character Education: Why It Is Essential and How It Can Be Done

With more states adopting the Common Core State Standards, it can be overwhelming for U.S. schools and teachers to consider "adding" anything else. But character education isn't about adding, it's about integrating with all that you already do. In a new position paper from whole child partner Character Education Partnership, authors Kristin Fink and Karen Geller make the case that the Common Core State Standards are good for education, but Common Core integrated with character education is even better.

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Pauline Gremaud

The Tools for a Successful Young Learner

Education begins in preschool and kindergarten for a reason. These are important formative years where students build skills and develop behaviors to carry them through many years of learning. As a kindergarten teacher, I make it my goal for students to leave my classroom at the end of the year as capable, confident learners.

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Andrew Monk

Empowering Australia’s Children Today Through Positive Education

Initially based upon the principals of positive psychology, the positive education approach has much in common with a whole child approach to education and is contributing to the paradigm shift that is accentuating the nonacademic variables of children's education for successful student outcomes.

Positive education is an approach of improving the well-being of children in schools through implicit and explicit programs. Although this approach as an idea is not something that many find groundbreaking or contemporary, what it has done is brought into light an opportunity for school leaders to initiate a response to the problems associated with physical, social, emotional, and mental well-being of both staff and students. This response is becoming collaborative amongst like-minded schools, and a wave of interest is moving across schools in Australia to implement programs that attend to the whole child and that are outside of traditional academic circles.

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Ember Conley

Promising Whole Child Practices in Arizona

Nestled between the Gila River and Ak-Chin Indian Communities 30 miles south of Phoenix, Ariz., the city of Maricopa had a population of 1,060 in 2000, according to U.S. Census Data. In 2010, the population was 43,482. This exponential growth of more than 4,000 percent created new challenges and opportunities, including transitioning a small one-campus school district into a successful medium-sized district. Today the district has nine school sites with state-of-the-art facilities, including top-rated athletic fields, a state-recognized performing arts center, and a community facility for large forums.

Using ASCD's Whole Child Initiative framework, the Maricopa Unified School District (MUSD) has reached a new level of success. The staff and community in Maricopa are focused on ensuring that each child in the district is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged with a written, sustainable plan to continue the students' success.

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Celina Brennan

Aspects of Whole Child Classrooms

We are in an intense time of change within education, from the Common Core State Standards Initiative to the rapid advancement of technology to new teacher and principal evaluation processes. Ordinarily, the changes we face in education are often just old practices with innovative twists. Today's challenging changes are different, requiring educators to dig deeply for a mind-set that will withstand and embrace the shifting paradigms of the educational landscape. After all, our students deserve educators who are well-informed and thoughtful about how their practices affect the whole child now and in the long run.

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