How Surroundings Affect Students’ Learning

By Kelly Warfield,  Editorial director of Teacher Products, Carson-Dellosa™ Publishing Group.  We can all think back on the school environments of our youth and reflect on the classes we preferred, the topics we found most engaging, and the teachers who blew us away. But what about the classroom surroundings that supported that education? Were there specific activities, … Continue reading “How Surroundings Affect Students’ Learning”

Infusing Character Into Everyday Teaching & Learning

by Dave Keller Outstanding educators consistently look for ways to infuse character lessons into everyday teaching and learning. When teachers do this consistently, students are far more likely to view character as an integral part of learning and life — rather than simply another “topic” to learn alongside reading, science, math and many others. … Continue reading “Infusing Character Into Everyday Teaching & Learning”

The Journal of Character Education to Address Character & Curriculum

As you have likely noticed from our recent posts, “A Collaborative Curriculum: The Strengths of PBL,” “How Real World Lessons Lead to Academic Achievement,” and our latest, “4 Tips for Providing Effective Feedback,” this month is focusing on Principle 6, how to link your character education initiatives to a rigorous curriculum. With the recent … Continue reading “The Journal of Character Education to Address Character & Curriculum”

Character, Literacy, and Language Development at Bayless Junior High

By Bob Efken, Assistant Principal and Doug Harness, Principal Doug and I have been at Bayless Junior High, a small school of 350 students in the Bayless School District, for fourteen years. We love that Bayless is the most culturally diverse district in Missouri, with over 50% of students speaking a primary language other than … Continue reading “Character, Literacy, and Language Development at Bayless Junior High”

4 Tips for Providing Effective Feedback

 By Lisa Stutts, Special Education Teacher, Northern Parkway School, 2015 National School of Character As teachers, it is essential that we make the process of providing feedback a positive learning experience for each student. Feedback paves the way for continued learning. Consider the following 4 tips to effective feedback all while building character.    Be Specific … Continue reading “4 Tips for Providing Effective Feedback”

A Collaborative Curriculum: The Strengths of PBL

by Pam Mitchell Beginning the Journey Mockingbird Elementary embarked on a Project Based Learning (PBL) journey seven years ago after observing PBL in action at  New Tech High @ Coppell, another school in our district. We had already been focusing on Rigor, Relevance, and Relationship (Dr. Bill Daggett) as a district, and we had also been … Continue reading “A Collaborative Curriculum: The Strengths of PBL”

How Real World Lessons Lead to Academic Achievement

by Becky Sipos When I was a beginning teacher, I was often dismayed how students didn’t improve their writing very much despite my best instruction. When I was “forced into” sponsoring the school newspaper as a job requirement and I began teaching journalism, I was amazed by the writing growth I saw in my students. … Continue reading “How Real World Lessons Lead to Academic Achievement”


by Sheilah Jefferson-Isaac (Twitter: @docsheilah), Assistant Principal, 2015 National School of Character, Northern Parkway School #Learningisjoyful is a hashtag that I often use when tweeting however I have used the phrase “Learning is Joyful” to describe my educational philosophy for a number of years.  To be clear joy for me does not necessarily equal fun and games. … Continue reading “#learningisjoyful”

Linking Smart & Good: A Reflection on the 2015 Forum Theme

By Maricarmen Esper, Character Education Author and Speaker

7 Surprising Parenting Solutions That Boost Kids’ School Success

by Michele Borba Academic success impacts our children for the rest of their lives: it influences their self-esteem, college selections, job attainment, financial success, and even their choice of spouse. It’s no wonder we go great lengths to give our kids an academic edge. But despite our good intentions, we often overlook a few simple … Continue reading “7 Surprising Parenting Solutions That Boost Kids’ School Success”

Growing Good Character: The Benefits of School Gardens

He came to us with many seeds planted in his life.  The seed of violence from an abusive father.  The seed of anger from a defensive single mother.  The seed of poverty; he was one of eight children.  The seed of hunger–he needed a small snack upon entering school to make it to breakfast without … Continue reading “Growing Good Character: The Benefits of School Gardens”

Tips from the Faculty Lounge – Linking Smart & Good

In the 2015 Schools of Character magazine, we featured advice from six principals at National Schools of Character, but we received great insight from a number of other educators from these schools, as well. Here’s what they had to say: How does creating a caring school climate help students improve academically? “When a school has … Continue reading “Tips from the Faculty Lounge – Linking Smart & Good”

Why We Don’t Have the Smartest Kids (or Best Schools) in the World

by Rebecca Bauer When I began reading The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley, I had no idea that a book could be so inspiring and depressing at the same time. After discovering America’s average scores on the international PISA tests, Ripley started to wonder what factors contributed to a country’s success. Why … Continue reading “Why We Don’t Have the Smartest Kids (or Best Schools) in the World”

Four Mouse Clicks

How Almost Losing My Job Led to More Inspired Teaching

By Becky Sipos The principal came to my classroom door with the bad news, “Because enrollment has declined for next year, we have to make some cuts, and since you were the last hired, that means we have to let you go.” Devastating news, but I had heard this story before. In the early days … Continue reading “How Almost Losing My Job Led to More Inspired Teaching”

Teaching Character within a Rigorous Curriculum

Creating opportunities for character education within a rigorous curriculum sounds great, but teachers are overwhelmed by constantly changing requirements, high stakes testing and large class sizes. Finding time for character education in an already busy schedule can feel impossible. “I don’t have time for character education. My focus must be on teaching academics.” Do these … Continue reading “Teaching Character within a Rigorous Curriculum”


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