Character Education for Elementary Classrooms

Children learn their "many firsts" inside the comforts of their own homes with their parents as their first teachers. Surprisingly, many still pass on the responsibility of teaching good values to the schools. Pathetic as it may sound, let us remember that no amount of success in school can compensate for the failure one has at home.

Character education is a shared responsibility by the family, school and the community. It is a common effort whereby each sector contributes to the total development of the individual. In school character education is inegrated in the different disciplines. How does one effectively impart it especially for children in the elementary grades with little attention span?

Five effective teaching strategies

1. Involve the parents. Parents are your partners in character education. You simply compliment and reinforce each other. Get them involved in school activities and in the total learning process. Of course, that doesn't mean that they will be part of your lesson plans and teacher worksheets. As much as possible, give them responsibilities to work on together with their children. Let them feel your willingness to work together in building a morally upright child. Sustain the momentum with frequent communications.

2. Role playing. Boy, kids just love role playing. Even outside of the classroom, girls like the idea of cooking food and boys playing around with their toy soldiers. This can be an effective strategy in teaching character education where you allow each child to portray a certain role. Perhaps, having them portrayed as an alert fireman or a loving teacher can effectively get your message across these little tots.

3. Introduce reading good books. Forget about the worksheets for a while. It's time they explore the wonders of reading. Getting an interest in reading opens up to a lot of opportunities and ideas. Books are a powerhouse of values. Children learn to care for others through fairy tales. They are able to express their concerns and show gratefulness from fables. Take time each day to read a book with them and be as interactive as you can be. You do not only develop their character but their study skills as well.

4. Play games. Our childhood is at its happiest whenever we thought of the games we played. You see, there's more to playing games than running around and tossing balls. Engaging in games build honesty and trust. Similarly, it is also an opportunity where you can impart with your pupils the importance of being in a team, responsibility and cooperation. Surely,character education and playing games really go together.

5. Praise and recognition. Reinforce every good deed with praises and recognition as a form of motivation. Acknowledge their achievements and constantly remind them of the importance of being good. Have a rewards chart. Create an effective rubrics for character education. Whatever your strategies are, always have the child in mind.

More importantly, always show a good example. The best way that children learn is through imitation. If they can imitate your manner of talking, how much more the values you exude?

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