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Character Education - Ellis

By Kraemer, Terri

October 16, 2017

Character Education



 At Ellis, we are extremely proud of our academic achievement and success, but we know that the education of our students goes beyond only academics.  We understand that good character is just as important as getting good grades.


Character Traits: August—Caring September—Respect October—Responsibility November—Peace December—Empathy January—Integrity February—Honesty March—Perseverance April—Cooperation May—Self-Discipline June—Fairness July—Citizenship  

100 Mile Club – The 100 mile club is a requirement for all students in grades 2 & 3.  Prior to every recess, the students must walk a minimum of 1 lap around our walking track.  Each lap equals ½ mile.  Students are recognized after reaching 25, 50, 75 and 100 miles during the Citizen of the Month assemblies and a special activity/reward is in store for the students reaching 100 miles by the end of the year.  This program has helped reduce some behavior problems at recess as well as practices the healthy habit of exercise. The 100 mile club is for both students and staff.   

Ellis School Pledge – This is often said following our Pledge of Allegiance in the mornings.  Our Ellis Pledge is: Today, I will do my best I will listen I will follow directions I will be responsible I will respect the rights of others I can learn I will learn You see, I know it is all up to me because I am a person of character.   

Racial Harmony Award – This award is given to a 3rd grade student that shows outstanding character, especially concerning racial awareness.  This award is sponsored by the greater Center for Racial Harmony, Belleville Human Relations Commission, Belleville News-Democrat, Schnuck’s Market and Grace Church.   

Check and Connect – With Check and Connect, we pair a child up with a mentor teacher that is different from their classroom teacher.  With this pairing, the mentor will be able to build a positive and trusting relationship with the student.   Each day, the mentor will talk with the student and evaluate the day’s academic and/or behavioral goals.  Throughout the country, Check and Connect programs have been proven to improve student attendance, decrease drop-out rates and lower number of discipline referrals and suspensions.  In turn, these results have an impact on student success in the classroom.

Check-in, Check-out – This is a similar program to Check and Connect, but focuses solely on academic needs, especially organization.  Each child in the Check-in, Check-out program has a lot of difficulty with organization and being ready to learn.  A mentor teacher—again, different than their classroom teacher—will review the academic day with the student and help the student become more responsible and ready to learn.   

Expectations Posters – With these posters, we’ve created a common language about what our expectations are in the following areas: bathrooms, hallways, and cafeteria.  The posters serve as a visual reminder to students, but can also be utilized by staff as reinforcement material on what our expectations are. In addition to the expectations posters, we also have the “4 Be’s of a Successful Roadrunner” posters around the school.  These “4 Be’s” are the school rules and everything we try to do behaviorally revolves around some aspect of these 4 rules, which are: Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Safe and Be Ready.   

Word of the Week – The word of the week actually comes with the student agendas that we purchase for our older students.  All of the words have meaning in relation to being successful at school.  At the beginning of each week, I give a brief description of the word and how it can help our kids be more successful in school.   

Cool Tools – Cool Tools are simply mini-lessons on social skills and expectations that relate to our 4 Be’s.  These Cool Cools give us an avenue to directly teach and reinforce socially acceptable behaviors outside of the home environment.  For example, using inside voices, saying “please” and “thank you,” and using better eye contact to show respect.  At the beginning of each week, I announce the Cool Tool for the week and each teacher will do a mini-lesson in the classroom.   

Roadrunner Chips and Ellis Bingo – To reinforce the cool tools in a positive manner throughout the week, we also launched our Roadrunner Chips and Ellis Bingo. Roadrunner Chips are simply poker chips with our roadrunner emblem on them.  When students are caught doing the right thing, show good character or provide a good example of the weekly cool tool, they may receive a roadrunner chip.  After receiving the chip, they turn it into their teacher. After turning the chip into the teacher, they can write their name on the class Ellis Bingo Board (each class has their own board).  At the end of each week, I will call a space and all children on that space will come to the office for a group picture and small prize.  The students may not ask for chips.  They can only earn chips by being caught doing the right thing.   

Ellis Families – With our Ellis Families, a certified staff member will be in charge of 15-16 students divided between grades K-3 (all students participate).  By doing this, our students will not only build positive relationships with an adult outside of their teacher, but also form relationships with students in other grades.  Our families will meet once a month and do fun activities together that will focus on the building of positive relationships and teamwork.   

Character Education Assemblies – Our Character Assemblies will take place on the first Wednesday of every month and take place in the gym.  For the assemblies, we will have each grade divided by color.  During the assembly, we will introduce the character trait for the month and also recognize the students for the month. A teacher will nominate a student from their class who best exemplifies the character trait from the previous month.  However, they may nominate more than one student or no students at all.  This will not only give more students a chance to be recognizes, but also ensure that they are all deserving of the award.

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