Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It's so not just the counselor's job

Character Education, that is.  That's my opinion anyway.  So, in order for our school counselor to have more groups, we (the grade-level teachers) are picking up one counseling lesson to teach in our rooms on the off weeks when she does not see us (Week 1:  her; Week 2:  me...).  I've done two so far, and I found myself saying, "Why am I not doing at least a small lesson each day in conjunction with a read aloud?"  So I decided that I would.  On each of the days we don't have counseling we are doing a read-aloud/discussion (aiming to be 10 minutes...tops).  Our character word for the month is Respect.  Today after recess, we began.  I pulled out one of my favorite books ever.  The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.  I brought it up on YouTube (Shel actually reads it aloud).  We stopped and discussed at the beginning the relationship between the boy and the tree and how they respected each other.  Some of my more tenderhearted friends gasped as the tree gave the boy his limbs, and by the end there were no dry eyes (even the tough guys cried and I'm not going to lie...I did too).  I really feel it is worthwhile to do this new read aloud for two reasons.  First, embedding Character into the day is proactive, and supports positive behavior.  Second, it exposes my friends to a variety of literature with which we had really good discussion with fairly high DOK.  So, I think I am going to keep going with it.