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How to Start Building Good Character in the Classroom Today

Good character is learned. It is nurtured through meaningful activities led by role models such as parents, community leaders, and teachers. Your role as an educator requires many things from you. One, in particular, character building, has the power to transform your students in a truly meaningful way.
Here are ways to start building good character in the classroom:
1.    Introduce the pillars of good character in the activities you choose and the way things are run in class and school. According to the Josephson Institute of Ethics, areas of emphasis should include trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, caring, fairness, and citizenship.  Other good character traits to explore include courage, diligence, and integrity.
2.    Be a great role model. Children model the behavior they see exhibited by the people they look up to and spend the most time with. As their teacher, you have the power to instill seeds of greatness in them. Take the time to consider the actions you take and the words that you speak. Everything you do carries considerable weight in how it shapes the character of your students.
3.    Make respect a priority. No matter how much people disagree, make it know that being respectful is the only acceptable way to do so. By emphasizing respect for one’s self, parents, classmates, teachers, and community officials, children see the direct correlation between respectful behavior and positive outcomes.
4.    Volunteer as a class. Offer to pitch in as a class. Organize a volunteer effort that involves your students. It could be something as easy as walking shelter dogs or picking up trash at the park. Whatever you decide to do so, make sure to thank your students for being part of the solution and making a difference.

You can encourage your students to be the very best they can be with the activities you choose for them to engage in during classroom hours. Keep the information listed above in mind when creating your curriculum. There are many ways to help students become good citizens. Your guidance has a lasting impression on them as they get older and are faced with different challenges in adulthood.

A Fun STEM Challenge for Kids Involving a Paper Plate and a Marble

When coming up with creative and fun STEM challenges for kids, you don’t have to look further than your closet at school for materials. All that is needed to create a mind-stimulating maze is a paper plate, construction paper, glue, scissors, and a marble. Kids today may not have any experience playing with pinball machines but after some simple instructions, they’ll be pros at paper plate pinball!
Here’s what needs to be done to make this project successful:
  • Acquire all of the supplies needed for each student. If you don’t have these items on hand, see if any parents want to donate them. They may have a huge supply of paper plates leftover from their last barbecue and not know what to do with them. That’s great news for you as it ensures you have the supplies you need to carry out this project without a hitch.
  • Demonstrate how to create simple arches and bumpers using construction paper. Create a sample paper plate pinball machine that can be used to demonstrate the process. You may want to experiment with different types of arches, bumpers, and obstacles so your students know what options await them.
  • Assist your students in cutting out paper strips and adhering them to the plates. Depending on how late in the day you teach this STEM project determines whether the glue will be dry in time to try out the pinball machines. You may have to extend the project into a two-day time period to ensure that all arches and bumpers are secure on the plates.
  • Have fun ‘scoring’ points with the marbles. Let your students explore their games by tilting them to try to get the marble into the proper slot. If your students wrote out scores for the different areas of the game, have them keep track of theirs so they can share it with the class later.

This STEM activity is easy to do. It requires little effort to execute and teaches students in a truly memorable way. It’s one way to incorporate fun and science in the classroom.