“R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me 🎶” Every time the topic of respect comes up in the classroom, this song pops in my head! Anyone else?!
There are some years when conversations around respect need to happen often. Respect for school property, respect for fellow students, respect for the teacher, respect for class rules … the list goes on!
Respect plays an important role in the classroom community. One of my favorite ways to build classroom community is by intentionally teaching character traits. So if you're trying to establish a culture of respect in your classroom, character education is a great place to start.
There are so many different ways you can incorporate character education into your day: morning meeting, class meetings, read-alouds, or a designated social-emotional learning time. How you introduce character traits really depends on the needs of your students, the time you have, and what you are seeing in your classroom.
Read-alouds can really support conversations around respect and are one of the best ways to teach it!
They are a great place to start to help students see it modeled in different situations by the characters in the story. While reading, pose some open-ended questions about respect and see what students come up with. These read-alouds are some of my favorites for discussions around respect.
- The Recess Queen by: Alexis O'Neill
- My Mouth Is A Volcano by: Julia Cook
- Do Unto Otters by: Laurie Keller
- I Can't Believe You Said That by: Julia Cook
- Whoever You Are by: Mem Fox
- The Juice Box Bully by: Bob Sornson & Maria Dismondy
Find these books and more character trait read-alouds HERE!
FOCUS TRAIT: RESPECT
Respect is a two-way street. However, some students may not know what that looks like at school or just in general. That's why intentionally teaching a character trait like respect is so important!
My interactive character trait resource includes different pieces to use throughout the month of that focus. For example, the respect ideas can be sprinkled throughout the day over a week or month you teach respect.
“Caught Ya” Slips – Give these respect slips to students when they show respect at school. Students will love this positive note! This could be picking up trash they see on the ground (respecting school property,) apologizing if they hurt a classmate's feelings (respecting classmates,) or even raising their hand silently and waiting to speak (respecting classroom rules.)
“Respect” Bingo Board – One way to reward student behavior around respect is classroom management bingo! Every time a student shows respect, they can choose a piece to put on the bingo board. Students can even give shout-outs. After the class gets a bingo, they get a prize. This is an easy and fun way to reward positive behaviors. Plus, it only takes a minute or two here and there throughout the day.
Respect Poster – Display while you're learning all about respect, the definition of respect, and how students can use it in the school community. Then, keep it somewhere year-round as a gentle reminder to show respect to one another. You could even designate a specific bulletin board all about character traits.
Quote Squares – The quote squares can be given at the beginning of just introducing respect or as you wrap up learning about it.
Character Education Bundle
This interactive character traits resource is great to teach during morning meetings. Use the slides, discussion and writing prompts, read aloud list, caught ya slips, and more to accompany your character education lessons in the classroom.
INCORPORATING TEACHING RESPECT INTO YOUR DAY
Morning Meeting – The most effective way to introduce character traits throughout the year is during morning meeting through classroom discussions. This is a natural time to build a positive learning environment and work on social skills on a daily basis.
Class Meeting – Class meetings can happen once a month or any time you have a class problem that needs to be worked through, like disrespectful behavior in the classroom. Sometimes classes just need a reset. For example, if your class is really having some serious problems with students being respectful, spend one afternoon or morning of class time and do a reset.
Social-Emotional Learning Lessons – Social-emotional learning is SO important when considering the whole child in our classrooms. It is so easy to sprinkle in respect SEL curriculum during the day, week, or month, no matter your schedule. It's all about being intentional and doesn't have to take much time!
I go deeper about what these lessons look like in the classroom in my last character education post, Teaching Kindness in the Classroom.
RESPECT CHARACTER TRAIT FREEBIE
If respect is something you want to focus on with your class, I have a freebie for you below! This freebie includes the respect class slide, respect definition poster, and respect bingo.
Teaching students the value of respect in the classroom with simple activities can significantly impact the whole class and foster a respectful classroom environment. For example, incorporating a respect activity in your lesson plans for morning meeting, social-emotional learning time, or setting aside time for a class meeting can really help build a positive classroom community.
Pin the image below to visit this blog post later!