Assessing Our Actions

Years back, Teaching K-8 ran an article entitled Kids With Character by Tamsen Boyd that gave quite a few excellent character-building ideas for elementary-aged students. I really like this Self-Assessment Chart, a tool for measuring growth in students' behavior. It's basically students giving themselves a character report card. This chart can be used to goal-set with your child(ren) both at school and at home with a few slight changes, like "I raised my hand" could become "I waited my turn to talk." Here's how you might use this assessment:

At the end of each week, hold a meeting during which students can talk about the successes and difficulties they experience with each character trait they're working on. Use the Self-Assessment Chart to count their smiley faces and have students plot their progress. See if the smiley faces outweigh the sad faces. The children can discuss change, can take pride in improvements, and reflect on backslides. Make sure to always find a positive and focus on the progress children are making, even if the steps they're taking seem like baby steps. If five areas seem overwhelming, break the chart down into smaller pieces and maybe take it one trait at a time, week by week. Or maybe you want to add a sixth area that students can personalize to fit their individual growth goals. 

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