Character Tree Traits in Action
Eli Strick showed great compassion with a classmate when they were painting during art class. This other student wanted very badly to paint with the color that Eli and his friends were using, but there was no more room at that station. After he finished his artwork, Eli dipped the paintbrush in the paint and handed it to this classmate and said, “Here. You can use mine.” It was a small moment that had a big impact for that student and the success of their project.
Taylor Bayerlein demonstrated empathy to a classmate who spilled his Goldfish crackers on the floor when he opened the bag. She helped her friend pick up every one of them.The other student was very happy as a result of her compassionate gesture!
Davitt Heubner demonstrated accountability in Big Centers when there were lots of toys to clean up and he persevered until all the toys were put away, even the ones he didn’t play with. He demonstrated a positive and helpful spirit for the rest of his classmates.
Carey DeMent and Henry Phillips-Shaban came to the rescue for some of their classmates recently. On two different occasions, these students realized that the “Caboose” for the day was absent . They demonstrated being adaptable as they stepped up to the plate to fill this important role in our classroom when it wasn’t their turn.
Ben Reichers demonstrated accountability when he noticed that some crayon boxes were on the floor. He reached down and picked up every single one of them and put them in their proper place. Great job leading yourself, Ben!
Samuel Campos showed compassion during Big Centers last week when he included one of his friends in a game. Samuel noticed this friend was sad when he did not have anything to play, and Samuel made the extra effort to include him. This act of kindness impacted the way this other child felt the rest of Big Centers. Way to go, Samuel.
Lily Choudry demonstrated accountability in the Dining Hall; not once, but twice last week! During the excitement which comes with cleaning up after lunch and preparing for recess, Lila took a few extra minutes to clean up after other people in the Dining Hall. She was “caught” doing a good deed by another teacher who came and told Ms. Crist. While telling Ms. Crist, another student said, “Oh yes! Lila did that yesterday, too!” Wow! That’s a definite sign that it came from the goodness of her heart, rather than seeking praise. You are a star, Lila!
Claudia Lloyd and Ella Gray Rivers demonstrated empathy toward another student during lunch. At the beginning of lunch, they noticed another student who looked sad because she didn’t have anyone to sit beside. Without hesitation, Claudia and Ella Gray approached the other student and asked her to sit with them. The other student was very happy and felt included as a result of their compassionate gesture!
Michael Schulze and Abby Morgan both shined as leaders, demonstrating motivation and courage in a recent math activity. The students were challenged with the task of making a “human line plot.” Michael suggested that the class try to complete this challenge without talking, showing his courage and motivation for wanting to try an added layer to this math challenge. All of the students had to find alternative ways to communicate and rely on nonverbal signals. As the activity started, the students were trying to figure out where everyone should stand. Abby stepped up as a leader, showing her courage, and helped guide students to the spots where they needed to be in order to successfully complete this challenge. While Michael and Abby displayed motivation and courage, the whole class thrived in their ability to communicate effectively in order to achieve a common goal.
Sarah Gay demonstrated compassion toward a new Pre-K student when she joyfully volunteered her free time after school to read with him. This special reading time had such a positive impact. By infusing her reading with such creativity and personal voice, Sarah held this young student’s attention. Every time she finished a book another one was handed to her, and she continued to maintain a very joyful attitude. Her impact was so positive that this young student has shared how wonderful this experience was with his friends and family. As he said, ”I want to read like Sarah someday!” Thank you for sharing one of your special talents, Sarah.
Alexiane Playe demonstrated compassion and empathy toward a third grade friend on crutches last week. Alexiane consistently volunteered to help her friend throughout the day. She even carried her friend’s lunch tray and helped her to her table before she went back in the line to get her own lunch. Thank you, Alexiane, for your kindness in helping a friend in need!
Last week, Ruffin Poole saw that a parent had her hands full and came over to get the door for her. She was carrying all of the decorations for Note in the Pocket and he asked what she was doing and offered to help. The very next day, he came over to the Note in the Pocket table with a bag of coins to donate and talked to the same parent about the Coin Challenge. He stood at the table being very supportive of the other grades that were coming by to contribute as well. Coincidentally, they were all standing around the Character Tree when this happened and it was a great reminder about how Ruffin was being a great example of many of the character traits. The fourth graders watched him and were high fiving him, smiling, and laughing before they started their day of testing. Way to go, Ruffin!
Eva Haralambakis demonstrated her kind spirit and compassionate heart to many of her friends over the past few weeks. She lent one her friends a coat to wear on the playground during recess when we were experiencing our recent cold spell. On another day she lent her sweatshirt to another friend who was cold in the classroom. Eva always looks out for her friends and makes helping others a priority.
Thank you to all the teachers who submitted these stories and to all the students who made them possible! Keep leading yourself, leading with others, and changing our world!