Monday, March 8, 2010

Building Chasracter from the Start: 201 Activities to foster creativity, literacy, and play in K-3

Teaching is an all consuming profession. When not in a classroom teachers continue to constantly be contemplating new and innovative activities, topics, and instructional techniques. Teachers never stop planning and spending money on resources is just another aspect of the job. I know as an educator that one of the crazy thrills of teaching is finding exciting new resources, books and activities that make the job easier and fit into your curriculum.

School is not only a place for academic learning but more and more educators are discovering or perhaps re-discovering the importance of holistic learning. Considering the whole child and considering the significance of values and character building is becoming a regular part of the curriculum.

Susan Ragsdale and Ann Saylor have created Building Character from the Start: 201 Activities to foster creativity, literacy, and play in K-3, a perfect foundation for Character education or as an addition to a pre-existing Character building Curriculum. Building Character from the Start offers some fabulous worksheets but what impressed me most about this teacher resource is the section dedicated to literacy related activities. A great deal of time has been spent finding children’s literature with character building themes and creating discussion questions to stimulate conversation and then further exploration activities based on the stories. I always love literacy tie-ins to every theme!

Community building games and hands on activities are another fabulous feature of this resource and can easily be applied to other units and can be used as valuable time fillers for substitute teachers like myself currently. To be honest I actually have included this book in my subbing kit and used it just last week as an add on to a teaching plan about decision making and choices. Well organized in a way which allows you to easily see the connections between assets and themes for fast and effective planning I would certainly recommend this to elementary school teachers and homeschoolers. Building Character from the Start also includes a CD Rom.

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