Category: Timely Tips

Did It Make a Difference?

You have spent a school year focusing on integrity. Did it make a difference? Maybe you have seen an improvement in behavior, test scores or relationships between students. Maybe you have seen a decrease in cheating, tattling or bullying or maybe you’re not sure it did make a difference. Maybe the students still struggle with behavior, test scores or relationships. Maybe you didn’t see a remarkable difference, but I assure you it made a difference.


One day, Whit came home from school and went straight for the garbage bags. Without a word to his mother, he began to go through the toys in his room. He carefully selected toy after toy to place in the bag. He wanted to give his toys to children who didn’t have any. Why? Because Whit’s teacher told him “G is for Generous.” He wanted to … Read More »

Get Active

Physical activity helps the body and brain stay in shape. If you exercise, take your routine to the next level and challenge yourself. If you do not exercise on a regular basis, begin TODAY. Don’t make the exercise complicated. Just pick something convenient to get you started like walking in your neighborhood before or after work, walking stairs for fifteen minutes, getting some free weights and exercising your arms, asking a friend to be your running buddy for accountability, or purchasing a home exercise video. Whatever comes to mind, just do it! When you jumpstart now with a simple exercise, you will notice how much better you feel which will spur you on to greater things later.


by Allyson Willis

Praise Pass

Choose a particular character quality in which you see your students needing to improve, such as kindness, honesty, determination or being positive and then teach or review with them the definition of that quality and how to display it to ensure they all understand.  Award students a “Praise Pass” when you see them using the quality appropriately and when they are caught doing the right thing. Next, assist that student in catching someone else exhibiting the quality as well. They then get to “Pass the Praise” onto that person by recognizing him or her. You can make certificates the students can take home and show their families which can state something like: “Today I used the character quality of KINDNESS at school.  My teacher is so proud of me.  I helped my classroom be a better place because I chose to … Read More »

Thanking Obedience

Sometimes the obedient child seems to fall through the cracks because we take them for granted. Certainly, we are exceedingly thankful for them, but we might forget to recognize them because we as educators seem to spend a great amount of our time correcting negative behavior.


Try writing a thank you note to students when you see them exhibiting appropriate behaviors. This can be a simple pre-made strip of paper with a sentence template. Acknowledge to them the specific behavior and explain what a positive affect their actions had on their performance or on the classroom as a whole. You should see two things happen: 1) the students who are obedient will recognize their behavior as important, and, therefore, will continue and 2) other students will desire the same praise and will likely imitate the other student’s behavior. And … Read More »

Spot It and Shout It

When you spot a student exhibiting a character trait that your classroom has been learning through Integrity Time, have some type of system where you and the class can appropriately give a “shout out” to that student. This may be as simple as verbally recognizing the behavior or allowing the student a special privilege in the classroom. It may also be a chant your class comes up with in which they can all participate. Immediate reinforcement not only increases this behavior in that particular student, it encourages those around them to begin using it as well.


by Allyson Willis

Name It

Name It is a great intentional activity to help students begin to notice good things about each other. Sometimes children forget the privilege it is to receive an education and sometimes teachers forget it is a privilege to influence a child.


Name It allows teachers and students to name a quality they see in each other and verbalize how they feel about it. For example, “Sue, I noticed how you are so determined when you are practicing reading! That is why you have been scoring so well on your tests. You stick with it until you get it right!” “Mrs. Smith, I saw you give some of your own money to the student who forgot his lunch. That shows you are caring and generous.”


Make sure you and your student are looking each other in the eyes when you name the quality … Read More »

Tell Your Story to Students

Everyone loves a good story, especially children. Tell your own stories of integrity and your students will have greater respect for you and will feel better connected to you. When did you begin to value integrity? Did you see your father return the extra change he mistakenly received? Did you notice your mother never lied? Did a particular teacher help you understand the importance of doing quality work? What was her name? How did she impress this upon you?


Telling the negative stories is effective as well. Make sure you do not include real names, but tell the stories of how you decided to choose integrity by learning from the mistakes of others. A wise person will watch and learn without having to learn the hard way.


by Sara Berry, Founder & CEO, … Read More »

Be a Catalyst for Positive Change

You can be a catalyst for positive change with a difficult student – one small step at a time. Difficult children are difficult for a reason which usually stems from their environment. Every child has value and part of why you probably were inspired to teach in the first place was to love and meet the needs of all the children who are brought into your path.


When you have a student with a difficult trait, they often times either do not have the skill to do something different or do not have the self-control. Pick the opposite behavior of that trait and teach them what that trait looks like. Then write that trait on a piece of paper and tape it to their desk. Every time the difficult student exhibits that opposite, positive trait, praise them or recognize them in … Read More »

Word Power

Words have the power either to build up or tear down those around us. I am certain we will never see the full impact our positive words have on others. However, I’m sure each of us can think back to positive things our teachers said to us which made a difference and in doing so, we can realize the lifelong effect of words. Stop and think for a moment about what really motivates a child to change their negative behavior or to continue with appropriate behavior. Usually “fussing” does not change their behavior. What typically causes them to rise to the occasion are words of affirmation. You can often times even see it on their face. They come to life when someone gives them something better for which to aspire. Speak positive words to affect change in your students today!

by … Read More »

Picking One

As teachers, we strive for perfection and often want to tackle everything at one time, but here’s a new strategy to consider. Pick one behavior at a time on which to work with students who may challenge your patience with their behavior.

Make a list of the specific behaviors you would like to see your students change. PICK ONE, yes, just one at a time!
Talk with your students about this behavior and teach them what you want them to do instead of what they are currently doing.
Make a small chart for their desk with the word “GOAL” written on the chart. Then make squares for the number of times you want them to exhibit the behavior for the day. For example, if your students constantly shout out the answer to a question, tell them you want them to raise their hand … Read More »