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Beginnings and Endings — The beginning of the school year is the perfect time for students to make some really important choices. If they begin on a solid foundation of guiding principles and expectations, they are much more likely to experience a better end.
Key Ideas: New school year - Beginnings can determine outcomes - School culture - Guiding principles
Character Traits: Responsibility - Self-management - Reflection

Beginning of the School Year: Strength of Habit * — Aristotle once said "The habits we form from childhood make no small difference, but rather make all the difference." Students explore the idea that it is easier to form positive habits now than to break bad habits, and that our habits shape our character and our character determines the outcome of our lives.
Key Ideas: Creating good habits - Habits help form our character
Character Traits: Self-respect - Self-responsibility - Citizenship

Clean Slate — Every school year students are confronted with a choice. Will it be a year like the last, or can they learn from past mistakes and make it even better? What will they choose to write on their clean slate?
Key Ideas: Learning from past mistakes - Starting with a clean slate
Character Traits: Respect - Responsibility

Dealing with Change — With a new school year comes many changes, and while some change can be fun, too much change can be difficult for some students. These materials help young people consider how they deal with change and why it's important to ask for help when too much change becomes difficult.
Key Ideas: Resiliency - Seeking help when change is difficult
Character Traits: Perseverance - Positive attitude

Getting to Come to School * — Democracies are made strong by educated, responsible, and caring citizens. Some would say that a democracy cannot survive without citizens who are capable of making informed and wise choices. This is an opportunity for students to consider the benefits of a free and public education and how their education can impact our common future.
Key Ideas: Citizenship - The importance of educated citizens in a democratic society
Character Trait: Responsibility

Getting to Know You — Students examine common feelings on the first day of school and how building a classroom community helps to cope with those feelings.
Key Ideas: New school year - Getting to know each other
Character Traits: Respect - Caring - Citizenship

Go for the Goal ** — Michael Phelps once said: “I want to be able to look back and say, ‘I’ve done everything I can, and I was successful.’” Students will examine the benefits of resolving to do one’s best to reach a goal so they will have no regrets, regardless of the outcome.
Key Ideas: New year - Resolving to do one’s best - Turning adversity into strength - Goal setting
Character Traits: Perseverance - Self-respect - Discipline

Going Back to the Future — It's been said that remembering the past gives power to the present. Students have the opportunity to reflect on both the mistakes and the successes of the past school year so they can learn from these experiences and be empowered to set new goals for the upcoming school year.
Key Ideas: Learning from past mistakes - Reflection and learning - New school year
Character Traits: Responsibility - Wisdom

New School Year: Playing by the Rules * — It's a new school year and it's time to talk about the rules. Rules help us maintain order, fairness, and safety. Most rules are established for an excellent reason and are intended to benefit the whole community. Students explore the rationale for rules, responsible ways to challenge rules, and the need to follow rules as responsible members of society.
Key Ideas: Rationale for rules - Following rules for the benefit of self and others - Golden Rule
Character Traits: Responsibility - Citizenship

Sleepyheads * — It's been said that without sleep we all become tall two-year-olds. How does sleep impact our performance? ... how we treat others? What is our personal responsibility when it comes to getting enough sleep?
Key Ideas: Plenty of sleep improves performance at school - Importance of sleep to health and well-being
Character Traits: Responsibility - Self-respect - Management - Attitude

* These same materials can also be found under a Life Skills/Pressing Issues category.

** These same materials can also be found under January for the New Year.

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