For Educators

Virtue Based Classroom Management, Virtue Challenge

VBCM 6: Virtue Challenge

 

Welcome to the Virtue Based Classroom Management Series where you will find ideas and free downloads for implementing Education in Virtue in your classroom. This is the sixth post. For a complete list of posts, topics, and free downloads click here

CLICK HERE for your free download of the posters to create a Virtue Challenge.Virtue Based Classroom Management Virtue Challenge

Sometimes a classroom or a school needs a little fun. Class competitions can be crazy, often a little chaotic, and certainly surprising as the excitement spreads. When you do a competition across several classes, it can be unifying and bonding experience for the members of each class. Students come together in pursuit of a common goal – winning! – and work together to achieve that goal.

Creating a competition in the practice of virtue is a fun way to highlight the virtues. It is so easy to practice virtue, but sometimes it takes heightened awareness to work those habits into our daily routines. There’s nothing like a competition to heighten students’ awareness! Run this challenge for one week or several and watch your students be eager to practice virtue.

How it works:

  • Coordinate with other teachers, ask if they want their classes to be involved. Each class can be a team. Determine how long you want the challenge to run (I suggest beginning with 4 weeks), what virtues will be chosen, and what the winning class’ prize will be (a movie, extra recess, dress down day, pizza lunch, homework pass, etc.). 
  • Devote a bulletin board to the challenge. It helps if it is in a common area, like a hallway. Have a spot to post the virtue of the week, ways to practice it, and a place to tally the scores of each class or group. 

Virtue Based Classroom Management Virtue Challenge

  • Give each teacher some sort of marker to give out to students – like small slips of colored paper. When a teacher sees a students practicing a virtue, the student receives the colored paper to put in his or her classes’ jar.
  • Give each homeroom teacher a jar or basket to collect the slips of colored paper. At the end of each week, these clips are counted and the number marked on the bulletin board.
  • At the beginning of each week, each teacher announces the new virtue, defines it, and brainstorms ways and strategies to practice that virtue. You may need to have rules like: you can’t tell a teacher that you just practiced a virtue, you can’t brag to a teacher about someone in your own class, etc. Make sure the bulletin board is updated and the new virtue is posted.
  • All that week, hold on to those little slips of colored paper and give them out as often as you can, especially to students from competing classrooms. Encourage other faculty and staff to give out the colored paper too, especially specials teachers, the office staff, and the principal.

Virtue Based Classroom Management Virtue Challenge

After the challenge is over and the winning class has been announced, have a follow up conversation with your class. Talk about which virtues were the easiest to practice, give examples of how they practiced virtue. Talk about how fun and easy it was, even if they didn’t “win.” Did they feel better about themselves, knowing they were doing good things? How did it feel to be kind, or obedient, or orderly? Those are virtues we can practice all the time, not just because of a competition, and they will always bring joy. It won’t be the passing happiness of success, but the deep abiding joy that is the fruit of excellence. That is the joy that we want our students to experience.

CLICK HERE for your free download of the posters to create a Virtue Challenge.