I often get asked whether or not my Character Education/Social Emotional Learning curriculum is ‘research-based,’ and while I can say that I have used the curriculum in my own classroom and seen positive results, and have received feedback from hundreds of teachers who use and believe in it… I haven’t had any official research to back up these claims, until now!
Meagan Hannah, a teacher and graduate student at Thomas University, completed action research using Readers With Character in her elementary classroom, and has been kind enough to share her observations, thoughts, and research findings with other teachers and administrators who may be considering the Readers With Character curriculum.
My name is Meagan Hannah. I am a third-grade teacher at a Title I school in Georgia. I am so honored to be able to tell you about a fabulous product called Readers with Character. My third year teaching was not easy, to say the least. I found myself wondering where I went wrong all year. Behavior management had never been easy at my school, but that year was my breaking point. At the end of that year, I knew I had to make a drastic change.
During the summer, I began reading books, looking through resources and thinking about how I could make the next school year better. In my search, I came across the Readers with Character curriculum. I instantly knew this was something I wanted to implement in my classroom. From day one, I have used readers with character and the results I have seen already are amazing.
I started working on my masters around a year ago. In August, I started my research class in which we chose our own research project. The type of research I completed was different because it was called action research.
Action research is a type of study in which you research something that will benefit you as a teacher. Because I had just started this new character education curriculum, I thought it would be the perfect research project! I would really be able to tell if Readers with Character was really making a difference in my classroom environment.
To complete the research process, I took data on the amount of student behavior referrals. I compared this year’s class with last years. You may think you have different kids this year. How can you compare them? Because of the way, my school clusters students; I have a similar population of students each year. Many of the behavior problems that we see at my school are consistent from year to year. Numerous students struggle with aggression towards students and teachers, lack of motivation, and disruptive behaviors.
In addition to the behavior referral data, I also gave the parents in my class a survey. The survey asked parents to answer questions about positive behavior changes at home and at school, how often they talked about the character theme of the week as a family, and how often their children were using problem-solving strategies with friends or siblings.
Overall, the results from both data types were extremely positive. In comparison to my students from the previous year, the behavior referrals dropped by 50%. The parent surveys were also positive. Parents noted that they had seen changes in behavior at home as well. Many of the parents are taking the time to talk about the theme of the week at home as well!
Things I Love About Readers with Character
Each day my class starts our day with the Readers with Character curriculum. It only takes 15-20 minutes a day, but makes a huge difference! The best thing about this curriculum is it is completely think free for the teacher!
Each week there is a theme or a central message. Every day of the week has a specific activity or lesson. Monday starts out with a read-aloud that sets students up for the theme. The books are super engaging, and my class has had great conversations revolving around the read aloud. Tuesdays the students complete a journal type activity where they write or draw about what they have learned so far about the theme of the week. Wednesdays the students watch a short video clip and have a class discussion about it. Thursdays are the activity or game days. Who doesn’t love a good game about character? Each Friday, the students complete a journal entry about what they have learned that week.
Another thing I absolutely love about this product is the take-home sheets. Each week there is a home connections sheet that allows parents to be involved in what students are learning about each week. There are excellent family discussion questions that parents can use at home to reinforce what is being taught at school.
This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s not at all! Everything is done for you from the lesson plans to the discussion questions. All you have to do is print and execute!
I highly recommend this curriculum to any teacher who wants to build relationships with their students and teach them life lessons that they may not be learning at home.“
If you are interested in taking a look at Meagan’s official research with all of her data, click here!
I’d love to offer you a free week of Readers With Character, just as an extra measure to show you how easy it will be to fit in some Character Education/SEL into your school day!
Click here to purchase the curriculum if you are ready 🙂 Let me know if you have any questions!!
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