Character Development / SEL Resources
The resources on this page have been compiled to help schools increase:
Student Behavior | Goal Setting | Emotional Wellness (SEL)
The resources below are available to all schools without logging in.
Exclusive Student Character Development Resources
Resources and ideas for recognizing students who are are working hard and demonstrating positive character traits.
Renaissance Rallies – Why and How To – Renaissance Rally is specifically designed to celebrate a broad number of students for academics and character, along with the Staffulty that helped make those achievements happen.
Positive Principal Referral – Recognize students for good behavior with Positive Principal Referrals. This strategy is a good way to encourage students who don’t often receive praise, and is often a bright spot in an administrator’s day.
Random Acts of Kindness Recognition (Article) – Everyday, random acts of kindness are being done at school by students and Staffulty. This simple method recognizes those little acts that create a positive culture!
Student of the Month+ (Printable) – Expand the criteria so staff can nominate as many students as they like, as often as they like, for any behavior they think makes a difference.
Power Cards (Video) – Recognize and reinforce your school’s values by taking time in your next Staffulty meeting to write notes of recognition for students who display those qualities.
Tokens of Appreciation – Tokens for immediate and unexpected recognition of good deeds.
Characteristic Buttons – Method for honoring positive characteristics possessed by a student.
Why You’re Awesome Notepads – Best practice for expressing appreciation and encouragement.
Recognition Discs – Best practice for providing personal and public recognition of character qualities.
Resources and ideas for strategically rewarding students who apply themselves outside the classroom.
Renaissance Cards – Renaissance Cards help motivate students to perform academically and to display good character
Reward Ideas – Reward students who are doing the right thing and motivate whose who are ready to change with these free and low-cost ideas
Tokens of Appreciation (Article) – Catch your students doing the things you want them to do and give them this “token” of appreciation they can exchange for a prize to reward and reinforce the positive behavior!
Therapy Dog Visits (Article) – Promote mental wellness by having therapy dogs visit your campus.
Congrats Cabana (Article) – Reward students for being involved with your school’s community and diverse activities by creating this traveling rewards cart called the Congrats Cabana Cart.
Random Knock (Article) – When students meet performance criteria, like zero tardies, show up unexpectedly with treats in-hand on an unannounced day! Use it during periods when you notice that students are getting into a “slump.”
Fine Line Awards (Video) – Reinforce the behaviors that you want to see in your school’s hallways by offering a small tangible, reward to any student anytime they demonstrate those qualities.
Food Truck Rodeo (Printable) – Recognize and reward students for their academic achievements, attendance, behavior or anything in between by inviting them to a Food Truck Rodeo – a coordinated special lunch period with all your favorite local foods! Yee-haw!
Resources and ideas that reinforce the qualities in students that you want to see more of on your campus.
Pause Before You Post Pins – Visible reminder for students to use social media with integrity and safety.
Inspiration Stair Decals – Bring a splash of color and inspiration to your school stairways with these stair decals.
Self Reflection – Video-based lesson with discussion prompts highlighting how reflection provides critical insights about ourselves and others
Pressure – Video-based lesson with discussion prompts reminding us that staying true to ourselves is important when facing pressure to conform
Self Confidence – Video-based lesson with discussion prompts sharing advice for growing one’s self-confidence
Failure – Video-based lesson with discussion prompts in which students share their perspectives on failure and fear of rejection
Reflection – A classroom lesson plan applying effective reflective tools to self and performance
Self Improvement – A classroom lesson plan providing strategies for turning personal insecurities into features of pride
Courage – A classroom lesson plan discussing how fear and courage impact personal growth
Integrity – A classroom lesson plan exploring what it means to live and lead with integrity
Attitude – A classroom lesson plan exploring attitudinal tendencies and developing strategies for maintaining a positive attitude
Failure – A classroom lesson plan applying meaning to the causes of failure
Grit – A classroom lesson plan analyzing the definition, sources, and manifestations of grit
Personal Value Adds – A classroom lesson plan assisting students in identifying their potential contributions to a larger group
Humility – A classroom lesson plan teaching students how to express themselves in a humble light
Self Image vs Reputation – A classroom lesson plan analyzing the relationship between self-image and reputation and identifying ways to repair each
Seeking Growth – In this episode of Courageous Conversations, several educators share their favorite books, podcasts, and PLNs – ones that have helped them grow both professionally and personally.
Preparing for Life’s Transitions – In this episode of Courageous Conversations, a handful of young adults discuss their emotions and mindset as they face some big life transitions on the horizon.
Resources and ideas selected to enhance Social Emotional Learning units in your school.
Just Checking In Cards – Best practice submission for how to create a formal system for peer check-ins
Cut Me Some Slack Pass– Best practice submission for how to exhibit grace when a student is struggling
Can We Talk Cards – Private way for students to reach out when they are in need of support
Health and Wellness – Video-based lesson with discussion prompts describing how the cultivation of small habits lead to healthier living
Insecurities – Video-based lesson with discussion prompts in which dozens of high school students give their perspectives on insecurities and how they work to overcome them
Substance Abuse – Video-based lesson with discussion prompts discussing the reasons people seek substances to cope
Stress and Pressure – Video-based lesson with discussion prompts providing practical tips on how to manage pressure
Curriculum Lesson – Coping Strategies – A classroom lesson plan identifying active and passive approaches for dealing with various types of stressors
Curriculum Lesson – Emotional Wellness – A classroom lesson plan with tips for creating and maintaining healthy balance throughout life’s ups and downs
Mental Health – Watch this episode for insights and tips for making mental health an intentional priority every day.
Physical Fitness & Wellbeing – In this episode of Courageous Conversations, Dwight shares his wellbeing journey and shows us the connection between physical and mental wellness.
Relationships – Dr. Farah Ortega-Choate shares the impact prioritizing relationships has had on her as educator and as a person.
Self Care – In this episode of Courageous Conversations, Sara shares simple, yet impactful, tips for making our wellbeing a priority.
Mental Wellness – In this episode of Courageous Conversations, a few brave young people offer a peak inside their own mental wellness struggles and coping strategies.
Paper Cranes (Article) – Help students process their grief or other large feelings by creating origami cranes of peace.
Mental Wellness Week (Article) – Bring awareness to the importance of mental health for Staffulty and students alike during a Mental Wellness Week. Each day, introduce a focus area and a corresponding activity.
Gratitude Grams (Article) – Give students and Staffulty an opportunity to recognize people they are grateful for on campus by writing short notes that are then attached to a small bag of candy and delivered during the day – a perfect pairing with The Harbor’s episode on gratitude!
Search Institute Research
Four Myths of Bullying – Bullying undermines learning and development, and it can have tragic consequences for students. Whether as a bully, a victim, a bystander or “upstander,” each and every student is affected, so it’s important to have accurate information. In this article, learn about the four myths of bullying.
Helping Students Stand Up For Each Other – This article broadens ideas focused on bullying prevention to explore how students’ can shift from being bystanders for each other to becoming allies. Research finds that the culture of the school plays a large role, and that the influence of teachers can make a significant impact.
Hard Facts on Soft Skills – Along with learning math, science and other technical subjects and “hard skills,” students also need to develop the “soft skills” (or character skills) that give them the personal strengths to be effective leaders, workers, family members and citizens.