Character Education

  • The Benefits of Character Education – Nashville Learning Center ...   CASEL wheel

    At Dows Lane, character education is incorporated into everything we do. Balanced with our core academics, we facilitate lessons, discussions, and activities focused on respect, kindness, individuality, honoring differences, and inclusivity to become valuable members of the Dows Lane community and global society. By focusing on character traits, we hope to shape each child’s attitude regarding good character and give them the courage to act respectfully, responsibly, and kindly. We recognize this can only be done by engaging all members of our school staff, families, and community. In addition to teacher and staff created lessons and materials, we also use CASEL and Habits of Mind resources in our work.

    Our goal is to provide a joyful, caring environment where students take ownership of their role in our community. By utilizing these values and becoming active participants, students and staff create a space where good character is recognized and valued. We delve into conversations about race, gender, conflict, and acceptance of others to foster a school environment that is safe and values and honors everyone. 

    Monthly Theme

    Instructional Vocabulary

    Essential Questions

    September: Community

    CASEL: Social Awareness, Relationship Skills

    kindness, respect, awareness and relationship skills


    What does it mean to "be a part of?"

     What is my role?

    What is a community?

    October: Working Together

    CASEL: Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, Responsible Decision Making

    empathy, acceptance, relationship skills, social awareness

    When is working in groups better than working alone? 

    How do we foster positive relationships?

    November: Persistence

    CASEL: Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, Responsible Decision Making

    grit, perseverance, resilient, courage, goal & goal directed behavior, social awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision making


    How do we persist when things are difficult? 

    December: Managing Impulsivity

    CASEL: Self Management 


    responsibility, consequences, courage, upstander vs. bystander, self-management

    How do we manage our emotions?

    What does it mean to stop/ think/ listen/ and choose?

    January: Fairness

    CASEL: Responsible Decision Making, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills

    equality, equity, justice, acceptance, responsible decision making, social awareness, relationship skills

    What does it mean to be fair?

    February: Thinking Flexibly

    CASEL: Social Awareness, Self Management

    respect, listening with intention, empathy, generate other perspectives, acceptance, social awareness, self management

    What do we need to do to change our minds?

    How do we open our minds to new ideas?

    March: Striving for Accuracy

    CASEL: Self Management,

    Self Awareness

    Growth mindset, power of yet, intention, reflection, patience, self management, self awareness

    How can making mistakes and reflecting on them help you?

    April: Actions and Decision Making, Integrity

    CASEL: Responsible Decision Making, Relationship Skills


    responsibility, consequences, courage, upstander vs. bystander, responsible decision making, relationship skills, integrity- doing the right thing even when no one is watching

    What is an action?

    How are we responsible for our actions?

    May: Ownership

    CASEL: Social Awareness, Responsible Decision Making, Self Management

    responsibility, self awareness, responsible decision making, self management

    What is ownership?

    How do our decisions affect others?

    June: Self-Awareness

    CASEL: Self Awareness


    reflection, goals, intention, self awareness

    Who am I?

    What defines who I am as a person?