What do our Core Values look like in Kinder through 5th grade?

To help answer this question we’ve developed a collection of research-based behaviors students should be demonstrating at different grade spans, as well as strategies for students to develop these values, and strategies for teachers to encourage growth. Each Core Value is defined in three grade-level spans, the early grades of Kinder and 1st, the middle elementary 2nd and 3rd grades, and finally upper-elementary 4th and 5th grades.

How did Rocketship develop these Core Values? How do we reinforce these Core Values in our daily work?

The Core Values of respect, responsibility, empathy and persistence were developed as part of the original charter petition for Rocketship One Academy, later renamed Rocketship Mateo Sheedy. Since that time, every Rocketship campus has adopted these same four values and added a fifth school-specific value.


Rocketship strives to promote a safe and healthy environment so that all students are able to learn and excel. We believe that students thrive in the security created by shared expectations, consistency and a culture of purposeful and organized urgency.  Expected behavior is made explicit through the Core Values of the school, and is reinforced in every classroom and all common spaces.  All staff regularly teach the Core Values through explicit mini-lessons and read alouds and reinforce the Core Values in many ways including verbal praise and rewarding students with Value Rockets. Students also receive “grades” on these Core Values on their report cards.

Developmentally, what should I expect from students when they are exhibiting respect, responsibility, empathy or persistence?

Each of the Core Value, grade-span pages includes a list of behaviors titled “What does it look like?”.  These behaviors are the “look-for”s that should be observed as students exhibit these Core Values.  Each page also includes a set of typical phrases you should hear students and adults using, indicating that this Core Value is happening, and you’re hearing evidence of it.  Teacher and student strategies follow to provide ways teachers can encourage the growth of these values, and for students to take ownership of their own development.  At the bottom of each of these pages you’ll find a downloadable PDF version of the Core Value including the above information.

In the section titled "Bottom-Line Indicators" we've included a table demonstrating the continuum of development from Kinder through 5th for each Core Value.  These indicators should be used as a way to assess if a student is demonstrating and making progress in developing these Core Values.  In these indicators we've included the type of behavior that should be demonstrated, as well as a more detailed, developmental description of what students should be demonstrating.

Additional Reading includes links to other resources focused on the development of the types of habits, or behaviors inherent in the Core Values.  These should serve as a place to continue your own professional development in the area of student non-cognitive behavior.