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Great Expectations


High Expectations

Teacher Attitude and Responsibility

Building Self-Esteem

All Children Can Learn

Climate of Mutual Respect

Teacher Knowledge and Skill



The teacher models desired behaviors and attitudes such as those set forth in the Life Principles and the Eight Expectations for Living.

Students and teachers speak in complete sentences and address one another by name, demonstrating mutual respect and common courtesy.

Students are taught as a whole group, thoroughly and to mastery, with intensive and specific modifications insuring success for all.

Lessons are integrated, related to the real world, reviewed consistently, and connected to subsequent curricula.

Critical thinking skills are taught.

A non-threatening environment, conducive to risk-taking, is evident. Mistakes are okay. Students are taught to learn from their mistakes and to correct them.

Memory work, recitations, and/or writing occur daily. These enhance character development and effective communication skills while extending curricula. Recitations are exuberant and full of expression.

Enriched vocabulary is evident and is drawn directly from challenging writings and/or wisdom literature. Sources should include classic literature, myths, fables, poetry, proverbs, quotes, and other genres.

The Magic Triad, a positive and caring environment, and discipline with dignity and logic are evident.

Every student's work is displayed in some form. Teachers provide positive commentary through oral and/or written feedback.

Word identification skills are used as a foundation for expanding the use of the English language.

Students assume responsibility for their own behavior. Their choices determine consequences.

A school, class, or personal creed is recited or reflected upon daily to reaffirm commitment to excellence.

All students experience success. The teacher guarantees it by comparing  students to their own past performance, not the performance of others. Students are showcased, and past failures are disregarded.

The teacher teaches on his/her feet, engages students personally, holds high expectations of students, and does not limit them to grade level or perceived ability.

Each classroom has a student who greets visitors and makes them feel welcome and comfortable.

Teachers and students celebrate the successes of others.




We will practice the following expectations:

• We will value one another as unique and special individuals.

• We will not laugh at or make fun of a person's mistakes nor use sarcasm or putdowns.

• We will use good manners, saying "please," "thank you," and "excuse me" and allow others to go first.

• We will cheer each other to success.

• We will help one another whenever possible.

• We will recognize every effort and applaud it.

• We will encourage each other to do our best.

• We will practice virtuous living, using the Life Principles.

Life Principles

Life Principle: Attitude
Definition: A feeling or emotion to a fact.
Related Quote: "I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you.. We are in charge of our attitudes."- Charles Swindoll
Related Fable: The Gardner and His Dog (P:65)
Literature Connection: The Hat by Jan Brett
Bravo, Livingstone Mouse by Pamela Edwards

Life Principle: Character
Definition: What you are/do when no one is watching
Related Quote: "Ability will enable a man to get to the top. But it will take character to keep him there." -Author Unknown
Related Fable: The Boasting Traveler (P:76)
The Boy and the Almonds (P:26)
Literature Connection: Tales From a Duck Named Quacker by Ricky VanShelton

Life Principle: Charity
Definition: Kindness or help for the needy or suffering
Related Quote: "You can not live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you." -John Wooden
Related Fable: Androcles and the Lion (P:28)
Literature Connection: The Kissing Hand by Audruy Penn
All You Ever Need by Max Lucado
Berestain Bears: Lend a Helping Hand

Life Principle: Commitment
Definition: The keeping of a promise or pledge
Related Quote: "Go put your creed into a deed." -Ralph Emerson
Related Fable: The Travelers and the Bear (P:67)
Literature Connection: Kiss Goodnight by Amy Hest
I’m Not Going to Get Up Today by Dr. Seuss

Life Principle: Common Sense
Definition: Thinking before acting; using good judgment
Related Quote: "Do not go through life like a leaf blown from here to there believing whatever you are told." -Socrates
Related Fable: The Sick Lion (P:64)
Literature Connection: The King’s Wish by Benjamin Elkin
The Rooster, The Mouse, and The Little Red Hen

Life Principle: Compassion
Definition: Ability to share another’s feeling or ideas
Related Quote: "Never judge another man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins." -Native American Proverb
Related Fable: The Children and the Frogs (P:74)
Literature Connection: Hug by Jez Alborough
If You Hold My Hand by Jillian Harker

Life Principle: Cooperation
Definition: Working together
Related Quote: "We must all live together as brothers or perish alone as fools." -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Related Fable: The Rooster and the Eagle (P:37)
Literature Connection: Don’t Wake Up Mama! By Eileen Christelow
A Cloak for the Dreamer by Aileen Friedman

Life Principle: Courage
Definition: Strength to act even when afraid or uncertain
Related Quote: "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." -Unknown Author
Related Fable: The Lobster and the Crab (L:8)
Literature Connection: All Stuck Up by Linda Haywood
Goggles by Ezra Keats
Will You Forgive Me? by S. Grindley and P. Dann

Life Principle: Courtesy
Definition: Considerate and mannerly behavior
Related Quote: "Politeness costs nothing and gains everything." -Lady Mary Montague
Related Fable: The Pelican and the Crane (L:35)
Literature Connection: Clifford’s Manners by Norman Bridwell
Please found in the Book of Virtues on pg. 24

Life Principle: Dependability
Definition: Reliable; trustworthy
Related Quote: "The right man in the right place at the right time doing the right thing in the right way." -from the poem "Efficiency"
Related Fable: The Boy Who Cried Wolf (P:11)
Literature Connection: Miss Malarkey Won’t Be in Today by Judy Finchler
The Wolf Who Cried Boy by Bob Hartman
The Dog Who Cried "Woof" By the Clifford series

Life Principle: Diligence
Definition: Steady and energetic effort
Related Quote: "All things are difficult before they are easy." -Thomas Fuller
Related Fable: The Grasshopper and the Ant (P:12 Y:13)
Literature Connection: Walking Through the Jungle by Debbie Harter
Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar by Bonnie Lass

Life Principle: Empathy
Definition: The ability to feel what others are feeling
Related Quote: "We share pain, we share in the triumph over pain." -Author Unknown
Related Fable: The Boy Who Went Swimming (P:65)
Literature Connection: Farm Flu by Teresa Bateman
Dogger by Shirley Hughes

Life Principle: Excellence
Definition: To stand out with valuable qualities
Related Quote: "Excellence is a habit. The things you do the most are the things you’ll do the best." -Author Unknown
Related Fable: The North Wind and the Sun (P:16)
Literature Connection: Just the Way You Are by Max Lucado
Oh, The Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss

Life Principle: Flexability
Definition: The ability to make adjustments or alter plans
Related Quote: "If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way." -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Related Fable: The Ducks and the Fox (L:5)
Literature Connection: Froggy Eats Out by Jonathan London
Huggly and the Toy Monster by Tedd Arnold

Life Principle: Fortitude
Definition: Strength of mind that enable a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage
Related Quote: "If you made up your mind you can do something, you’re absolutely right." -Author Unknown
Related Fable: The Hen and the Apple Tree (L:11)
Literature Connection: Tiger is a Scardy Cat by Joan Phillips
Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

Life Principle: Friendship
Definition: Caring for and trusting others
Related Quote: "Be genuinely interested in people. Just try, and you can like almost everyone." -Author Unknown
Related Fable: The Lion and the Mouse (P:41 Y:7)
Literature Connection: Harold Finds a Friend by Liza Baker
My Teacher’s My Friend by P.K. Hallinan
Best Friends by Steven Kellogg

Life Principle: Generosity
Definition: Willingness to give or share
Related Quote: "The manner of giving is worth more than the gift." -Pierre Corneille
Related Fable: The Poor Old Dog (L:25)
Literature Connection: Baa, Baa Black Sheep by Iza Trapani
The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant

Life Principle: Giving
Definition: To care for and devote oneself to another
Related Quote: "We make a living by what we get and a life by what we give." -Winston Churchill
Related Fable: Little Sunshine (Book of Virtues pg.111)
Literature Connection: Duck In a Truck by Jez Alborough
The Living Tree by Shel Silverstein

Life Principle: Honesty
Definition: Truthfulness
Related Quote: "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." -Thomas Jefferson
Related Fable: The Mermaid and the Woodcutter
Literature Connection: Jamaica’s Find by Juanita Havill
Berestain Bears and the Truth

Life Principle: Humility
Definition: Being humble, not proud or haughty, not arrogant or assertive
Related Quote: "Being fashioned of the self-same dust, let us be merciful as well as just." -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Related Fable: The Peacock’s Tail
Literature Connection: The Principle’s New Clothes by Stephanie Calmenson

Life Principle: Initiative
Definition: Taking action, originating new ideas
Related Quote: "If you are not afraid to face the music, you may some day be the leader of the band." -Author Unknown
Related Fable: The Crow and the Pitcher (P:72)
Literature Connection: The Big Fire with King’s Wish
Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes

Life Principle: Integrity
Definition: Acting according to a sense of right and wrong (being strong enough to do what you know is right even when it is difficult)
Related Quote: "In matters of style, swim with the current. In matter of principle, stand like a rock." -Thomas Jefferson
Related Fable: The Travelers and the Gold Coins (P:75)
Literature Connection: Hey, Little Ant by Phillip Hoose
Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott

Life Principle: Justice
Definition: Being fair, right, and upholding what is right
Related Quote: "The ones that you should try to get even with are the ones who have helped you." -Author Unknown
Related Fable: The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (P:22)
Literature Connection: Cuddley Duddley by Jez Alborough
What if Zebra’s Lost Their Stripes by John Reitano

Life Principle: Loyalty
Definition: Faithfulness to another
Related Quote: "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for another." -John 15:13
Related Fable: The Shepard and the Wolf (P:52)
Literature Connection: What Do You Love? By Jonathan London
The Little Red Hen

Life Principle: Optimism
Definition: To anticipant the best possible outcome
Related Quote: "Some men see things as they are and say "Why?" I dream things that never were and say, "Why Not?" -Robert F. Kennedy
Related Fable: The Cat and His Vision (L:19)
Literature Connection: The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
Smudge’s Grumpy Day by Miriam Moss

Life Principle: Patriotism
Definition: Love for or devotion to one’s country
Related Quote: "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask, what you could do for your country." -John F. Kennedy
Related Fable: The Bundle of Sticks (P:53)
Literature Connection: We the Kids by David Catrow
The Pledge of Allegiance photo journal by Scholastic

Life Principle: Perseverance
Definition: The Ability to persist or continue striving
Related Quote: "It’s not where you start, it’s where you end up. You haven’t failed until you’ve stopped trying." -Author Unknown
Related Fable: The Tortoise and the Hare (P:19)
Literature Connection: I Can’t Get My Turtle to Move by Elizabeth Lee O’Donnell
The First Bear in Africa by Satomi Ichikawa

Life Principle: Propriety
Definition: Standard of what is socially acceptable in conduct or speech
Related Quote: "Etiquette is behaving yourself a little better than is absolutely essential." -Will Cuppy
Related Fable: The Fox and the Stork (P:46 Y:21)
Literature Connection: Mice Squeak, We Speak by Tommi de Paola
The Red Sweater by Peter Maloney

Life Principle: Resiliency
Definition: Recovering from or adjusting easily to misfortune or change
Related Quote: "Consider the postage stamp: It secures success by sticking to one thing until it gets there." -Author Unknown
Related Fable: The Oak and the Reeds (P:80)
Literature Connection: Comet’s Nine Lives by Jan Brett
Seven Chinese Brothers by Margaret Mahy

Life Principle: Respect
Definition: Showing or feeling honor
Related Quote: "I will speak ill of no man and speak the good I know of everybody." -Benjamin Franklin
Related Fable: The Elephant and His Son (L:32)
Literature Connection: No One Like You by Jillian Harker
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Life Principle: Responsibility
Definition: Making the choice to be reliable and dependable
Related Quote: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." -Eleanor Roosevelt
Related Fable: The Lark and Her Children (P:23)
Literature Connection: I Lost My Bear by Jules Feiffer
Pigsty by Mark Teaque

Life Principle: Self-Discipline
Definition: The ability to choose and control one’s own actions
Related Quote: "If we were supposed to talk more than we listen, we would have two months and one ear." -Mark Twain
Related Fable: The Pig and the Candy Store (L:31)
Literature Connection: Salt in His Shoes by Deloris Jordan
Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall

Life Principle: Service
Definition: Giving of one’s time and energies to help others
Related Quote: "Serving the needs of others is the light that brighten each day." -Douglas M. Lawson
Related Fable: The Young Rooster (L:37)
Literature Connection: Hedgie’s Surprise by Jan Brett
Mrs. Toggle’s Zipper by Robin Pulver

Life Principle: Temperance
Definition: Moderation in action, thought, or feeling
Related Quote: "The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it." -Arnold H. Glasow
Related Fable: The Goose and the Golden Eggs (P:50)
Literature Connection: Duncan and Delores by Barbara Samuels
Thy Friend, Obadiah by Brinton Turkle

Life Principle: Tenacious
Definition: Persistent, never give up
Related Quote: The man who removes mountains begins by carrying away small stones." -Chinese Proverb
Related Fable: The Mouse at the Seashore (L:40)
Literature Connection: Have You Got My Purr by Judy West
Uncle Jed’s Barbershop by Margaree King Mitchell

Life Principle: Thankfulness
Definition: The act of being grateful; glad
Related Quote: "The most important prayer in the world is two words long-Thank You." -Meister Eckehart
Related Fable: The Wolf and the Crane (P:69)
Literature Connection: Thanksgiving Day by Gail Gibbons
Bernstein Bears: Count Their Blessings