One other story we have used as our extended text to kick start the year the past two years has been R.J. Palacio's Wonder. Just last week, we reached the part where Auggie overheard Jack Will talking about him around Halloween and our students were absolutely hooked!
In Wonder, Mr. Browne's first precept is "If you have the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind." We have printed the Choose Kind image below and posted it in the 5th grade hallway.
Now things have really gotten interesting because the Choose Kind image keeps moving and our students CAN NOT figure out who might be doing such a thing! Initially, our students decided that the top suspects were the tallest individuals in the building. At 6'4'', I was a prime candidate. I can neither confirm nor deny who is moving it, but I do have some insider information. Next, our students decided that it really could be anyone who has access to a ladder.
That being said, our students are now interviewing teachers and putting together The Strange Case of Choose Kind. It will be interesting to see if they are able to crack the case!