Best Practices Newsletter


excellence & ethics features K-12 best practices and themed issues for educators and parents. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open them. You can get it free from Adobe

Our previous newsletter, The Fourth & Fifth Rs (1995-2008), features character education classroom or schoolwide success stories and special-focus issues. Go to The Fourth & Fifth Rs archives.

If you wish to receive excellence & ethics by e-mail once or twice a year, subscribe here.

Click on any issue below to view, print, or forward to others.

Summer 2019: Findings from the Narnian Virtues Character Education English Curriculum


spring_2019_newsletter_narnia ICON

Why Good Books Are Better When You Talk About Them

Sample Lesson: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Assessing Program Impact

Letters to Lewis

Sample Virtue Improvement Plans

Home Activity: Family Mission Statement

What Parents Say

Spring 2016: Special issue on the Narnian Virtues Curriculum and
an Invitation to Participate
2016 Spring Narnia flat cover iconArticles:

Narnian Virtues Character Curriculum

Invitation to Participate and  Registration Form

12 Narnian Virtues

Student Workbook

Jack's Wardrobe

Assessing Program Impact

C.S. Lewis as Character Educator: An Interview with Mark Pike


Fall 2015: Special issue on critical thinking 

Arfall 2015 critical thinking cover pageticles:

Critical Thinking: How to Teach it? by Tom Lickona
Kicking the Hornet's Nest: Teaching Controversial Topics in Social Studies by Laura Varlas
Teaching Media Literacy and Combatting Pornography by Tom Lickona
The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt

Winter 2014: Focusing on dating violence, the hookup culture, and girls at risk.
2014 EE Cover Daughters in DangerArticles:

Winter/Spring 2013:  Special issue on parenting and families

PARENTING ISSUE excellence & ethics coverArticles:


Winter/Spring 2012: Special issue on bullying

image of bullying newsletter



Winter 2011 special issue on academic integrity  

image academic integrity newsletterArticles:

Winter/Spring 2010

  • Power2Programs:Feedback from the Field
  • Using the CREE for School Improvement
  • Building Character on the Gridiron
  • Performance Character/Moral Character Ball

 Fall 2009

  • Best Work, Best Self: The Pursuit of Excellence & Ethics at The Shipley School
  • Johnny Appleseed: A Tale of Character
  • Packing Our Backpacks for the 5th-Grade Journey
  • Power2Learn & Power2Teach: National Field-Testing Underway

 Spring 2009

  • Born Again Teacher: Transforming Math Class Through the Power of Character
  • The Power of a Touchstone
  • Stand for the Best
  • Integrating Moral and Performance Character
  • Raising Boys: 7 Tips

Winter 2009

  • The Four KEYS: Maximizing the Power of Any Character Education Practice
  • What Science Says About the 4 KEYS
  • How Can We Get Students to Care About Quality? Revise, Revise, Revise
  • Improving Our Own Character: A Humbling Journey
  • Did a Lack of Virtue Contribute to the Economic Collapse?
  • Power to Learn

Fall 2008  

  • Maximizing the Power of Character through the Integration of Excellence and Ethics
  • What Science Says About Performance Character and Moral Character
  • Why Not Your Best? Creating a Culture of Excellence in the Classroom
  • Using the CREE to Measure Excellence and Ethics
  • An Invitation to Join the Smart & Good Schools Initiative

newsletter imageThe Fourth & Fifth Rs Archives

The Fourth & Fifth Rs newsletter, published from 1995-2008, features classroom and schoolwide character education success stories and special-focus topics such as parenting, bullying, the emotional dangers of premature sexual involvement, and preventing school violence.


Click on issues below to view full content.

 Winter 2008, Vol. 14, Issue 1

  • The Virtues Project: Bringing Out Every Child's Inner Goodness
  • What Works in Character Education?

Fall 2007, Vol. 13, Issue 2

  • 10 Emotional Dangers of Premature Sexual Involvement

Winter 2007, Vol. 13, Issue 1

  • Yes Pa: The Power of a Positive Attitude

Fall 2006, Vol. 12, Issue 2

  • Raising Children of Character: 10 Principles
  • From Chaos to Character: Walnut Middle School's Story

Winter/Spring 2006, Vol. 12, Issue 1

  • Fostering an Ethic of Excellence
  • The Power of a Touchstone

Winter/Spring 2005, Vol. 11, Issue 2

  • Weaving Character Education Into Language Arts
  • St. Leonard Elementary: A National School of Character
  • Creating School "Families"
  • 8 Strengths of Character for Success in School, Work, and Beyond

Fall 2004, Vol. 11, Issue 1

  • A Class of Character: "This is Who We Are"
  • "Walking the Talk" at Harris Hill Elementary
  • Curbing Bad Language
  • Teaching With Character Quotations

Winter 2004, Vol. 10, Issue 2

  • Identity and Adolescents: How Adults Can Help
  • Teaching Character Through Real Heroes
  • Helping Kids--and Adults--Take Responsibility for Their Own Character
  • Developing Performance Character and Moral Character in Youth

Fall 2003, Volume 10, Issue 1

  • The Content of Our Character: Ten Essential Virtues
  • Teaching Character Through the Classics
  • Coach's Checklist

Spring 2003, Volume 9, Issue 3

  • Growing Character in the Elementary Classroom
  • Integrating Academics and Character: The "Laws of Life" Essay Contest
  • Peers Teaching Abstinence

Winter 2003, Volume  9, Issue 2

  • New Hampton School: A National School of Character
  • Character Education Strategies in America's Blue Ribbon Schools
  • High School Character Education: Researching Promising Practices

Fall 2002, Volume 9, Issue 1

  • Reducing Relational Aggression
  • "Civics in Action": Lessons in Character and Citizenship
  • Character Quotes

Spring 2002, Volume 8, Issue 3

  • The Structural Approach to Character Education
  • The Power of a Pledge
  • The One-Minute Philosopher
  • Love and Life at the Movies: Educating for Character Through the Film Classics

Winter 2002, Volume 8, Issue 2

  • Building Character at Hilltop Elementary
  • Making Sense of Tolerance and Diversity

Fall 2001, Volume 8, Issue 1

  • Children's Literature and Character Development
  • May Peace Prevail on Earth
  • Character First in Hamburg
  • Integrating Character and Academics

Spring 2001, Volume 7, Issue 3

  • Preventing School Violence: What Can We Do?
  • Focusing on Student Outcomes
  • Building a Classroom Community
  • Maxim-izing Your Life
  • The Heart of Character Education

Winter 2001, Volume 7, Issue 2

  • Character Education: Teaching Values, Valuing Teachers
  • Morgan Road Elementary School: A National School of Character
  • Respect and Responsibility at West Genesee High
  • Elementary, Middle and High School Character Education Conferences
  • Building a Nation of Character

Fall 2000, Volume 7, Issue 1

  • Helping Kids to Handle Hardship
  • Developing Democratic Character
  • Making a Difference in High School
  • Character and the Class Meeting
  • 2001 Summer Conferences in Character Education

Winter 2000, Volume 6, Issue 1

  • Parenting for Good Character
  • Middle School Character Education
  • Educating for Character at The Summit
  • Teaching Kids About the Value of Respect
  • Middle School Resources
  • Summer Conferences in Character Education

Spring 1999, Volume 5, Issue 2

  • A Curriculum for Developing World-Class Citizens
  • 12 Ways to Prevent Peer Cruelty
  • Honesty: Why It's Still the Best Policy
  • The Power of a Compliment
  • Nashua, New Hampshire's Community-Wide Character Initiative

Winter 1999, Volume 5, Issue 1

  • Canandaigua's Community-Wide Character Initiative
  • Character Education at Hartford Union High: Becoming a "1st Class School"
  • Improving Bus Behavior by Teaching Kids to Be "Bus Buddies"
  • PREVIEW: Family Movie & TV Review
  • 30 Ways Mayors and Local Government Can Promote Good Character

Fall 1998, Volume 4, Issue 2

  • The Presidential Scandal: A Teachable Moral Moment
  • Action Research "By Accident": Language at Lansing Middle School
  • "Life Lessons" at Troup High School
  • Fostering Goodness Through Children's Literature
  • Books That Build Character

Summer 1998, Volume 4, Issue 1

  • The Choices We Get To Make
  • Maintaining Momentum in a Character Education Program
  • Virtue of the Week at Buck Lodge
  • Learning and Living the Character Message
  • Ten Tips for Raising Children of Character
  • Teaching My Younger Sister About Sex and Love:  Countering "Going To Do It Anyway"

Fall 1997, Volume 3, Issue 2

  • Educating the Head, the Heart and the Hand
  • Children Always Respecting Everyone: Forestville's C.A.R.E. Program
  • What's Working at Wellwood Middle School
  • The 11 Commandments of Character Education Leadership
  • Potential Sources of Funding for Character Education
  • Check Out These Web Sites
  • Character Education at Wasatch High: An Eight-Point Plan
  • Character Education in the Classroom

Fall 1996, Volume 2, Issue 2

  • The Character of Education: Promises to Keep
  • Homer School-Business Partnership Promotes Character
  • 1997 Summer Institute in Character Education
  • K-12 Character Education in Locust Valley
  • "Friendship" Begins Virtues Program at Wellwood Middle School

Fall 1995, Volume 1, Issue 2

  • First Summer Institute Gives Participants New Hope
  • From the Director . . .
  • Setting a Good Example: A Faculty Self-Inventory
  • 2nd Annual Summer Institute Set for June 24-28, 1996
  • Whatever Happened to Good Manners?
  • Standing Tall: The Heroes' Path to Character