Creech Elementary prides itself on being one big family. We are committed to making all of our staff members and student population feel loved, respected, and valued. Within that big family structure, however, every student and staff member belongs to a house. Within our campus-wide house system, there are six separate houses: Integrity (pink), Cooperation (orange), Compassion (green), Creativity (yellow), Initiative (blue) and Perseverance (purple).
On early release days, we have the opportunity to display our house pride by participating in a House Pep Rally and grade level house lessons. The House Pep Rally allows time for students and staff from across grade levels (pre-k through 5th grade) to celebrate their house pride together. Following the pep rally, each grade level goes back to their hallway so members of each house can meet with their house leaders and participate in grade-level house lessons. Using the PurposeFull People curriculum, our counselor, Morgan Ditchman, is able to develop lessons that teachers can use to emphasize the importance of various character traits.
For example, during our first house meeting, all of the grade-level lessons focused on kindness. Kindergarten through second grade watched “Color Your World with Kindness” and had a deep discussion about what kindness looks like and how it can spread. Then, they completed the “Embodying Kindness” activity as a class. The teacher traced an outline of one student’s body on a large sheet of butcher paper. On the inside of the silhouette, students wrote ways they show kindness to others and on the outside, they wrote ways they want others to show them kindness. One of our amazing second-grade teachers, Mrs. Pratt, stated, “Mrs. Ditchman guided us through a lesson to visually show our children what it means to be kind: a video changing from black/white to a rainbow of colors and brainstorming kindness concepts on an outline of a child. I am grateful for this lesson, for her guidance, for helping us to teach an abstract concept to children of all ages.”
Third through fifth grade watched “Mr. Indifference” and discussed what it means to be indifferent and how the main character changed once he learned how to help others. This conversation was powerful because many students did not understand how being indifferent can be seen by others as mean or unkind. Then, they completed the “Chain Reaction of Kindness” activity which used dominos to show how kindness can cause a chain reaction. Ms. Boe, one of our fabulous third-grade teachers, reported, “I loved the kindness lesson we did for our house meetings. It was nice that I could reference it later with any student, and they knew what I was talking about. I loved that it had a video, a conversation, and then a way to apply it. My students really understood once I showed them the domino effect of kindness.”
Ultimately, students and staff find the PurposeFull People curriculum to be both effective and empowering. The videos and activities are well thought out and designed with students in mind. Most importantly, the PurposeFull People curriculum aligns well with what we believe and value at Creech Elementary. We are all eagerly awaiting our next opportunity to showcase our house pride during the December House Pep Rally and utilize the PurposeFull People curriculum during the grade level house meetings.
Howdy! My name is Morgan Ditchman, and I am a first-year school counselor at Creech Elementary in Katy ISD. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to serve students in this capacity because I am incredibly passionate about the emotional, social and behavioral success of all students. Prior to this role, I was a special education teacher for seven years. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and a minor in Psychology from Texas A&M University. Additionally, I have a Master’s degree in Professional School Counseling from the University of St. Thomas.