As we continue to explore the character trait of Responsibility, we invited Dr. Douglas McCauley to visit during our Swooper Citizens lesson this week. Dr. McCauley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at UCSB, and a Laguna Dad. He has an important message to share regarding sustainability. (We think that the traits of responsibility and sustainability go hand in hand.) Dr. McCauley began his talk by sharing his marine science background with the students and then segued into what sustainability means.


Dr. McCauley then shared a story about Flora, a young girl who is forced to move to a new island because the natural resources on her previous island have run out.

At the end of the lesson, Dr. McCauley provided the students with a “sustainability bag” filled with items that will help us all make choices that are Earth friendly.

Thank you so much, Dr. McCauley, for your informative visit!


Swooper Citizens: Determination

As part of our month-long look at the character trait of Responsibility, we explored how the trait of Determination relates to Responsibility. Determination means to make up your mind about doing something.  We began the class by discussing what happens when students tried doing something that was too hard at first.  Do they give up or did they try harder? Many students shared about learning how to ride a bike without training wheels. After lots of practice (and a few skinned knees) they were able to successfully ride a two-wheeler!

To put students to the test, they participated in a Braincercise Challenge called Scissors/Straddle/Together.

That was really challenging!

Then we showed the students a video clip that very clearly shows exactly what determination is…


Finally, students listened to the book Sally Jean, Bicycle Queen.

“I can pop a wheelie, I can touch the sky,
I can pedal backwards, I can really fly!

Sally Jean was born to ride. And her bicycle, Flash, is just about her best friend. But one day something terrible – and wonderful – happens. Sally Jean grows. Suddenly she finds herself too big
for Flash. What’s a Bicycle Queen to do? Finally, by collecting old bicycle parts to make a new bike – and giving Flash to a young friend who longs for a bigger bike of his own – she rides

With exuberant art that’s just the right match for Sally Jean’s new found freedom, this joyous text celebrates growing up, learning new skills, and giving back to the community.” (Amazon)

This week, we plan to create situations where students will need to practice diligence. Stay tuned!


For Swooper Citizens today we talked about Responsibility. What is it? Do students have responsibilities? Are there some responsibilities you like better than others? After some discussion, we watched this fun music video.

The tune brings me back to high school…Young Mc Bust a Move anyone? (Or am I just dating myself?)

Lastly, students wrote in their Swooper Citizens journals. Here are some of their responses:




We will be checking in on responsibility later this week….here’s your chance to introduce a new responsibility (aka chore) at home!!