No matter which way you teach kindness, the world will always be a better place because of it. While you are teaching your students to empathize, you are simultaneously exercising their creativity and critical thinking skills in the process. Important positive social skills include empathy, tolerance, patience, and effective communication. Daniel Tiger and Pinkalicious stories are great! Practicing teen numbers is a semester long skill! Each day, for two weeks, I read one of the books followed by a class meeting to discuss the book and how we can use the lesson to show kindness or friendship to others. When one act of kindness is conducted between classmates, the recipient(s) of the act  pass on a new act of kindness to another classmate until the entire classroom family has experienced at least one act of kindness that was bestowed upon them at closing circle (yep, like morning circle but at the end of the day). I also make it a point to be overly kind to our cafeteria staff in front of the students. Hold a food drive/ mitten drive/ toy drive and donate to a local charity. Another situation could be acting out two different ways to ask a classmate for supplies. Mallory Mbalia is the Assistant Principal at Underwood GT Elementary in Raleigh, NC. This bulletin board is up in my classroom. For example, “Give me the red crayon!” or “May I please have the red crayon?” It is important to provide examples and non-examples so students can see what kindness looks like (and what it does not look like). That’s why it’s important to weave lessons and practice on the theme of kindness into your everyday routine. The more variety, the better. You need this! Morning meetings are a great opportunity for learners to develop empathy as they learn to listen with understanding and consider how best to respond to their peers. Subscribe to Teach Starter and access thousands of curriculum-aligned resources and digital learning tools. Creating an inviting classroom where students feel happy and comfortable helps to lower feelings of … Attitude The student: is … Draw a picture or write thank you cards for school staff members: custodians, secretaries, lunchroom helpers, etc. Enthusiasm will allow your students to be interested in class discussions and classroom activities. I reflected  my students’ diversity by choosing readers with accents that some students may have not heard before. The last thing we can do is to encourage kindness through random acts of kindness activities. Here are some specific ways we can put research into practice and promote joyful learning opportunities: Revamp your classroom to appeal to your students. ). As you can tell, the title is a parody of the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” In the book, a family of otters moves in next to a rabbit, who worries that they won’t get along. Repeat :), 8. You’ll find that your students love participating and may even ask you to practice different situations as they come up. Some ideas: Plan activities that encourage your students to practice kindness around your school and community. Carving out time to intentionally promote kindness cultivates empathy and understanding between individuals, leading to deeper relationships. ​Elisabeth Bostwick, Michelle Garmon, Julie Hildebrand, Ashley Judd and Mallory Mbalia, Make Your Valentine’s Day Lessons Even Sweeter with Pinkalicious, Growing and Learning Together: Creating a School Garden. Give students a blank bingo sheet and ask them to fill in each box with one of the acts of kindness listed above. Our students look to us as models for what’s expected, and if we are treating others kindly, they will follow suit. Create a calendar with their kindness ideas. 50 Ways for Kids to Be Kind. For example, have a group of students act out a scenario where one child is being left out. Sign up for the newsletter and get teaching ideas delivered right to your in-box. we are getting there! She is a former kindergarten teacher who is passionate about early childhood education, as well as equity work in education, to ensure that all students have the opportunity to reach their true potential. Students can either write something kind about a fellow student or report on a student they caught being kind. When a student or teacher is the recipient of a random act of kindness, have them write it on a strip of paper and add a link to their classroom chain. If you strive for perfection you will always be di, Love free resources AND bingo dabbers? In my experience, morning meetings support the culture of learning by setting the tone for the day and by allowing us to get to know one another differently than when we engage in collaborative class work. What will you do today to foster a community built on kindness, empathy and authentic connections? This can start by simply discussing needs and generating ways to meet those needs. Maintain structure in less traditional ways by creating “zones” for different parts of the learning process, such as reflection and brainstorming. Start the day with a friendly greeting for each student. For example, “I appreciate Hayden for his nice smile,” or “I appreciate Kaylie because she reads books with me.”. A stone cast in Kindergarten can create a ripple effect throughout a lifetime! As relationships form, trust develops, which allows  a culture of learning to blossom where all individuals feel genuinely valued -- for who they are and what they contribute as a unique individual. Have a kindness motto for your classroom. You might even put the ideas in a jar and pick one out per day. To build community in your classroom, give your students chances to help each other. For example, “Ricky helped me clean up a mess that wasn’t even his,” or “Jamie said thank you when I gave her her paper.”, To make sure every child is acknowledged, you can have each student say something complimentary about the student directly next to them. Random Acts of Kindness One of the simplest things to encourage students to do is to find opportunities to show each other kindness in random, unexpected ways. However, that ordinary piece of rock salt became a way to spread cheer in that classroom for days to come as it was passed along to others who needed its “magic” power. When we show our students what it LOOKS like and SOUNDS like to be kind, there is a far greater chance they will repeat those modeled behaviors. While state laws, districts and campuses mandate what teachers teach, it’s the choice to teach kindness in the classroom that is truly making a difference for our students today and for their futures. “Complimentary” Notes: Provide sticky notes in a noticeable spot in the classroom for students to take at any time (they’re “complimentary”! Our hope is to inspire others to share how they too, teach kindness in the classroom as a response to this post. The center we created provides links to read alouds and PBS LearningMedia  that demonstrate the qualities of a friend. How to Use Ways to be Helpful in Sophie’s Classroom The first step in helping children be successful is for adults to focus on the behaviors we want to see, and then convey that information to children clearly (with visual aids whenever possible). Teaching about penguins in January? Set up a kindness mailbox or bulletin board in your classroom. We will never give away or sell your personal information. 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