Good Morning and thank you for stopping by. I wanted to take a few minutes to share a kindness idea with you that I have started to use in my classroom. Please forgive me as I step onto my soapbox, but I feel it is so important to role model kindness and how to be a nice friend in Kindergarten. Kindergarten is the starting point and I believe we have such an important job because we lay the foundation as they begin their educational journey.
Each year I make it a mission to model, model, and model kindness in the classroom. We role play, we talk about problem solving strategies, and I emphasize the importance of thinking before you act and to put yourself in someone else's shoes.
When I came back from my maternity leave I noticed that my students were having a hard time using their words with one another and problem solving. Students were feeling left out during recess and during other social activities in the classroom. I decided to take my kindness goal one step forward and really spotlight it in my classroom.
On my bulletin board I displayed "Be Kind", two simple words with such a powerful message. That is our classroom motto. I then told my class that we were going to work hard to become a classroom community who cared and respected each other.
I started a class meeting by teaching the heart lesson. Please forgive me, but I do not know where I got this idea from, if you happen to read this and you know the owner tell me and I will give credit. To begin the lesson you show the class a flat, unfolded, pretty much "perfect" paper heart.
You talk about how everyone's heart looks like this. It is not hurt, or broken, and everyone feels happy and loved.
Then, you tell the class that when they use mean words or are unkind to someone that person's heart gets crumpled (at this point you take the "perfect" heart and you crumple it into a ball)
As you start to flat out the now crumpled heart, you tell the class that you can say sorry to the person you were unkind to, but your words or actions still stay with the person who you were unkind to and hurt. They forgive you, but they also don't forget and they might still feel sad. Their heart isn't as "perfect" as it once was.
As I crumpled the heart my students mouths' dropped open and their eyes were big. I think this visual really helps them see the damage unkind words and actions can do to a person. Saying sorry definitely helps, but it's better to think about your actions first before you hurt your friend.
I leave the two hearts up on the board as a reminder and we talk about it often.
I also tell my students to be leaders and stand up to others who are being unkind. I give them the example of if they are at recess and they see someone alone, ask them to join in the fun, be a leader and show others how nice it is to be kind. Or if we are in line and someone is talking, be a leader and show the quiet signal without shouting at them to be quiet that way they are being a good role and others will follow them.
It makes their heart happy and in turn makes their friend's heart happy too.
Each day I look for someone who is being kind to their friends and at the end of the day when we are wrapping up our activities I spotlight one student to receive the Kindness Certificate. I then put their name on the spotlight on our bulletin board.
If you are interested in this certificate you can download this freebie here:
I appreciate you taking the time to read through my post. As my principal said at a meeting recently. We can Google pretty much everything these days, but we can't Google how to be kind, have empathy, and be a nice friend. That is where we come in, to role model and teach our students. I want them to be able to carry this message with them for the rest of their lives. After all kindness never goes out of style and will help them achieve all the goals they set their mind to.
Have a great day and Be Kind!