Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Teaching Kindness

I don't know about you, but I was SO glad to see my students today!

We start each morning with a handshake (with a different variation for each day of the week) and a "Good Morning." I have to admit I probably squeezed each hand extra tight!

We limited discussion about the events of last week and we got on with our day, but we were all a little subdued. It could have been because it was Monday. Or maybe it was the rain. Or maybe it was because it was just hard to forget what happened less than seventy-two hours ago...

And, still, I loved them a little bit more today. I was grateful to see their "tweenager" faces and I felt blessed to be their teacher and to be there, with them, on this day.

We have been trying to be more conscious of the thoughts, and needs and feelings of others in these twelve days before vacation.

      Font by Kevin and Amanda; Digital Paper by Surfin' Through Second (TpT)

Each morning, I have started the day off with a "challenge" of sorts--a suggestion, a prompt, a request to be kind to the people with whom they share their school day.

With a few sweet Melonheadz elves, two of my favorite Jen Jones fonts (HelloBasic and HelloFun), and my happy heart, we started with something easy: Sharing a smile.

The students were a little reluctant at first. I think it seemed odd to actually TALK about the need to be kind... yet alone the need to BE kind. After the first day or two, however, they got into the spirit and they tried a little harder to remember what we were practicing each day.

I am proud to report that they have really stepped up to the challenge! Today we worked on sharing kindness by making an effort. It was an "All Thumbs Up" day in PE--which means that ALL of the kids demonstrated good sportsmanship and worked hard in during their PE time with the PE Coach. No one got in trouble for an attitude problem or for talking too much. I couldn't have asked for a better start to this day!

With just four days to go, we continue to think about ways to be kind to each other and to other students and adults at our school. Just so you can see our journey, I've included the cards below. They are on our classroom door too to keep us focused on our path to kindness....

I hope that kindness is filling YOUR classroom today. And if you are lucky enough to be out of school already, I hope that you encounter kindness wherever you go today!


  1. It bears repeating that your students are like to have the KIND of teacher that you are . . . and spend their dash this year under your mentorship, guidance, care, and love!!

    Thank you for this beautiful one-of-a-KIND gift!


  2. What a special way to count down until the holidays. May we always be so thoughtful and kind to one another :)

  3. Hey Kim!

    I love these posters! It's so important to teach kids the many, different ways to show kindness--and that kindness really does matter :)

    3 more days to go!!


  4. What a wonderful idea. I found it a bit too late to use all of the days, but it's something to keep in mind in the first days of the New Year.

  5. Hi Kim,
    I just wanted to let you know that I shared your post on my Thumbs up Thumbs down Thursday - as a thumbs up of course :) - because I really thought it was a great post!

    The Picture Book Teacher's Edition

  6. I am LOVING this- I have pinned it for next year and can't wait to try it with my thirdsters :) Thanks for sharing such wonderful ideas!

    3rd Grade Thoughts

  7. These are FABULOUS!! Is there a way to download these cards? I couldn't find a link and didn't want to copy/paste each picture. Thanks & Happy New Year!
    ~Jennie A.

  8. I LOVE these!! How in the world did I miss them before Christmas break? I am so bummed!!! Well, I guess now I have these FABULOUS cards for next year. Is there a way to download them or even purchase them? Thank you so much for sharing these!

    YoungTeacherLove 5th Grade Blog


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