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Teaching kindness in the classroom

  • 1.  Teaching kindness in the classroom

    Posted 01-23-2019 09:09 AM
    Good Morning,
    Next month I will be doing a presentation at our local Childcare Providers on Bullying. I wondered what material teachers have used in their classrooms that they found effective.

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    Lynn Vollbracht
    Columbus NE
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  • 2.  RE: Teaching kindness in the classroom

    Posted 01-23-2019 08:37 PM
    Great Evening,

    In the past for bullying/kindness we have modeled it in our classroom to show them what it is and how to be kind, and have also put in on our message board to discuss with the children. We have also read books about it during meal time, as well we have did a skit with puppets several times and have had the children reenact it as well.

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    Cassandra Murff
    Southfield MI
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  • 3.  RE: Teaching kindness in the classroom

    Posted 01-24-2019 09:05 AM
    Dear Lynn,
    You inquired about resources to help early childhood teachers cope with bullying. There's an abundance of bullying-specific resources for both young children and the adults caring for them, at http://peaceeducators.org/article-categories/bullying/ . That website is of an organization that helped to found NAEYC's Peace Educators Interest Forum, which you may join through HELLO.

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    John Surr
    Peace Educators Interest Forum
    Charlottesvle VA
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  • 4.  RE: Teaching kindness in the classroom

    Posted 01-24-2019 11:52 AM
    Thank you so much everyone for your responses. The online site will be a wonderful resource to share! I agree that modeling kindness is one of the best ways to teach it!

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    Lynn Vollbracht
    Columbus NE
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  • 5.  RE: Teaching kindness in the classroom

    Posted 02-10-2019 07:13 AM
    Lynn,
    I did a similar post to yours, more recently, titled "Teaching caring and compassion in the PreK classroom: New Teacher."  I received some great feedback and resources that would definitely apply to you, as well.  Please look at my posting.  I hope you find some useful information from all the responses I received.  I did purchase a couple of the suggested resources- the "Lifetimes..." (explaining death to young children- which would not really be relevant to you, but if the need ever arises for you to talk about this topic the book is excellent!), "The Peaceful Classroom: 162 Easy Activities to Teach Preschoolers Compassion and Cooperation" (It breaks down lessons into 4 main topics: Friendship, Compassion, Cooperation, and Kindness- then further breaks the lessons down to the age group it is appropriate for- 3yrs, 4yrs, and 5yrs old)), and "The Kindness Curriculum: Stop Bullying Before It Starts" which is targeted for preschool age, but I think many of the activities would work fine with slightly older students, too.  It has 94 character-building activities for a peaceful and supportive learning environment- both classroom and at-home activities.  I have found many activities in both books that I want and plan to do with my students.  Many more resources are also listed- such as "The Great Kindness Challenge" that I ended up doing with my class.  Even though the official time of the challenge has ended (it is done the last week of January, every year, globally), I believe you can sign up anytime, and receive access to the challenge papers/tools and complete with students anytime throughout the year.  It was a great way to get my students to do "Acts of Kindness." The challenge papers/tools include a reflection page (questions) and a reflections activities page that I sent home with parents, asking them to do at least a couple of the questions.  We then, as a class, discussed our answers to two of the questions: "I felt happy when____" (an act of kindness that made them feel happy), and "Kindness is____." (what does kindness or being kind mean to you?)  Each student received a certificate saying "Kindness Certified Student" and listing the "The Great Kindness Challenge" (also available in the challenge papers/tools you will receive access to after signing up).  Since our class participated, our school even received a certificate saying "Kindness Certified School."   I hope this is helpful!  Good Luck!

    If you would like any direct links to the books/resources I bought, and/or to the "The Great Kindness Challenge", please feel free to email me (I've included my email below).

    Heidi

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    Heidi Van Amburg
    h_vanamburg72@comcast.net
    PreK Teacher
    Primrose School of St. Louis Park West
    Crystal MN
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  • 6.  RE: Teaching kindness in the classroom

    Posted 02-11-2019 08:05 AM
    Hi Lynn, one simple practice that teachers can implement is to notice and praise kindness when you see it in your classroom.  What we pay attention to grows.  When I see a child helping another child, I comment on it, such as "wow, you saw that she was crying and you brought her a baby doll, that was so kind and friendly!" At times I also emphasize positive behaviors like this by engaging in 'Cross talk" to other teachers in the room, such as "Ms. lastname, did you see how Caroline helped her friend when she was feeling sad?  She brought her a baby doll.  Wow, wasn't that so friendly!"

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    Stephanie Schaefer
    Program Coordinator
    MDAEYC
    Silver Spring MD
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  • 7.  RE: Teaching kindness in the classroom

    Posted 02-11-2019 09:21 AM
    Good Morning Heidi,
    Thanks so much for your response and the great references that you have been able to share with me! They all look like great ideas and I'm excited to share with others things that have been "used and teacher approved" at my workshop session! Have a great week with your kids! Here in Nebraska we are doing battle with Influenza A and Strep Throat! Hopeful that this week we will begin to see a decline in illness!!

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    Lynn Vollbracht
    Columbus NE
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  • 8.  RE: Teaching kindness in the classroom

    Posted 02-11-2019 03:27 PM
    I have begun to implement a new classroom job; each day, one child is the classroom buddy. That person helps out whenever a classmate needs help. One job our buddy often does is to hold hands with a child that might wander out of line while we are transitioning to the gym or to the bathroom.  I explained the job to the kids by saying that the buddy was a person we could count on to help out a friend. I gave examples of situations during which a buddy could help:
    A classmates' block building falls over. The buddy could help rebuild
    A classmate is looking for a friend to play a game with- the buddy could join in. (encouraged but not mandated)
    The kids in my class have really rallied around 2 children with special needs who often do need a bit of encouragement/assistance from a friend. I find that with young children, it is best to encourage kindness with concrete actions.

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    Hilary Laing
    Teacher
    Orono Discovery Center
    Orono MN
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  • 9.  RE: Teaching kindness in the classroom

    Posted 02-11-2019 03:41 PM
    I love the idea of a classroom buddy! This would be an awesome way to help everyone feel special, supported and valued!! There will be quite a few home providers in the group I will be speaking to, this would be an idea that could be incorporated into almost any situation! Thank you so much!!

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    Lynn Vollbracht
    Columbus NE
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