Kindness in the Classroom

As I sit here tonight and write my first post for my new blog, I can’t help but reflect on how my perspective on life has changed over the last five years. When I left the University of Wisconsin (Go Badgers!), I was prepared to teach “reading, writing, and arithmetic.” I had no idea how important it would be for me to teach social skills, problem solving skills, work habit skills, and KINDNESS (that’s the big one!) to my little ones. While reading levels and math proficiency are important for all students, teaching children to be kind to one another is the most important part of my job. Today, I’d like to share a simple idea with you for spreading kindness in your classroom and your school community.

During the month of February, my elementary school focused on Random Acts of Kindness. Although, we focus on kindness every day in first grade. Throughout the month, my class completed a service project to collect items for local homeless shelters. However, I wanted to show my students that a kind word or a compliment can change someone’s entire day! Random Acts of Kindness can be really simple! One morning before school, I had a burst of inspiration to make kindness-related artwork to hang in the hallways at school. Sitting at my kitchen table, with a fresh cup of coffee in hand, I took to Pinterest to find some inspiring kindness quotes. I hand-lettered my favorites onto white card stock with a black Crayola marker. I was immediately in LOVE with the quotes and saw unlimited potential for spreading kindness!

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Once I got to school, I quickly photocopied the quotes so that I would have a master set. Later in the afternoon, I paired up my students and they worked together to watercolor each of the kindness quotes! The positive energy in the room was just infectious while we painted our posters.

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Once the artwork dried, I stapled each poster to a piece of black card stock for a nice, clean finished product. We couldn’t wait to hang these posters up in the cafeteria (which is right outside our classroom) and share our good vibes with the rest of the school! We truly became “kindness ninjas,” which happens to be one of our favorite kindness quotes! Students of all ages LOVED our quotes and complimented my little first graders on their great work! The kindness spread immediately!

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Now, it’s your turn to spread kindness in your classroom and your school! For the complete set of Kindness Posters, please visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store: Nicole O’Connor.

Enjoy and always remember…. “A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions and the roots spring up and make new trees.” {Amelia Earhart}

I’d love to hear about how you spread kindness in the classroom! Comment with your favorite kindness activities!

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