If you teach kindergarten, transitional kindergarten, or really any early childhood program that has a bit more of an academic bent to it, you’ll want to look at Simply Kinder. I reflected  my students’ diversity by choosing readers with accents that some students may have not heard before. While you are doing this, explain that sometimes people just need a little extra help and that being kind can make a big difference in the lives of others in need. Julie’s primary goals have been to increase student achievement in literacy and technology skills in and out of her classroom. Keys to kindness — and well-being ... Our early results suggest the promise of the curriculum, with children ... of mindfulness prior to teaching mindful practices to others. I always introduce our custodian to our class the first day of school and regularly thank her for all that she does in front of the class. As I reflect upon my teaching experience and the community I call home, I find myself constantly thinking about the future of my students. … Have a class discussion about how they would feel if they were the character. 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. In a time where there seems to be many negative messages in the media and beyond, we in early childhood programs experience the effects on young children. (Evoking Empathy). A stone cast in Kindergarten can create a ripple effect throughout a lifetime! ​Elisabeth Bostwick, Michelle Garmon, Julie Hildebrand, Ashley Judd and Mallory Mbalia, Managing Feelings in the First Week of School, What the Dot Test Can Teach Us to De-Stress Our Students, Pushing Toward APUSH: Online Resources to Help Students Prepare for the AP US History Exam. In my classroom, we are always teaching about kindness, modeling standing up for ourselves and others in appropriate ways, as well as other social-emotional lessons. Michelle Garmon is a First Grade Teacher and PBS Digital Innovator All-Star from Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Then, we often partner up to engage, personally greet our friend, and go deeper in discussion. By putting themselves in the story vs. just asking how do you think the character feels, creates stronger connection and context. Some individuals are concerned about the time morning meetings can take, but when the culture for learning is built on the foundation of relationships and trust, learners feel embraced by their teacher and peers, deepening learning experiences and fostering a strong community. Friends need to listen to each other and take turns talking. Often, we’ll change partners, and depending on our structure, we may regroup into a circle. Elisabeth Bostwick is a teacher in Horseheads, N.Y., who’s passionate about sparking curiosity and unleashing creativity to empower learning. While you are teaching your students to empathize, you are simultaneously exercising their creativity and critical thinking skills in the process. Mindfulness before nap and relaxation times. Student Greeters welcome visitors to Michelle’s classroom with a cheerful “Hello neighbor!” “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood,” is stenciled above the smartboard. Her first book, Education Write Now Volume II, Top Strategies for Improving Relationships and Culture, co-authored with nine other passionate educators, will release in December 2018. Books about kindness are so powerful for children. Mindfulness between outdoor play and moving back inside. Sharing social stories allows learners to be … Parent Toolkit resources were developed by NBC News Learn with the help of subject-matter experts, including Thomas Hoerr, Emeritus Head of School, New City School, and Maurice Elias, Director, Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab. Throw kindness around like confetti! It could be as simple as encouragement cards to the local nursing home. Copyright © 2020 Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), All rights reserved. In our classroom, we gather in a circle for a welcome message and short discussion. What would they want/need in the moment? Our students look to us as models for what’s expected, and if we are treating others kindly, they will follow suit. One of the best ways to teach kindness in the classroom is to model being kind to others. Soon, they start to treat the cafeteria staff just as respectfully and kindly. The first step in kindness for a young child … I also model what a conversation looks like. Before or after dinner, each family member can also recount one time during the day when they did something kind for another person. She is a Public Broadcasting System (PBS) Digital Innovator and was the recipient of the New York State Excellence in Teaching award. Former Head of School at New City School in St. Louis, Missouri, Tom Hoerr suggests that once your child is four or five years of age, you may want to create a family “kindness chart” on which everyone’s reflections are entered each night. From the moment our toddlers start their school year, we are working on teaching them how to care for others. In the early years of life, young children are naturally ego-centric and … Although there’s no denying that teachers have various demands to tend to, devoting ample time to nurturing the classroom culture through teaching kindness is exactly what allows us to be successful in other areas. For example, you may ask them to take on small responsibilities during the morning routine, like packing snacks or getting dressed, or suggest that they help with cleaning up or setting the table for dinner time. For example, friends can help you sharpen a pencil, but they can also help you play games or read with you. Partner up classes to send each other kindness cards. Another way to show your child the value of kindness is to bring him along when you’re taking a meal to a noncontagious sick relative or neighbor, or let her help you get a bag of clothes or canned goods together for a local clothing or food drive. 6. You may also want to ask how it made them feel when someone helped, and when they helped others, although you may not get real answers until your child is older. A small, class community service project is a great way to connect to your community and provide an intentional opportunity for your students to experience empathy. Associate scientist Lisa Flook (right) and former outreach specialist Laura Pinger (left) teach the Center for Healthy Minds Kindness Curriculum to a group of preschoolers at the Waisman Center Early Childhood … The qualities in the center include positive sentiments about what friendship means: friends show patience, , encourage each other, respect personal space, include others, help others, use kind words, show compassion and celebrate differences. According to neuroscientist and educator, Dr. Judy Willis: A group of PBS Digital Innovators collaborated to share their tips for teaching kindness in the classroom. Start by asking … Don’t stop there! How would they want the problem solved? Everyone else in the family can take turns making a supportive and reinforcing comment to the person who has just shared, and you can put a tally mark on the chart to indicate that an act of kindness was done. Often times, children may be able to identify ‘needs,” yet not know how to take action. The first step in kindness for a young child is helping. Children develop compassion through acts of caring and kindness towards others, and as they grow, it can guide their actions and behaviors in positive ways. Weave lessons of kindness into your daily routine. Essentially, mindfulness is a valuable tool … You can also ask your children to help siblings or grandparents. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or at an animal shelter. Kindness in the classroom is linked to a strong sense of belonging and increased  self-esteem as acceptance for peers develops. Our hope is to inspire others to share how they too, teach kindness in the classroom as a response to this post. Ashley Judd is a 4th Grade Teacher at Tyner Elementary in Tyner, KY.  She specializes in elementary education and incorporating innovative classroom practices, aimed at amplifying student growth. Learning how to teach kindness in the classroom is one of our most important jobs as teachers. Yes, you can help your child be more empathetic! Morning meetings support learners to understand the best ways to approach their peers by greeting one another with kindness and responding or posing questions appropriately and with empathy. An Intentional, Comprehensive Curriculum ... and teaching kindness… EPISODE 027: Teaching Kindness - An Educator's Thoughts on Early Childhood and Learning the Basics of Being Human Last week, just in time for teacher appreciation week, we talked to a former high school science teacher who left the education system despite his love for education . During a morning meeting, students may discuss a topic shared by the teacher and as they gain autonomy, they can take on leadership roles by helping to create the morning message or topic of discussion. Try these practical tips to help infants and toddlers develop empathy and understand that others have different thoughts and feelings than they do. It’s a quick and simple way for students to express kindness and compassion for others. 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. Create a Friendship and Kindness Center. Educators have been aware, for the last 300 years that there is a case to be made for … When children are kind and compassionate, they are more tolerant and more aware of the suffering of others, and they are better able to rejoice in other people’s successes. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser. 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. Carving out time to intentionally promote kindness cultivates empathy and understanding between individuals, leading to deeper relationships. Being a caring and compassionate role model is the best method for teaching your children about kindness, and setting a good example is key to getting them to apply these values to their relationships and interactions. Empathy is the ability to put yourself in the shoes of someone else and understand what they are feeling or experiencing. When they tell you, you can respond by saying, “That was so kind of them to do that for you.” Similarly, you can also ask them to provide two ways that they were helpful to others and comment on how kind it was of them to those things for others. I often hear students singing along with Daniel and his friends as they Find a way to play together and Try to solve the problems themselves. ​Elisabeth Bostwick, Michelle Garmon, Julie Hildebrand, Ashley Judd and Mallory Mbalia Educators. Skills associated with kindness … No matter which way you teach kindness, the world will always be a better place because of it. If we mold our Kindergarteners into “do-ers,” they will eventually morph into middle and high school students who are collaborators, initiators, and critical thinkers. 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. Leverage Social Stories Including a Problem To Solve. When these needs are met, students can better focus on learning and are more likely to engage in critical thinking, express creativity, collaborate, communicate effectively, and persevere through challenges -- essential skills our youth require. I also make it a point to be overly kind to our cafeteria staff in front of the students. Elias says that these are actions that bring about strong positive feelings in young children (and older ones, when they are not being “ordered” to help), which can result in their wanting to volunteer to help others -- a strong example of kindness in action. Why? Julie Hildebrand is a First Grade Teacher and Campus Innovation Coach at Patton Elementary in Austin, Texas. IE 11 is not supported. Being a caring and compassionate role model is the best method for teaching your children about kindness, and setting a good example is key to getting them to apply these values to … Mindful kindness chant. An activity that teachers can use at any grade is the Mindful Kindness Chant. 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. Sharing social stories allows learners to be metacognitive about problems they may encounter. We spend several months focused on learning “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids.”  One very important habit that helps students learn to be kind to others, especially when dealing with conflict, is “Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.”  This helps students see each other through a kindness lens and appreciate what each other is feeling. The discussion was amazing during the charts creation. In early January 2019, her second book, Take the L.E.A.P., Ignite a Culture of Innovation will be released. As I continue to see violence throughout the community that surrounds them, I feel that a shift toward lessons encompassing love, compassion, and kindness … I have hard copies of each book and students are able to access the read alouds through QR code links in the center. This can start by simply discussing needs and generating ways to meet those needs. Children become aware of … Have your class choose a need from their list, and guide them through process of making a difference. The list of ways to promote kindness during this week is endless. What will you do today to foster a community built on kindness, empathy and authentic connections? This webinar will share a variety of ideas and strategies to use in your programs that embrace a culture of acceptance and kindness. While it may be painful to witness the … Leverage Social Stories Including a Problem To Solve. Ashley is a Public Broadcasting System (PBS) Digital Innovator All-Star, as well as a finalist for KY Elementary Teacher of the Year and a Valvoline Teacher Achievement Award Winner. Teaching Kindness So how do teachers bring kindness … Being a caring and compassionate role model is the best method for teaching your children about kindness, and setting a good example is key to getting them to apply these values to their relationships and interactions. Stay up to date on the latest blog posts, content, tools, and more from PBS Education! In addition to being a Heart of Texas Writing Project Teacher Consultant, Julie is also a Discovery Education Ambassador, a Public Broadcasting System (PBS) Digital Innovator All-Star and serves on the PBS KLRU Board of Education Committee. Maurice Elias, director of the Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab, recommends that you provide your child with opportunities to be helpful around the house in order to teach kindness. 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). When children are part of activities that help others less fortunate … The center is a great way for students to come back and reflect on the lessons learned through each book. Staff members can even write each other compliments! Daniel Tiger is also featured in the center. The word kindness is only mentioned once in The Early Years Learning Framework – it’s in Outcome 2: CHILDREN HAVE A STRONG SENSE OF WELLBEING. As a preschool teacher, I can tell you that some concepts are really hard to teach, … It’s tagline is “Developmentally … The only rule in my class is, “We are all friends.”  We began the year by creating a chart that shows what a friend can do, what friends will do and what friends like to do together. It soon spreads and I hear my students begin to thank her when she’s working in the room. Planting seeds of kindness begins with designing early childhood environments that promote kindness. A high-quality early childhood education is based on a sound understanding of how young children learn – through engaging, hands-on experiences within a setting of comfort and trust. Mallory Mbalia is the Assistant Principal at Underwood GT Elementary in Raleigh, NC. Ultimately, it’s kindness that supports us in helping learners to be successful in their learning journey. Increased Feelings of Gratitude. You may also want to volunteer together at a food bank during the holidays or gather items from family members to donate to a charity in your area. Beginning … Deliver sweet treats to custodians, administration, cafeteria staff, and students’ former teachers. In lieu of the need for teaching materials that foster kindness and compassion, teacher authors from around the globe have come together to offer FREE classroom materials for teachers. Once or twice a month I take … Empower your students to take initiative. No matter what grade level you teach, never underestimate your impact. When children are part of projects that help others less fortunate … Fostering a culture of kindness enhances the connections made peer-to-peer and student to teacher. 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. We talked about what kindness looks like  in a classroom. A friendship or kindness center has the potential to empower learners to explore different aspects of friendship. Invite students to perform Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs) for others. Use the Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education to learn more about issues in the field and to better understand research related to early childhood teacher education. Learn the Kindness Activity Approach Ask the child what it means to be kind and give an example of an act of kindness Introduce the “kindness jar” to the child Explain that you will be adding pom poms as you notice kind … Mallory serves as a trainer for her local station UNC TV Public Media North Carolina and is a Public Broadcasting System (PBS) Digital Innovator All-Star. They can be utilized with all ages, and at the secondary level, may be called collaborative class discussions. Adults promote kindness by modeling kind behaviors in their interactions with children, families and colleagues. Better Concentration and Improved Results - Kindness is a key ingredient that helps children feel … Children develop compassion through acts of caring and kindness towards others. They help teach empathy, compassion, and of course kindness. When teachers can keep compassion for themselves and those around them (whatever that may look like for each team and individual), the energy that they can then bring to their … To read the original … You might have spent your childhood listening to a parent or other adult in your life remind you to mind your manners and speak kindly. Write a letter to a grandparent, aunt or uncle that you haven’t seen in a while. Repeat :), 8. Increased Feelings of Gratitude. The center we created provides links to read alouds and PBS LearningMedia  that demonstrate the qualities of a friend. Kindness plays an important part in showing … Starting early pays off, Flook said, in that for every dollar spent on early intervention, the return ranges from between $7 and $11. It is important to understand that the benefits of the Kindness … After Rousseau, we believe that an education in kindness is essential in early childhood (Emile, 1762). Daniel Tiger and Pinkalicious stories are great! Michelle’s goals include the  Social emotional growth of her students and the use technology to inspire a love of learning in her class of 21st century learners. Mindfulness sessions to begin the day. When your children come home from school, ask them to tell you two ways that people were helpful to them during the day. We start working on empathy. 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