The Magic Hat – Mid-Week Focus – Encouraging Kindness

Hats off to teachers…it’s time for Mid – Week Focus!

Mid-Week Focus is all about quick and easy ways to approach teaching to keep kids on task in any instructional setting.

Let’s share insight and practical ideas. Let’s blend fun with function, and LET’S ENCOURAGE CHILDREN TO BE KIND TO OTHERS AS PART OF THE LEARNING PROCESS.

What’s under the magic hat? Activities to encourage kindness!

What’s under the magic hat today?

A menu of activities you can do to encourage your students to develop kindness as a personal character trait. Read on…

A popular expression in the English language offers this advice…”Practice random acts of kindness.”

I suggest that teachers have school-year-long opportunities to catch and keep students’ attention with intentional actions that show kindness. By involving students in activities that demonstrate kindness, teachers can:

1) model kindness in action.

2) engage kids in fun and functional activities that encourage them to be caring and kind people as they grow up.

Try the following kindness tricks…

♥ GIVE ME A “K” – Teach your students a “cheer” that focuses on kindness. Start the cheer on random days to remind kids to keep kindness in their thoughts and actions that (and every) day. Here’s the easy attention-getting cheer:

Teacher (T): Give me a K!

Students (S): K!

(T): Give me an I!

(S): I!

(T): Give me an N!

(S): N!

(T): Give me a D!

(S): D!

(T): What does it spell?

(S): KIND!

(T): How will we act today?

(S): Kindness will be our way!

♥ BE KIND BUDDY TIME – Plan convenient times in your classroom, say 5 minutes, for Be Kind Buddy Time, at intervals you choose during a school term.

Explain to students that during each Be Kind Buddy Time you’ll allow students to get out of their seats, keeping the noise level tolerable, and spend some time with a class buddy they (or you) choose for them.

♥ HELP CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS – Your involvement in Be Kind Buddy Time may be necessary, like you see in my blog pic below

“You guys will be buddies today at Be Kind Buddy Time.”

showing a teacher pairing two boys to be buddies, to insure that no child is left out during buddy selection.

This activity can especially help children with special needs experience kindness. Likewise, the activity can help all children learn to be tolerant of people with special needs.

During Be Kind Buddy Time, instruct students to think of something kind to say to their buddy.

Teach them that one way to be kind is to ask questions about people, places, events that their buddy cares about. Demonstrate this kindness “trick” to help students grasp this concept.

♥ SEND QUICK UNEXPECTED KIND EMAIL HOME – Years before email became a communication option, you might have heard someone from Ireland say with a smile, “Ah, that warms the cockles of me heart!” – spoken in response to an act of kindness. Every language has phrases that express appreciation for kindness shown. (It might be fun to introduce kids to kindness-related expressions from around the world.)

“Hi; this is a quick note to tell you that Roberto is reading much better. I’ve also noticed that he enjoys sharing books with others at our class ‘buddy time.”

The teacher in my blog pic here is “warming the cockles of a heart!  He’s sending a quick kind message to one of his student’s parent’s email address.

Picture the faces of your students and their parents or caregivers when they receive a surprise email from you with a kind message about their school work and/or behavior in class. Wow! Who doesn’t love reading or hearing kind words.

♥ CREATE A KINDNESS MASCOT – If you work with children in the early elementary grades, you can designate a stuffed animal, like you see in my blog pic below, to be the class’ Kindness Mascot. 

Give the mascot a catchy name like, Keri the Very Kind Canine (explain that canine means dog). I’ve placed Keri

Keri, the Very Kind Canine, reminds kids to be kind to their bodies by eating well!

on top of a book about healthy eating to catch kids’ attention. Why?

To use this Kindness Mascot to encourage kids to be kind to their bodies by eating healthy foods!

You can also use Keri, the Very Kind Canine, as a reward for children that show exemplary kindness to a classmate.

Tell the class to be on the lookout for Keri to “sit” with a student that shows kindness and respect in class.

Place the stuffed animal on top of a deserving child’s desk for a temporary reward. Kids love this!

♥ POST AN I SPY KINDNESS BULLETIN BOARD – Speaking of being on the lookout for children that show kindness in class, why not post an I Spy Kindness Bulletin Board where you and your students can tack up photographs that illustrate kindness in action. Check out online resources as well as magazines, newspapers and other print media for photos to post on an I Spy Kindness Bulletin Board.

♥ PARTICIPATE IN HOLIDAY KINDNESS – You and your class may already have plans to participate in a holiday program that helps less fortunate people. If not, consider looking for an easy-to-manage way for you and your students to offer kindness in your community.

Children learn by doing; the best way to encourage their kindness is to use tools and tricks that create opportunities for them to participate in kind acts.

Check back with Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

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