8.01.2012

Kind Acts Guest Post

Happy August! Today I'm out east guest blogging over at The Teachers' Lounge at Really Good Stuff. Click {here} to read my musical post.


This month, I'm linking up with Maria Dismondy to share a little bit about the character trait of caring. There are so many simple ways to show you care: smiling at someone, greeting someone with a friendly hello, helping someone in need, guest posting for someone. Jo Howard, a counseling colleague from Prairie Elementary up in Waunakee, WI has kindly agreed to share a bit of her expertise in the area of kindness. Welcome, Jo!
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Thank you Barbara for allowing me to share some ideas about kindness here at The Corner. I love your blog and visit it each morning--what a great way to start the day!  

One of the best ways to model character for your students is to involve the core value of kindness.  Smiling at someone, opening a door, or giving of oneself in service to others shows real character in that one doesn't expect to be paid or receive anything in return.  It doesn't cost anything to be kind to someone and it is a great way to fill their bucket! Today we need to have more bucket fillers than bucket dippers so I use an activity in my classroom guidance lessons to teach about kindness called the Kindness Wall. We talk about acts of kindness, how it feels to do something for someone, how it feels to receive an act of kindness, and how the world would be so much better if everyone showed more kindness. Each student is then given a large letter K on a piece of paper. They are asked to do an act of kindness for someone. The act must be something that they do not normally do, like clean their room. After they perform the act of kindness, the recipient of the act signs the K, writes what the act was and gives it back to the student. Students then bring in their signed Ks and we make a wall of kindness. It is very interesting to watch students, staff, families and visitors stop to read the typical acts of kindness performed (Ks) on the wall (from who walked the neighbor's dog to who babysat their brother free of charge). You can see and feel the pride the students have when they see their K on the wall. Last year, we had over 500 acts of kindness performed during our Kindness Week.


A great living example of kindness occurs in Madison, Wisconsin at Ashbury Methodist Church. They recently held their third annual Kindness Explosion weekend. On Friday, they held a free picnic and concert in the park for anyone who wanted to attend.  They grilled burgers, hot dogs, and celebrated with strangers who stopped by to eat. After the meal, a concert in the park occurred where more fellowship was shared. On Saturday, they held a free car wash in the church parking lot, where they vacuumed, washed and shined any car that stopped in. The church is located on busy University Avenue and many people took advantage of this event.  When we went by, a young gentleman was out in the middle of the highway with a free car wash sign and chanting clever sayings like "your car will love you if you get it washed" and "don't let that kayak rack stop you from coming in, we'll reach it." Children, young adults and even elderly members of the church were there washing and cleaning the cars, serving free refreshments and cookies, and doing free face painting. What a great example of modeling kindness! Also on Saturday, they sponsored free oil changes at the Jiffy Lube down the street from the church. Anyone who would like a free oil change, could stop in and were taken care of. One 80 year old woman, drove to the Jiffy Lube at 4:30 am so she could be first in line and assure herself of an oil change.  She remarked that without this act of kindness, she could not have afforded it. Talk about filling one's bucket!


Two beautiful children's books that I use in my guidance lessons to teach about kindness are The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson. Both books focus on the importance of giving without the expectation of receiving. The Giving Tree starts off our lesson of What Can I Give To Someone That Doesn't Cost Money? Students trace their hand and write one idea of what they can do: take out the garbage, give a hug, smile, donate a toy to Goodwill, etc. We take the hand prints and form them into a tree. We put the large tree on a wall outside their classroom door. Our kindness wall was inspired by Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed where Mary's simple kind act is paid forward and comes back to her. Our kiddos love these two books and activities!


I hope this story about kindness gives you the desire to do some type of kindness activity at your school. Enjoy your day and thanks again, Barbara, for inviting me to stop by The Corner.



3 comments:

  1. Barbara, you are my #1 linky party friend. Thank you! I need to get my other teacher bloggers motivated, it's tough being summer! Enjoy the beautiful day...Maria

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  2. I love that "Mary" book! It helps kids realize that kindness can come in any sized package--and that little actions can lead to big smiles. Thanks for the memory jog to put this book on my September list!

    Kim
    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

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  3. Love the Giving Tree! Even a smile shows kindness and care!
    Jenny
    Owl Things First

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