A Kindness Tree is a beautiful way to focus on and acknowledge the importance of showing kindness within a school. The tree helps foster more kind, supportive relationships amongst students and teachers, and everyone loves to watch the tree “grow” as each good deed is recognized.
As you’ll see by the examples below there are many variations, some big, some small, but each one beautiful and unique. There are no rules when it comes to creating your kindness tree. Use your imagination and get the kids involved. For the tree itself, you can use paper, fabric, paint, a stencil or real tree branches. Tree leaves can be made from paper in the shape of leaves, hearts or even hands.
A kindness tree in the cafeteria at Alta Vista Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida is part of the Kindness Starts with Me program. Students fill out smile cards, color-coded by class, to acknowledge each other for the kind things they’ve done which are then attached to the kindness tree. read more →
From the Author
– Jayneen Sanders
Book Title: You, Me and Empathy
Illustrator: Sofia Cardoso
For Ages: 3-9
Categories: empathy, compassion, kindness, anti-bullying, friendship
Related learning areas: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
Review of book: Click here for a book reading and review
About the book
‘You, Me and Empathy’ uses verse, beautiful illustrations and a little person called Quinn to model the meaning of empathy. Throughout the story, Quinn shows an abundance of understanding, compassion and kindness towards others. Showing empathy towards others is a learned trait and one to nurture and cherish with the children in our care. read more →
Book Title: You, Me and Empathy
Author: Jayneen Sanders
Illustrator: Sofia Cardoso
For Ages: 3-9
Category: empathy, compassion, kindness, diversity, tolerance, respect, character
Related learning areas: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), feelings awareness, writing
A word from the author: Click here to view pages, resources and hear from the author
About the book
In this gem, young readers are invited to explore their feelings and discover their ability to understand not only their own emotions but also the feelings of others. Written in first-person narrative with every-day examples of situations that might cause uncomfortable feelings like worry, anger, sadness, or fright, this text with reflection questions sprinkled throughout is sure to spark and ignite some dynamic conversations about empathy, compassion and kindness. read more →
I am crazy about kindness. Sharing it, spreading it, promoting it, talking about it, practicing it, blogging about it, teaching it, quoting it, buying t-shirts about it… crazy. about. kindness.
I am SO crazy about it that I felt the need to come up with a unique way to share this passion with my students and to practice kindness in a way that they would remember forever. I wanted to not only read cutesy little books about being kind (even though one of my favourite books is “What Does it Mean to Be Kind”) or practice kindness within the fours walls of our classroom (our number one rule in the class is “Be Kind”) or watch videos about examples of kindness (even though I always love me a good ugly cry kindness story on Ellen…). I wanted to LIVE kindness in our community. I wanted people to think about kindness and associate it with my kiddos and be hopeful that a bunch of 4, 5 and 6-year-olds could change the world. I wanted my learners to know that there are some lessons that aren’t in the curriculum but that will be important to them for the rest of their lives. From that place, Kindness Capes (#kindnesscapes) was born. read more →
We love the message in this story. A teacher uses a $20 note to demonstrate that no matter what happens to a person in their life, they are still worth the same as they were before. All the bumps and bruises we collect along the way, the mistakes we make and the opportunities we miss do not diminish our worth. read more →
It’s unknown who originally told this powerful story but it has been replicated over the years and there are now quite a few versions to be found on the net. Regardless of the variations, the story shares a powerful and motivational message. We enjoyed this video by Meir Kay and hope you share it with the significant people in your life. read more →
These funky little relaxation jars are so easy to make and are wonderful visual aid for helping kids calm themselves when they’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
They’re a popular aid for parents but we also encourage teachers to use them in the classroom and have included the instructions in our primary/elementary school curriculum. read more →
Bully! It’s an ugly word because it involves ugly actions. This little word can stir the strongest emotions in people from all walks of life. Why, because it doesn’t discriminate and a high proportion of the population have been either directly or indirectly affected by it.
Bullying has become an overwhelming social crisis. When it touches the life of a child, it can have a devastating and long-lasting effect not only on them but also their family and friends.
Childhood bullying can negatively impact the physical, emotional and mental health of bullies, the bullied, and bystanders well into adulthood.
A meta-analysis of 80 studies reported a mean prevalence rate in 12-18-year-old students of 35% for traditional bullying and 15% for cyber bullying involvement. Given that another study reported that only 36% of bullying victims reported being bullied, it’s difficult to know how accurate these figures really are and frightening to think they could be much higher. read more →
A book. One single book. Many people don’t realize how important having one book can be in the life of a child. But believe me, just one book can mean the world. I know this because I have seen the joyous expressions on children’s faces as they receive a book to keep. read more →
When one of your children, (student or biological) is hysterical because they’ve just had an accident or some sort of perceived trauma, what’s your first challenge? You need to understand what has happened, so you can soothe them. This of course is impossible if the child is blabbering and sobbing incomprehensibly. Your naturally wise self invites the child to calm down. What’s the most effective way to help calm a child? “Alright sweetheart, take a deep breath, ooh there you go. Lovely, well done. And another deep breath and blow it out. That’s it. One more…” and voila, the little person is already calmer and quieter, has decreased the adrenalin and cortisol (stress hormone) in their cute little body and is now well on his or her way to being well again. They are more empowered because they can be understood and you are more able to help them because you can comprehend the situation.
Now how would it be if we applied this simple yet awesome process to ourselves and our young people before we/they get in a pickle? How would it be if we chose to apply this simple mind/body technique to everyday living? How much calmer would you, your students and your classroom be? read more →
In September of 2005, Martha Cothren, a social studies schoolteacher from Arkansas did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with permission of the school superintendent, the principal, and the building supervisor, she took all of the desks out of the classroom. The kids came into first period, they walked in; there were no desks. They obviously looked around and said, “Where’s our desks?” read more →
A large percentage of employees globally are disengaged and business is struggling to know what to do about it. The disengagement problem cost the US economy more than $500bn in 2014 so why, when the stakes are so high, is this such a difficult problem to solve?
In fact, an employer cannot directly engage any employee no matter how much money is thrown at the problem. The employee themselves has to feel engaged from the inside. This is a feeling that can’t be bought with movie tickets, achievement certificates, team lunches and the plethora of other rewards that may be available to middle managers who are tasked with keeping their teams motivated.
So if money can’t fix this, what will?
Ironically the fast track to engaging employees might cost nothing at all, and is one that everyone is equipped and empowered to start using today as either a manager, a co-worker or a customer.
We’re talking about gratitude… a no cost solution! read more →
From the Blog
Stories of Kindness
- 13 Mar 2018I need an ambulance
- 08 Mar 2018You made a big difference
- 05 Mar 2018The Flower Girls
- 25 Feb 2018Our Holiday Tradition
- 08 Feb 2018Pillows for Corwin – spreading kindness for healing