The Happiest Birthday Ever Book Review and Video Reading

Book Title: The Happiest Birthday Ever

Author: Stephanie Berger

For Ages: 4-8

Themes: kindness, generosity, love, empathy, compassion, understanding, giving, character, community, emotions

Related learning areas: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), character education, emotional intelligence

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Kindness bulletin boards to teach students values

What better way to foster kindness, build character and encourage positive school communities than awesome visuals that students see each and every day. Like anything else we want our kids to learn, positive values need to be constantly reinforced and lived every single day.

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Free kindness ideas poster for home and school

If you enjoy the feel-good emotions produced by doing good then perhaps you're the kind of person who looks forward to the official days that celebrate kindness. Did you know there are 3 of them? 

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Activities for students to participate in Random Acts of Kindness Day

Many teachers like their students to participate in kindness activities at school to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day in February and World Kindness Day in November. They understand the importance of these days as opportunities to build character and instill good values that become the foundation of an emotional skill set that's essential for their future success. Beyond feel-good emotions or reducing bullying, kindness is a highly valued character trait. 

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Bullying is often a hot topic among parents and teachers. It has been for as long as I can remember and sadly, not a lot has changed. But, I feel we are starting to make some headway with educators now using social and emotional learning programs in their classrooms to build emotional intelligence.

I've been advocating for kindness to be taught in schools for around a decade now. For me, it has always made sense because kindness is the antithesis of bullying. It stands to reason that infecting a school with the kindness bug is going to have a positive effect on children who struggle with antisocial behaviour. A kind majority will eventually have an impact on an unfriendly minority. 

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Whether you're looking to build character at home or in the classroom, recognised kindness days are a great time to start a kindness campaign.

Kindness is a good old-fashioned value that does a lot more than just build character. Did you know that it can also:

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Book Title:  Ella & Mrs Gooseberry – Discovering what love looks like

Author:  Vikki Conley

Illustrator:  Penelope Pratley

For Ages: 4-8

Themes: love, empathy, compassion, kindness, understanding, giving, character, community

Related learning areas: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), feelings awareness, character education

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There's nothing more heartwarming that good hearted kids who set examples of being kind. Our hope is that these examples of kindness from kids in different parts of the world can inspire your own children to step outside their comfort zone to make a difference. 

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The crumpled paper lesson is a very powerful bullying activity which we believe was originally used by a teacher in New York to show her students the lasting impact that anti-social and cruel behaviour can have.

We love this bullying lesson but adapted it to use in conjunction with our primary and elementary school curriculum during assemblies and in the classroom. We substituted a plain piece of paper for a red heart or cutout of a person (an activity in the curriculum for older students) to make it more relatable for kids.

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In May 2019, Australia’s first co-built educational and aged-care facility was opened in Morphett Vale, South Australia. The Montessori middle school has three classrooms to accommodate around 60 students on the grounds of Kalyra Woodcroft aged care facility in Adelaide.

When the school needed more space, the offer of sharing the grounds of the aged care home presented a wonderful opportunity to connect the young and old at another level. 

The experiment is a first in Australia but is already helping students and residents overcome ageism and build genuine connections. 

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Enemy Pie Book Review

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Enemy Pie

Derek Munson

Tara King

4 - 10 years

Friendship, Problem-Solving, Bullying, Judgement, Respect

Story overview

The story is narrated by a young boy. He was looking forward to a really great summer. That was until Jeremy Ross moved into the neighborhood!!

After laughing at him when he struck him out at baseball and not inviting him to his trampoline party, Jeremy Ross became the first person on the boy's enemy list. 

He talked to his dad about his problem. His dad said he has a sure fire but secret way of getting rid of enemies. Enemy Pie!!

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It can sometimes be difficult to get students, especially those in higher grades, to open up but this is a fun way of encouraging students to let their guard down a little. 

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