I stumbled upon this video for a clever DIY teaching resource that can be made and used by both teachers and parents to expand vocabulary and improve spelling and literacy in children. What I really love about it is that with the use of pegs, children are not only flexing their mind muscles but also building coordination and strengthening the fine muscles in their hands that are used for writing.
Today I heard a beautiful story about students showing pure kindness towards a peer with disabilities and I believe that sharing it will bring as much joy to you as it did to me.
There was a student at a high school level who was not only having a rough home life but also had autism. Despite his hardships, he came to school every day with a huge smile on his face and did his best to try to impress his teachers.
Experts advocate for teaching kindness and empathy in schools to reduce bullying. Why? Because kindness is the antithesis of bullying and empathy is the foundation of kindness.
Being kind means that you consider the needs, feelings and concerns of others to ensure you act appropriately. Having empathy means you're able to put yourself in someone's shoes to understand their needs, feelings and concerns.
A Kindness Tree is a creative and beautiful way to encourage and acknowledge acts of kindness within a school. As a whole school project, it's a heartwarming way to help foster kind, supportive relationships amongst students and teachers. Watching the tree come to life as good deeds are added creates positive and uplifting feelings and behaviour, making it a highly effective way to build character and reduce bullying.
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 encourage student involvement. For the tree itself, you can use paper, fabric, paint, crepe paper or real tree branches. Tree leaves upon which kind deeds are written can be made from paper or card in the shape of leaves, hearts or even hands.
The kindness which always stays with me was in 1987 when we first arrived in Australia. Our container hadn’t arrived (I have no idea what delayed it) so we had nothing for our rented home in Willetton. read more →
I encountered an elderly lady who, at first seemed grumpy, grouchy and was very short but I’m a talker…and a listener lol. I simply sparked a conversation which, in turn, lasted over an hour! read more →
A couple days ago, after it had been snowing all day, a neighbor came in the store I work at a couple of hours before I was done with my shift and asked me if I was going to attempt to make our hill when I left work (I live on a road that has a HUGE hill right at the beginning of the road and unless it’s constantly taken care of you can’t get up it). I had told him yes and I was praying the town would have plowed by the time I got out. read more →
Seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD, is characterized by feelings of depression and lethargy occurring on a seasonal basis, most often during the fall and winter months. The American Academy of Family Physicians estimates that 10 million Americans experience SAD and another 10 to 20 percent of people face mild symptoms. If you’re suffering from a seasonal mood slump, check out these simple winter wellness tips to keep your mental health strong.
We're so fortunate to have several kindness days and weeks throughout the year that help highlight the importance of teaching kindness in schools. While these days are amazing for prompting educators, kindness and giving are values that should be integrated into the culture of every school, every day!
To help you instill kindness as a natural and instinctive trait, we asked educators, who have very successfully made kindness the norm in their schools, to share their top tips.
A few years ago, a few days before Thanksgiving, I waited in a long line of customers inside a bakery. A woman standing off to the side was crying quietly. I went over to her and offered her a tissue. She reached for me, and we held one another while she cried. read more →
Just wanting to thank the absolute angel of a lady who was behind me in Woolworths just before, you have restored my faith in human beings! read more →
I'm so happy to see more schools adopting kindness as their overarching value for teaching character and fostering a peaceful school culture. I always say it's the foundation for all other values and something that should be taught in every home and school for optimum well-being and importantly, to prevent anti-social behaviour.
Recently, I've been fortunate to connect with several amazing ladies who have started Kindness Clubs! Yep, there are actually clubs dedicated to this good old fashioned value and they're doing a lot more than just teaching kids to be kind!!
Stories of Kindness
- 18 May 2019A Teacher’s Lesson on Gratitude Supports an Ill Student
- 10 May 2019Sweet, chatty, helpful boys!
- 30 Apr 2019The kindness made them giddy!
- 12 Apr 2019A real act of kindness!
- 08 Apr 2019He will have a lifetime of kindness to give!