Teaching character traits at home and in the classroom

It’s a given that most parents want their children to grow up with good values and character traits. Kindness, compassion, perseverance and honesty are just some of the traits we want to instill in our kids. But how are character traits developed?


Charles Starkey, Associate Professor of Philosophy studies emotion theory and moral psychology. He says that character traits are determined by our values but that emotions also play a huge role. In short, kids need emotional intelligence and to see positive character traits in others to adopt them.

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Everyone can have a positive impact on someone else’s life and this teacher is showing kids just how important it can be.  Continue Reading

Students who are loved at home

I substituted in first grade today. I taught it the first two years of my 35 year teaching career and realized I was an older kid teacher. But I go where I must these days.

There was one li’l boy who was ferocious and obstinate. I called on every strategy I knew from being a teacher-mom-of-sons, but to no avail. Finally and futilely as I sat next to him as he sobbed because I’d removed him from kicking people in the center and I blurted out what popped into my head. “Riley, may I give you a hug?” I asked. He bolted into my arms, snot and all, and held on for dear….something. read more →

Literacy Pegs Easy DIY Teaching Resource Ripple Kindness Project

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. 

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Be-someone-who-makes-everyone-feel-important---poster-by-Ripple-Kindness-Project

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.

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Image of a kindness tree and positive note in the playground. Tips to help you nurture a culture of kindness at your school.

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.

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It's heart-warming to see so many teachers embracing kindness and having such a big focus on character in their classroom. It's always made sense for kindness to be taught in the schools because, to me, it's the foundation on which all other values are based. Kindness is the opposite of bullying so it makes sense that it should be fostered to give students a sense of belonging and reduce 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!!

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Most children enjoy being creative with pencils and crayons. But did you know there are an impressive number of reasons why both kids and adults should partake in this peaceful pastime? 

The significant benefits of coloring are now being realised for all age groups as it takes its place alongside yoga and meditation as an enjoyable way of improving mental and physical well-being.

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I coached my six-year-old daughter’s soccer team. 1st grade. I also taught at a private school, 1st-12th-grade technology and 7th-grade math… Before our game was my younger son’s. In between cheering, I graded papers. Another child’s mom came up to me and asked me how proud I was of my daughter, we only have one. It piqued my curiosity. Very proud, of course! Did she tell you what happened, she asked… Uhm, when??? read more →

Cartoon picture of girl sitting in front of blackboard with compliment written on it. Build 'em up hot seat friendship activity.

This is a powerful activity to use in the classroom at any time a student is in need of some extra love and care or as a focus activity during International Day of Friendship. It’s one we’ve included in the Ripple Kindness Project for Schools primary and elementary curriculum as it can have such an incredibly positive impact on children who are being acknowledged and complimented. 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 have also included the instructions in our primary/elementary school curriculum to encourage teachers to use them in the classroom. 

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I wrote to my former elementary school giving them some coupons and telling them who all my teachers were, etc. I was there between 22 and 27 years ago. read more →