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How I Do It: Encourage Kindness

Effective ways to teach kids the value of doing good.

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Make It a Class Hallmark
We make Kindness Cards for one another every Friday. I put the students’ names in a bin. Then, I walk around the room and each student draws a name—they have to write a card to the student whose name they draw.
—Jen E.

Cheer Squad
We cheer, “G-double O-D J-O-B, good job, good job,” each time a student works out a math problem on the board. It’s a sports chant —they do it every time a classmate does something good.
—Hannah S.

Dear Diary
Kindness journals. A student keeps track all day, then reads it to the class the next morning. A great way to start the day.
—Steve C.

Chain Gang
Compliment chain—when it reaches the floor, a party is planned.
—Melody S. W.

Bucket List
Fill a bucket! I pick a time each week to have the students draw a name out of my cup. They write a nice note to that person.
—Melissa M.

Keep It Hush-Hush
This month we are being secret friends. Each student picks a name and tries to find ways to be a friend to that person—a kind word, a note, a helping hand. The goal is to keep your identity a secret so that you have to be kind to everyone.
—Kelly N.

Hail to the Chief
Kid President! I show Kid President videos (from YouTube) in my class all the time. My kids love him, and I have had fewer problems with bullying this year than ever before.
—Katie L.

Cookie Monster–Approved
Cookie compliments. I cut out pictures of cookies, glue magnets on the back, and then put the cookies on a baking sheet. When the sheet gets filled we have a cookies-and-milk circle where we share stories.
—Meredith F.

Get the Party Started
We start every class meeting with compliments. Also, every child gets a “compliment party” on his or her birthday, receiving compliments from the other children in the class.
—Linda H.

Happy Banking
Emotional bank account. Students create bank accounts and leave them for others to make “good” deposits in. Leave a stack of Post-its out; kids love writing on and reading them. Make sure you make deposits, too!
—Zahra R.

Teach by Example
By setting a good example. If I constantly point out the small things that are positive and giving out an “awesome” or a high five, the kids eventually start doing it to one another.
—Christi J.
 

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