This giveaway is now closed. We’re giving away copies of Create a Culture of Kindness in Middle School to five lucky readers! The 48 practical, research-based lessons in the book teach students prosocial attitudes and behaviors to prevent bullying.
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We have team building discussions where we examine the challenge of gifted middle schoolers.
We are going to read Wonder this summer for kids going into middle school. We feel this is an excellent book and will give examples of how kids can be kind to one another.
We have a RAK Week (which includes a task for staff/students to complete and a dress-up day) and Unity Week.
We’re using PBIS and Peer Mediation to discuss kindness.
Students receive cards for doing the right thing and can enter them to win prizes and ice cream on Fridays.
Our MS uses a different character trait a a theme each month in our daily announcements and poster contest. One of our character traits is Kindness!
This sounds like it could be very useful to any teacher. Certainly it is an important topic!
In our classroom I model compassion by being kind to others no matter who they are or where they come from. As a class, we take the opportunity to discuss that at times we may make bad choices but we can still be a good person.
We like to Model Kindness daily with our preschool children. Complimenting each child on any success we see: stacking blocks, creating any art, helping another child in any way, and so on. It catches on fast where we will catch children complimenting each other as well – especially older children complimenting younger children 🙂 It is easy to foster kindness and takes such a small effort 🙂
Kindness is an offshoot of respect. Instilling respect for each other in my classroom is something that is a mandate, starting on the first day of school and continuing all year long. If someone is not respecting another class member, they are called out on disrespectful behavior and given a chance to modify their behavior. Acknowledgement of positive respectfulness (and continuous modeling throughout the year) really sets the tone for my classroom!
I foster kindness with students by teaching them to know and except we are all different. I tell them to be kind means that sometimes we have to let go of hurtful things that were done to us. We have to reach out to students beyond our friendship circle.
Make sure students know that the expectation is kindness. Call them on insensitive comments and say, “We don’t treat anyone like that here. In this classroom (school, district), we treat each other with respect and kindness.”
This would be a wonderful tool to use in our Advisory groups (middle school groups made up of 6-8th grade students that meet for one hour every week). Starting in small groups and allowing the positive message to spread, it the first step in making a world of difference in ANY school! This book would be an amazing resource for spreading kindness throughout our school!
As others have mentioned, modeling is the key. I also remind children that you would not want that to happen to you. Too much social media, I feel- there are no consequences for our actions. And, families are
I foster kindness in my students by modeling kindness in my actions. I approach each student with the respect every human being deserves. I make sure they see that kindness isn’t weakness, but rather strength. Strength to do what is kind and right over giving in to social/peer expectations is important if we are to have a positive future.
I’m the Campus Minister at a PK3-8th grade campus – modeling kindness for them helps, as does helping students practice it in and out of the classroom, along with consistently and constantly reminding them of our Catholic-Christian roots. We also honor students who consistently show kindness every month and at the end of the year during morning assembly and our final awards assembly.
Blessings & Peace,
I have had the students go around the classroom and write positive comments about each other and then given them to them. Going through some old papers I came across a pile that had been missed, some of this year’s graduating seniors are getting a blast from their eighth grade past. I hope it brings back good memories for them.
Yes, as others have said, lead by example and model it!!
I foster kindness by smiling at students and greeting them with meaning. Each day is new and no matter what happened in the days or weeks before, we start each day anew. I make sure to make connections with each student and work to foster authentic relationships with them.
Leading by example, modeling kindness, is a must. Positive group projects, fun competition, etc. builds a sense of teamwork and community.
At our middle school, I created the “Kindness Begins With Me Revolution” to promote kindness and respect throughout our school. We had a poster contest, a Kindness wall, and a facebook page that only speaks Kindness! I also give out a “Kindness Begins With Me Award” each year to a student who rises above everything to shows Kindness to staff and students every day.
I teach 7th grade social studies. I am amazed at the unkind comments students make to each other and about different cultures. They are not mean students who are out to harm others. They are just so desensitized that their words or actions are unkind. I feel many are unaware because of today’s music, movies, video games, and social media.
A couple times a year, our character club sponsers days for “random acts of kindness”. There are pre-printed ideas if students would like to participate but aren’t sure what to do. We are hoping that the “random” acts become more focused and regular in students’ lives.
We have begun a link together by kindness chain in our Jr. High building. Kids need kindness modeled. Kids need to fell safe and cared about in their school and this happens when kindness happens!
I use a saying of “Change your words, change your mindset,” and I model this whenever I hear a student talk down to another or when I hear things like “I am stupid.” The other idea I use is the “Positivity Experiment” where students perform random acts of kindness and tell me how it makes them feel.
Our school does a great job of fostering kindness by encouraging students to follow our PACK pride traits (P-Perseverant, A-Accountable, C-CARING, K-Knowledge Seeking.) Students are rewarded by displaying these traits in their classroom and throughout the school campus. Students are also encouraged to be kind during out guidance lessons where we teach students through a variety of literature.
I teach and model basic manners. Thank you, please, may I, etc. I refer to the students as ladies and gentlemen, have them hold the door when the class moves. The students are taught to take responsibility for their areas, to clean up after themselves. This started as a simple “pet peeve” of mine and has truly helped my students grow and respect themselves and each other, leading to a decline in “difficulties” in the class and amongst the students.
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I think it is important to both positively reinforce when you “catch” students acting kindly and to expressly ask them to participate in activities and volunteerism that can show how good it feels to be kind to others, thereby building up their intrinsic reward system toward kindness as a natural way of being in the world.
I look for opportunities to raise my students’ self-esteem and model empathy for others.
In order for students to know how to be kind, they need to be shown it. Modeling kindness towards fellow teachers, staff, and students is the best way to show students what kindness is and how they can do it.
I’m a Caring School Community counselor. I go into classes twice a month and teach social skills to the students. Our primary focus is to foster a sense of community among parents, students and teachers. In doing so, we hope to create a kind environment where students can be themselves and enjoy coming to school to learn.
In my Middle School we work with students on empathy, putting themselves in the place of another child/adult. Modeling the behaviors expected in a student gives them the visual of how to respond kindly.
We did a school wide needs assessment survey to identify the areas, types and needed supports from the students perspective. We are looking to implement a school wide education and support next year based on our results.
Our school and community honors our city’s deep history of brick making. When we witness students showing core values (being responsible, respectful, caring and a learner), we put their names on a paper brick, and build brick walls in our school. This shows students their behavior and values are the “foundation” of our school!
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This book is such a great resource! I try and bring my son along whenever I do volunteer work or help someone out as part of our errands and explain why I’m doing it to foster this sense of helping others in himself.
Giving the gift of free gifts to staff, students and all others…kindness, smiles, hugs, listening, helping, friendship, compliments, high fives etc…. 😉
Our school has a Project Pride where teachers submit names of students who are caught doing something kind/nice for someone else during the week . The following Monday one student from each grade level is selected from the entries. Their name and act of kindness is announced.
Then their photo is posted on our Project Pride wall and given a free ice cream treat.
Try to be a role model to my students everyday on how to treat others with respect and kindness by offering a smile and kind words.
Be a positive role model, setting the example in all you say and do. Reinforce kindness, especially when they’re “caught being good.” We use the bucket filler analogy in our classroom, in conjunction with “kind hearts”. Heart gemstones are added to a classroom jar when students are seen performing acts of kindness that were not initiated by me, the teacher. We also collect classroom drops in the bucket for filling the “teacher’s bucket” by following classroom rules, etc.
Be kind as teachers!
A few things we do in class:
–Self-awareness: helping students become more aware of their behavior and actions.
–Builder/breaker behavior: helping students know what behavior that builds others up looks and sounds like so they’re better able to choose these behaviors.
–Mutual respect: Students learn what they live, so I aim to always show them respect, even when they’re not doing the same. I’ve told students they can use words I use (knowing they will anyway), and then I work to make my communication (verbal and nonverbal) reflective of a culture of kindness.
Kindness comes when we show our students how important they are to us teachers and when we show them that they can always count on us no matter what.
We’ve created a group on campus to bring acts of kindness to students, faculty, and staff. We also partner with local elementary and middle schools to teach the importance of kindness
Lead by example!
We have Thankful Thursdays where both staff and students write a thank you note either thanking someone, or expressing gratitude for what they have. It has raised moral and positivity in our middle school.
I use the pay it forward approach. I help students out with different things – money, clothes, hats, gloves, food – I tell them that they don’t need to do anything for me but something for someone else at home, school, church, neighbors, sit with someone at lunch, etc..
We have some wonderful Student Council and Middle School Leadership Teams that teach and model for each other as well as our elementary students.
Creating kindness in children begins with helping them create kindness for themselves. The classroom must be a safe place for everyone who comes through the door and needs to begin with acceptance of themselves.
On the first day of class I read Max Lucado’s storybook “You Are Special “. Then I challenge them to NOT use any put-downs of themselves for 24 hours. The next day we discuss how difficult it is to accept compliments and give compliments.
Build a safe and accepting environment.
PBSIS program with kindness as one of our foci.
We have PBIS and advisory lessons often on kindness in our middle school.
Modeling and making sure classroom expectations are clear. I think it is important that teachers model not only proper classroom behavior, but also how to behave when I have made a mistake. It is important to be kind to ourselves too.
I believe kindness and being positive go hand in hand and must begin with oneself. If you cannot be kind to yourself or acknowledge something that is positive in your life, how can you be kind to others. . I stress to my students that you can find something positive in every situation. It is all in how you look at the situation. No matter how a person reacts to your actions, you must first think was it me or is it maybe something going on in their life that I don’t know about. Do kind things just because…. and not because you will get something physical in return.We have acts of kindness posted on each classroom door, kindness walls, a buddy bench so you do not have to be alone at recess, promote 100 days of kindness, bucket fillers, letters and cards of appreciation. it just grows and grows……
In my school we start in preschool with bucket filling and dipping. The language is carried through school and expanded on as they get older. We model how to be kind with our words toward others and showing compassion.
We have an active PBIS program in which respect is one of the three expectations.
I work with middle school students who are constantly at each other for various reasons. I tell all of them you do not have to be friends but you have to be friendly. I use examples of people in their neighborhood or how their parents are towards others who they may not like but have to work with
I try to foster kindness in my students simply by being the epitome of kindness, even and ESPECIALLY when they are unkind to me by breaking class rules or being disrespectful.
By modeling kindness, noticing kindness and having a kindness tree.
My granddaughter was recently suicidal over bullying at middle school. We had to move her to another school and invest in extensive therapy. The school was unresponsive and refused to get involved because it involved cyber-bullying as well as bullying at school. The school claimed that on-line bullying was not their responsibility. I would like to give this book to the school and offer to volunteer my time to help students stand up to bullying and create a culture of kindness.
Oh, how awful! I’m so sorry your granddaughter was not only bullied, but also unsupported by her school. Wishing you and your family all the best.
Instead of decorating my room with particular subjects, i decorate my classroom with positive and uplifting images. It’s not easy to establish kindness to my MS students and I feel that this book would be a great help.
I think modeling kindness is the best way to promote it! Greet students at the door, smile, get to know names! Those things go a long way in making a school a place that everyone wants to be!
You can foster kindness in students by rewarding postive behavior and acts of kindness.
Model for students the importance of having empathy.
As a Middle School Librarian / Creative Writing Instructor, I have a lesson plan that pairs WONDER by R.J. Polaccio and EACH KINDNESS by Jacqueline Woodson. The books are used as a springboard for discussion and writing prompts about kindness and how students can exhibit that trait in their everyday lives, both in and out of school.
Mentor Kindness and the students are encouraged and challenged daily to do random acts of kindness and rewarded by a draw weekly:)
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I would love to cultivate kindness and caring in my middle school kids.
7th Graders at my middle school have an elective, LAFS, (Life Applications For Students). The Seven Principals of Character are taught, and the students practice them daily. Kindness is demonstrated in so many ways! The school climate reflects the caring relationships formed from the LAFS elective. The 8th Graders have an elective, LEADERS, that continues the message of treating everyone kindly and respectfully. The teachers also do their random acts of kindness!
We have a kindness tree in where if some is observed doing a kindness or if someone had a kindness done to them a heart would be placed on the tree then at the end of the month the hearts are read.
I am new to the Middle School from HS and find it much different then suspected some good some how do I effect change.
We always have a community meeting to discuss how we can foster kindness in and out of the classroom, saying “thank yous, pleases, and excuse me”, is a very natural practice.
“Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
This is such a important part of school culture.
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Working in Middle School- One way I foster kindness is by posting daily messages to ponder for my students to consider; sometimes it’s a challenge to say ‘hi’ to someone they don’t know and see what happens.
At our school, we have “bucket filler” rewards. If we catch students being kind, we can reward them with a bucket filler card. They get a prize at lunch that Friday, and they get invited to a party at the end of each month with every other Bucket Filler!
I model to treat other people the way I wish to be treated. No need to connect it to a religious philosophy.
I attempt to create a culture of kindness by giving small awards when they are caught being kind to others.
We have a random acts of kindness board that students add to throughout the year, highlighting kindness to each other as well as faculty and staff
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I work in a classroom of special needs students with social and emotional disabilities, and mental health diagnosis. I am always looking for ideas! The book and related resources would be great!
We need to create and foster communities of caring to combat… the rudeness and the disrespect that is endemic these days, with which the students are confronted in the media and in daily life, A different approach to cultivate kindness is badly needed. Thank you for this opportunity.
I use Motivation Monday videos to highlight acts of kindness in the world. We discuss the videos and sometimes post responses/reactions to the videos. I definitely notice a difference in my students since starting this practice!
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I’m a therapist and work with middle schoolers in foster care. We talk a lot about showing kindness even when one doesn’t feel kindness hasn’t been shown to them in return.
Moment of mindfulness at the middle school- promoting students to recognize a “positive” or a “like” about another & sharing it with them either verbally or via post-it note on his/her locker.
Make sure that you as a teacher are explicit in letting your kids know that kindness towards each other is crucial.
I encourage students to write a positive note that they can slip in a person’s locker. I model this by writing positive notes to the students to put in their lockers.
We need ideas to help with kindness is our school. This book would sure help a lot. We focus on character traits which include kindness but would like more ideas.
We have a “Throw Kindness Around Like Confetti” board on which we add students all year long who exemplify acts of kindness. Their name is the “confetti” and their name and act is placed on colorful paper around the border of the board. We also sponsor a Kindness Club that consistently spreads kindness throughout the building all year long. For instance, “You are…” signs are posted on the walls (i.e. “You are AMAZING!” “You are INSPIRING!”), inspirational messages are written on note cards and placed in students’ lockers, quotes on hearts were posted on lockers during Kindness Month, a Snack Attack cart was delivered to all teachers as a surprise, bus drivers, maintenance crew, administrators and secretaries received goodies, and a board filled with inspiring articles has been created.