Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Kindness Jar: Spreading Kindness in Kindergarten

A wonderful friend of mine came to visit our class for a day and told me about an amazing idea that she does in her classroom!  Thank you Grace for this idea!  It is so wonderful that I had to pass it along!

A bit over a month ago, we had a visit from the Kindness Elves.  They were only here to drop something off and ask us for help.  They said their job was to spread kindness throughout the world, but it was too big of a job for two little elves. They wondered if our class could help them spread kindness.



They brought us a "Kindness Jar" and another jar filled with warm fuzzies.  Whenever someone is caught being kind, they get a warm fuzzy!  Before they go home, they put the warm fuzzy into the Kindness Jar.  When the Kindness Jar is "overflowing with kindness," they get to secretly spread the kindness to others in any way they choose.

Our class came up with a brilliant way to spread kindness in our school.  When our jar is overflowing with kindness, they decided to bake cookies for another class and secretly leave the cookies in their room while they are gone.  They want to be known as the Cookie Monsters.  They love the idea that everyone will be wondering who these "Cookie Monsters" are and it being our little secret! We put all of the teacher's names in a jar and drew one.  Mrs. Addington's class was drawn to get the cookies first.

The kids went through their day and every time I noticed a friend doing a kind act, I gave him/her a warm fuzzy.  I kept them in my pocket.  Some earned fuzzies because they were being kind by allowing the other kids focus on their writing, or because they were being kind by sitting quietly while I was teaching to allow the kids around them to listen without being distracted.  Some helped others when they were hurt or when they noticed friends being upset.  It was beautiful to watch the empathy and compassion for others that they were showing. Now they do it because they know its the right thing to do and not just to get the warm fuzzies!

It took almost a month for them to fill the Kindness Jar.  Finally it was Baking Day! The kids got to practice measuring skills and life skills as they created the homemade cookie dough.







They made a note to leave with the cookies.


Our last step was to sneak the cookies and our note into Mrs. Addington's room when they were gone!



When we snuck back to our room, they were literally glowing with happiness!  I have never seen smiles so big!  We talked about how being kind to others makes you feel good too.  They can't wait to spread kindness again.  Who knows when the Cookie Monsters will strike next!

Mrs. Addington told me that right after the kids realized this was an act of kindness done by another class, THEY wanted to spread kindness too!  Now the kindness will even spread further!  It is amazing what one act of kindness can lead too!  

The kids have also been working on syllables, letter/sound correspondence and sight words in our literacy area. They are also working hard on our first three reading strategies: 1) Look at the picture 2) Use your pointer finger and 3) Get your mouth ready for the first sound.  In writing, some are working on labeling and some are working on writing sentences.  




 In math, we are working on writing numbers to 20 and focusing on remembering that the one comes first in teen numbers.  We are also working on sorting by attribute and guessing our friends sorting rule.


We are starting to think about adding more up to five.


We are also starting to create math stories.  This will help with understanding what both addition and subtraction looks like.



We opened up our pumpkins and counted how many seeds were in each one!  We used our 100 charts to count our groups of 100.  Our green pumpkin had the most!




We have also started our first inquiry and projects!  I will let you know in my next post how it is going.  Stay tuned!

3 comments:

  1. Your teaching is so inspiring and wonderful. Thank you for taking the time to share with us!

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  2. I love your hands on approach to learning. Where did you find the stones that the numbers are written on and do the students illustrate the math stories? Did you create the large number card? Where do you shop for your provocation items like the birds? How are the cups with the sight words used?
    I would love to observe in your class because I would learn a lot. Your blogs inspire me as a new teacher. One more question do you set-up your activities prior to the next day

    Thank You!

    Belinda H.

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    1. Hi Belinda!
      I have a rock patio in my backyard so whenever I need rocks I get them from there. Then I make numbers or letters with paint pens for in the case above, a black sharpie! The kids did illustrate the number stories. They did not do well on them this time though so I don't think they were quite ready for this. I will try it again with different materials when I feel they are ready. The large number cards came with our math series. I shop at Hobby Lobby and Michaels and buy items if I find them on sale really cheap! Sometimes Target will have items in the dollar section or seasonal section on sale that I can use. The cups with the sight words have a couple uses. For this one, they picked three and hid a bear under one. Their partner would guess which one the bear was under by reading the word. We also use the cups for a game called "Stack-It." They read the word on the cup and if they can read it, they can use it to build a tower. I usually set up the activities prior to the day we use them, but sometimes I set them up during exploration time and let the kids help me. I am so glad that you enjoy my blog! You would always be welcome to visit!
      Sincerely,
      Darla Myers

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