Spreading Love in the Classroom
I don’t know about anyone else, but January felt like a hard month. Usually coming back from Christmas break students and teachers are rejuvenated, excited, and ready to tackle the rest of the year. However, this year we personally have not felt that. Teachers and students alike came back tired. Anyone who has worked with children (or adults for that matter) in any capacity for any amount of time knows exactly what happens when people get tired…they get crabby!
A component of our IntegratED Framework is integrating learning opportunities for students to work on social/emotional skills, as well as academics. Since January was such a difficult month with attitudes, behaviors, and low morale. Students seemed to be hyper focused on what everyone else was doing wrong in some way. Megan and I decided that we should integrate something into our teaching that would help the students focus more on the positive aspects of one another.
Last year we did a technology activity that stemmed from those sweet little heart candies, the ones that say “hug me” and “miss you”. We knew this group might not do as well with the technology piece because we haven’t spent much time on google slides with them yet so we went searching. We found a super cute activity that mimics our digital idea. We found it on TPT from Rainbow Sky Creations a Valentines Kindness Bundle.
Together we created a kindness anchor chart. Students brainstormed different words that they might use to describe someone. As a class, we talked about how we know each person differently and that each heart they write for their peers should reflect their unique relationship with them. Then, we shared some ideas with each other and the students started to notice how good it felt to hear someone else speak kindly of them.
The focus on these social/emotional skills and building positive relationships with one another didn’t come with an attached standard. The area in which these students needed help with wasn’t a specific standard that we needed to cover for any state tests. However, our students needed guidance to find joy and spread kindness. Our world right now is filled with so much negativity. We need to show students how to be a light to others and how kindness can make change.
If you are interested in our digital kindness activity check out this blog called " Incorporating Technology and Kindness".
Megan and Kara are educational leaders, professional development experts, and current classroom teachers who are improving the way instruction is being delivered in the standard classroom.