One my school’s themes during the past few years has revolved around acts of kindness. There has been an intentional effort to reinforce what kindness looks like and sounds like in elementary classrooms. It is part of the community culture and I believe the school even purchased a banner or two that students see as they enter the school.
It was much easier to reinforce the idea of kindness when students were all in-person. Quick acts could be mentioned in the moment and then used as reference points throughout the year. Fast forward to today and the instructional setting has dramatically changed. Many schools now have at least a certain amount of their population online and some are present in a socially distant classroom. This has made it more challenging this year and I am finding the new emphasis on social/emotional needs ties nicely with the kindness theme.
Earlier in the year I came across a tweet from Megan about an optional kindness calendar. I have seen similar calendar but I was digging the idea that her students came up with daily acts of kindness.
The ideas were then put into a calendar for the next month. Students online and in-person were able to view it as a Google Slide and it was part of my agenda presentation. Each day the class briefly reviewed the ways in which they could be kind. I made sure to indicate that this was optional and just an idea to consider for the day. As the weeks went on students expected to see the daily kindness act of the day as part of our routine.
This week I tried something different to see the calendar’s relevancy and if it was something that I would like to keep for the remainder of the year. I used Desmos and asked students how they were kind for that week.
Students reviewed the past week and picked one day. I did not want to guilt anyone into having to pick one so I added the did not participate option. Here are the results for students in grades 3-5.
The results were fun to look at but the real gem was in the open response sections. It was great to see the different acts of kindness and how deliberate people were in completing them.
Based on the responses I will most likely keep the calendar for the last couple months of the school year. Feel free to use the Desmos template by clicking here.