A Little Kindness

Carla at Comprehension Connection is hosting a linky on such an important topic! Thematic Thursday is all about the true gifts we give each other! Thank you, Carla, for the chance to join you!

Kindness (and the other positive qualities we try to instill in children) are such a necessary part of getting along with others. As educators, we can teach no matter how quickly or slowly our students learn, but we feel blessed in the years when most of our students are kind.

I think we all realize how important it is to have good qualities, but did you know that children as young as 2 1/2 may act mean and threaten to withdraw friendship? (Wall Street JournalThe good news is that we can teach children to be kind. A study done at the University of British Columbia and at University of California, Riverside showed that students who were asked by their teachers to perform acts of kindness not only felt more connected to their classmates, but reported being happier!

So, keep on asking your students to be kind and perform kind acts! But, what about the kids who need a little more help? Some students seem to be very self focused and others may not even realize the impact that their words have on others. Other students just need more practice in thinking of others’ points of view. They may not even know that there are multiple ways to verbally offer kindness.

Conversational Follow-Ups gives students practice in thinking about what was said and then responding to others using these skills:
* ask for clarification
* share a similar feeling or event
* empathize and show the other person you understand how they feel
* find out more information
* offer help, support or a suggestion
* make a positive, enthusiastic or complimentary comment

The game includes a card template for you to personalize so that students can get practice with the problems your students are having!  

Bring a little kindness to your room for the New Year!

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