Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Let Kindness Spread

Media headlines have been full of political issues and concerns lately, so much so that writers are turning to the pen to uphold their beliefs on social justice. Students are also confronted with headlines, sometimes with full knowledge of the issues and other times, only through hearsay channels. Exploring ideas to bring balance to the classroom is an important step these days.

At the beginning of January, #NYEDChat discussed the topic, Tackling Tough Issues, with Ted Palenski and Newsela guest moderating the chat.  Educators from many different locales gathered to discuss issues that have arisen and traded ideas on strengthening classroom culture as ways to bring balance to the classroom. 

Providing the forum for students to discuss terms like tolerance, patience, sharing, and kindness through storytelling, essay writing, and opinion polls is an idea I throw out to all. Relationship building exercises are steppingstones to cementing a culture of trust that help students see each other as peers and partners in learning.

Further ideas on spreading kindness can be viewed at my recent post at my #WonderGround site. It features a Wonder of the Day,  from Wonderopolis, and a poem, as core texts in a lesson on kindness. You can access that post here

The following quote, "A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees," by Amelia Earhart provides a beautiful visual. It would be interesting to see what images students sketch before a discussion or follow-up activities. In addition, it would make a great bulletin board in the foyer of a school or administrative offices. 

Plant seeds of kindness for kindness' roots grow and spread. 

Today is "Slice of Life Tuesday" at Two Writing Teachers. There is a sense of urgency as I write this piece for world news is moving at a fast pace and will have a growing impact on the lives of students. 

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