Showing Kindness

by becky on March 18, 2018

Hello again! Can you believe it is already the middle of March? I love that out here in Illinois we are getting glimpses of spring with warmer weather and lots of sunshine. It just makes everyone happier and more energetic. I don’t know about you, however I’m pretty confident you may be going through something similar, but with the change in weather, I’ve seen a change in behavior in my classroom. Sadly, the students are getting stir crazy and not always making the best choices. My co-teacher and I have spent many afternoons dealing with less than ideal student behaviors. Just being honest here–it’s draining.

As a 15 year teacher, I am well aware of the shift in behaviors as the school year starts to come to an end, but it doesn’t make the “drama” any easier. So, after several days of going home feeling defeated, I sat down and reflected on what I need to make myself happier at school. PARCC is starting so schedules have been off and I needed to find a way for me not to lose sight of what’s important-teaching my students. But, we are all human, and sometimes we need to do things that are good for us. This is where being creative helps me. Every single other school year, I would create bulletin boards for each month. It was a lot of work, but always cheered me up. It makes me happy to see student work displayed and cheers up sometimes dull and drab hallways. Well, this year, I have only changed my boards twice because I just didn’t have it in me. However, I decided that I need to suck it up and put something together because I KNOW it will make me happier and might even brighten up the day of other coworkers. It’s silly, but I swear, it helps me, lol.

Since I didn’t have any student projects in the works that could be displayed-the main project my students have been working on has been their Solar System Game Boards, and while they are amazing, I can’t pin them up in the hallway. So, I shifted my thinking to just making something inspirational. I decided that my students needed some reminders to be kinder to each other so I chose to the quote, “In a World Where You Can Be Anything, Be Kind” and I set to work.

The great thing about being a teacher now and not 15 years ago is having access to ADORABLE fonts. So I sat down, and started playing with the words until I was happy with the design. I even threw in some clipart just to add more color. Something I discovered is that you CAN print on black AstroBrights paper. All you have to do is make the fonts unfilled and outline them with black. then you print and you can see the lines. GAME.CHANGER. No more sending things to Staples, I can make black letters on my own computer. Score! Here is what my board first looked like…

I loved it. It turned out so well. I know some other sellers on TpT sell bulletin board sets similar, but I like my take on this quote. I decided the next step would be to involve my students. So, I thought that teaching them about showing Random Acts of Kindness would be very appropriate. I read my students the story, Kindness Counts, and it was PERFECT. It might be a little too difficult for 3rd and under but for my 4th graders, it really broke down what really makes for a quality act of kindness. I truly can’t recommend it enough.

The next step was to generate ways each of them could show kindness to others. I didn’t limit it to school. I want them to show more kindness to EVERYONE in their lives. We reviewed what makes a quality act of kindness and then generated ideas of ways they can help others. With the exception of a few out there ideas, the majority of the students came up with some truly thoughtful suggestions.

Once they chose their act, I gave each student a copy of the following form-which I printed on colored AstroBrights paper to match the words BE KIND on the bulletin board.

The last step was to put it all together. So, using thick clothespins with silver tacs glued to them, I hung up their suggestions on the board and put on display all the way the students in Room 169 plan to show more kindness to others. I want to revisit their goals at the end of the month to see who followed through and how it made them feel. Here is the final product.

So, not it’s MY turn to show kindness. I originally wanted to post this bulletin board set in my TpT store, but I’m afraid some sellers might feel I’m taking their idea so I do NOT want to upset anyone. However, I can make this into a poster for you. In fact, I can make two versions of it and include the BE KIND forms for your own students to work out. If you would like to get your own copy of the following file… click the picture below and you will be taken to my TpT store where you can get this for FREE. It’s my way of saying Thank You for taking time out of your busy day to visit my blog. I hope you and your students enjoy it.

Before you go, I’d love you to leave a comment and tell me how YOU cope with end of year stressors. How do you take care of YOU? I think I need to fill my arsenal with suggestions so in case I can’t bust out a bulletin board, I can try one of your suggestions. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.

I truly hope you have a great day and do something that makes YOU happy.

Have a GREAT week!

Becky 🙂

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Christy Bakke April 30, 2018 at 6:47 pm

What font did you use for the bulletin board? I love it and would like to replicate for our hallways.

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Kilah Deaver May 15, 2018 at 1:24 am

Are you sure you don’t want to sell a bulletin board set for this? (: I know I can’t make one that looks nearly as good as yours and would love to buy it from you!

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