Random acts of classroom kindness

Minds in Bloom bannerTo continue with this month’s theme of community building, I am spotlighting a really powerful idea from a guest post on Minds in Bloom.

Jenny Eldridge, the teacher who designed the activity, used it at the end of the year, but it would be just as appropriate to use in September as it can serve as a way for students to collaborate, work on common goals, and identify strengths.

Many teachers use versions of random acts activities (you can check Pinterest for more ideas). I like the version used in Ms. Eldridge’s class because it was so collaborative and it encouraged students to learn from their peers. Students in the class kicked off the project by writing special notes to their family members. Then they raced to collect more acts in the last weeks of school. The goal was to collect 100 before the event ended. The acts were posted on a colorful board in the classroom, which gave students a bit of motivation and also served (I am guessing) as a visual support for those who needed help to generate ideas. Some of the acts students performed included:

  • writing a thank you letter to the janitor
  • passing out ice water to students at recess
  • writing a postcard to a family member that lives far away
  • jotting happy notes on the sidewalk in chalk

How might you adapt this for your classroom? For older students? For younger students?

How about ideas for adapting it for other purposes? I love the idea of possibly using this for National School Inclusion Week in December. Students could engage in random acts of inclusion such as getting more accessible reading materials for their classroom library, reading books about learning/physical or sensory differences, sitting by someone new in the lunchroom, meeting three new people at recess, or inviting a classmate to teach a bit of sign language to the whole group.

About Paula Kluth