As a teacher, I am responsible to teach children a jam-packed day full of academic curriculum. But, I also guide them in growing their hearts too. I want to share one tool I made and used last year with my 2nd graders called a “Kindness Journal” or “Bucket Book” (for those of you who “fill buckets”).
After spending a significant amount of time those first few weeks of school establishing routines, rules, boundaries, expected behavior, and friendship skills in a variety of ways–books, games, discussion, team building, etc–I introduce our special Kindness Journal. It’s a class journal that everyone has a chance to participate in.
Here’s how it works.
Whoever has the Kindness Journal writes a kindness compliment to a peer from the class check off list inside, then leaves it on their desk or mailbox to find. He/she reads through the journal and then writes to someone else. My students were not only looking for ways to be kind, but to also be on the hunt to observe kindness and share it with each other. The Kindness Journal is such a happy thing to grab during an extra few minutes and read aloud to the class, not to mention one more fun way to incorporate writing into our daily lives. Our kindness dialogue became a habit not only through the journal, but in daily conversation.
Nothing grows kindness more than kindness. It’s something we have to model, practice, and celebrate with kids. You can purchase my “Kindness Journal” on TPT here for $3.00. There are 4 designs to choose from or mix and match, including one that can be used for use at home, small group, club, church, etc.