Kindness Elves in the Classroom

18 November 2015

 I am always looking for new ways to teach kindness in my classroom.  It is not as easy as teaching the concrete subjects like addition.  Children need us to model kindness and they need the opportunity to apply what they have learned about kindness.   I found this  interesting article in the Washington Post about how 80% of the children, in a Harvard study, said that their parents were more concerned with their child's academics and happiness, than if their children had empathy or concern for others.  I get it it; teaching empathy is something that can easily get pushed to the side.   I am here to say, let's not push it to the side.   Let's take a week and use Kindness Elves to motivate our students to be kind.  Hopefully, the lessons learned will be engraved in our students' hearts.  And let's all admit it: the Elf on the Shelf is kind of creepy!!

First off, I would like to give credit where credit is due.  I saw {THIS} post on The Imagination Tree about using “Kindness Elves” as an alternative to the Elf on the Shelf.  She has the most adorable elves and great ideas for using the Kindness Elves with your own children.
 I have always tried to teach kindness in my classroom, through my Compassion Unit on TpT and through Go Orange for Animals day in April.   I thought I would modify this “Kindness Elf” idea and make it a new classroom tradition and the idea for this post and FREEBIE was born!

I created 24 pre-made notes for you to use with your Kindness Elf and 4 blank ones.   You can download the notes {HERE from TpT} or {HERE from Google Drive}.

I ordered my elves from an Etsy shop.  They are so adorable and well made, but I have to warn you that the shipping took weeks because they come from Latvia.

I found these elves on Amazon, if you want something that will arrive quicker. 

 These are books that I have used to start discussions on compassion and kindness.  

Lastly, here are some additional resources to foster kindness in your classroom:

My friend, Rachelle Smith's Random Acts of Christmas Kindness packet on TpT.

Kristen Smith has an awesome packet called The Kindness Helpers.   There is even a video link in her product description!  Thanks for sharing this with us Kristen. 

Teaching in the Tongass created Kindness Elf notes and clipart after I shared Imagination Tree's blog post on my facebook fan page.  I think the elves are pretty darn cute!!

And lastly, you MUST share this video with your students!  My sweet, friend Natalie of What the Teacher Wants, shared it with me, because she said it reminded her of me. Awe!!  
*Be prepared to cry.

I saw this video on the Today Show:

Here are a few of the other videos I share with my students:

Are you ready to spread some kindness this holiday season?
Go ahead and make someones Bad Day, Good.
Let's hashtag #baddaygood  #kindnessintheclassroom #sharekindness .

*Don't forget to @ericabohrer on Twitter and @EricaBohrer on Instagram.


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