Cultivating Kindness at AES

On Wednesday, February 11, during assembly, three Girl Scouts students shared a video called Opening Doors and Hearts as part of a bullying-prevention project and in support of Kindness Week. After the video, the students asked for a moment of silence to remember those who have been targeted by bullies.

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Students adding cards to the Kindness Buckets!

On Tuesday, February 10, during ET, the grade 6 students reflected in writing on the holding stone / unforgiven hurt activity, symbolically ‘forgave’ by letting go of the hurt while Toby Mac’s song “Forgiveness” played, and many voluntarily shared with their peers how they felt holding the stone for five hours, how it felt to release the stone, and ways in which this activity connects with Kindness week and the Grade 6 Beliefs.

The plan is for the stones to be made into cement stepping stones that will be placed in the Middle School rock garden.

On Monday, February 9, in advisory, all grade 6 students participated in a holding a stone activity (an adaption of cultivating forgiveness). They selected a stone to represent an unforgiven hurt and decorated it to identify it as their own. Then they carried the stone in their non-dominant hand for the rest of the school day (5 hours).

On Monday, February 9, Ms. Kate Clute invited me to visit my son’s Grade 1 Classroom  and talk about the kindness activities in the Middle School, read the book “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?”, and share Abby’s Pay it Forward Project video with the students.

At a special Middle School assembly on Monday, February 9, Jonah Rosenfield (MS science teacher and Team 8 Lead Teacher), launched the “Intentionally Practicing to Get Better at It Week 2015” with a short presentation and invitation to participate in more acts of kindness to fill metaphorical buckets on each floor of the middle school building.

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By Friday, February 6, the Acts of Kindness Bulletin Board was almost filled up!

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On Wednesday, February 4, the Middle School Student Climate Committee, led by MS Counselor, Colleen Coady, and MS Principal, Beth Coyle, met and brainstormed ways to generate more enthusiasm and participation in the Random Acts of Kindness Week and ways to extend the initiative beyond one week.

During the week of February 2, Nicole Sumner, ES art and music teacher, also had her grade 1 art students use homemade glasses to ‘find acts of kindness’ around the school campus.

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At the Middle School assembly on Wednesday, January 28, we shared the Kindness Boomerang Video by Life Vest Inside and invited all students and staff to ‘pay it forward’ through acts of kindness and name and note these acts on the Kindness Bulletin Board. This was a warm up for International Random Acts of Kindness Week 2015.

On Tuesday, January 27, we created an “Acts of Kindness” Bulletin Board on the 2nd Floor in the Middle School, and health students in grade 6 and 8 began adding post-its with kind deeds they had done or had observed being done.

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On January 23, three teachers and two administrators from AES (including myself, Karin) attended a workshop in Delhi organized by the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT. There was much thought-provoking discussion and some excellent ideas shared about ways to cultivate human values in the educational setting.

On January 9, Jonah Rosenfield shared Orly Wahba’s TED Talk with all grade 8 students during advisory, and each student made a kindness commitment in writing.

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2 Responses to Cultivating Kindness at AES

  1. Pingback: “Intentionally Practicing Kindness to Get Better at It Week” at AES | Middle School Blog

  2. Nicole Sumner says:

    Just goes to show that MTV (making thinking visible) applies to MKV (making kindness visible)! Awesome blog and ideas. – Nicole Sumner

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