For some people making new friends can be a bit terrifying. We’ve put together a fun interactive project for students of all ages. Younger students can make posters or simply do a small presentation on flash cards, while older students can utilize technology and create a PowerPoint presentation or iMovie. The sky is the limit.
List of Interview Questions
Gretchen Rubin, blockbuster New York Times bestselling author of Happier at Home and the Happiness Project, has discovered four personality types to help us understand how to work and motivate ourselves and others. With the start of 2017, we empower you with the opportunity to develop new personal habits as well as help your students create new healthy habits! We hope our January 2017 video pick inspires you to help your students develop new positive habits.
The four personality types are:
Make a list of your students and think about how they respond to “rules.” Write beside their name which personality type you believe they have - note this can change over time. When you assign new projects to your students, look at your list and monitor the ones who need more motivation.
For the upholder types, give them a list of the items due and let them know when the final project is due. Allow them the autonomy for them to create their own timeline and check in with them every now and again.
For the questioner types, you can help them stay motivated by saying, “Here is the list of items that are due, you can work on them in any order you want.” Note, if they are a questioner/upholder type, that is all you have to say. However, if they are a questioner/rebel type then you may have to add, “I’ll bet you a cookie (sticker, free play, etc.) that you can’t get it all done by Friday.”
For the rebel types, you can help them keep up with deadlines by saying, “I’ll bet you a cookie (sticker, free play, etc.) that you can’t complete five pages of this project by the deadline.” They will need smaller chunks of the larger project with more encouragement.
For the obliger types, you can help them by checking in with them more often and making sure they have short-term due dates for the larger project. They will turn in their project on time but if you do not check in with them throughout the project, they may not give you their best work or they might not enjoy the project as much because they’ve waited until the last minute to complete it.
Let us know.
What personality type are you? What is the dominant personality type in your classroom? Add a comment below or let us know on Facebook or Twitter.
It was the beginning of the school year, and Principal Denise Kelly was feeling frustrated. Despite hard work and positive efforts by her staff, her school – Sterling Elementary in Sterling, Alaska – was experiencing high levels of behavioral issues. Principal Kelly had more students in her office and had suspended more kids by October than in the entire previous school year. She wanted to break the negative cycle!
Mrs. Kelly reached out to the 21 Day Kindness Challenge with the hopes that the program would reignite her staff to feel kindness in themselves and to share the kindness with their students. She is extremely happy with the results.
“I saw changes in our students; I saw changes in our staff. When we talk about students and their difficult behaviors, we talk about how to lead them back to kindness with kindness! The focus on kindness has been infectious!”
Mrs. Kelly’s co-kindness coach is Katy McKinley. She was inspired to help with the Kindness Challenge because she has been teaching Growth Mindset in her classroom, and felt that the 21 Day Kindness Challenge is an excellent complement to the Growth Mindset. She was very excited about bringing additional positive change to their school.
Mrs. McKinley was very pleased with the impact the 21 Day Kindness Challenge has had on her classroom and Sterling Elementary. She says other teachers agreed that the 21 Day Kindness Challenge was much needed and served a necessary purpose in their classrooms.
“It is amazing how contagious kindness can be,” she said. “Students, staff, and community have been affected by our challenge!”
Mrs. Kelly concurred. “Our (kindness) chain was 931 feet and it equated to 6,571 acts of kindness!” she said. “But beyond that, we had a class who all on their own conducted their own kindness missions across the school and the world. We had a parent contact us and ask us to spread cheer with handwritten cards to the children at the hospital over Christmas to whom they provide gifts. We had numerous parents comment at how contagious our kindness challenge was!”
Sterling’s office referrals have already seen a decrease by nearly 70% since they held their 21 Day Kindness Challenge, said Mrs. Kelly.
“Students are helping each other more and are being more respectful to the adults.”
Mrs. Kelly says the best part about the 21 Day Kindness Challenge at Sterling Elementary School was watching students do kind things, tell her about the kind things they did and seeing them ask to help others “just because.” Mrs. McKinley agreed, saying that she also loved sharing the daily videos that are provided as part of the program and planning the kick off and celebration Kindness Challenge assemblies for the school, especially because they included lots of students and community members.
Sterling Elementary School really got into the spirit of the 21 Day Kindness Challenge with their kick off and celebration assemblies. They invited many guests to attend and participate. A former Sterling principal, a school board representative, their school district’s communications specialist, a community volunteer and their State Senator all made guest speeches! Their district superintendent and a former Sterling Elementary secretary helped the students celebrate at the end of their Kindness Challenge.
One of Mrs. Kelly’s favorite parts of the 21 Day Kindness Challenge was dressing up as the Kindness Queen, a role she took on during the kick-off assembly.
“For our second week, I decided that I should ensure that the students were still thinking about kindness after the weekend. So I put on my Kindness Queen costume – which is not necessarily 'Winter in Alaska' appropriate – and I went to bus duty, greeting all of the students and parents with a reminder to be kind!”
Mrs. Kelly says that anyone can and should do the 21 Day Kindness Challenge. “Any school can do it!” she says. “Focusing on kindness is easy! It is well worth the time and the energy.”
One of the 21 Day Kindness Challenge team’s favorite stories about Sterling Elementary was getting an email from an enthusiastic kindness coach from another school in California.
“I just heard the 21 Day Kindness Challenge on the Bobby Bones show!” she emailed to let us know. Sterling Elementary had received a super fun shout-out from the morning show hosts.
Listen to the shout-out on the Bobby Bones show here. The Sterling clip starts at 7:38.
The 21 Day Kindness Challenge team applauds Mrs. Kelly and Mrs. McKinley for their dedication, creativity, passion, and enthusiasm for creating a kinder, more inclusive school climate. To find out how you can make a difference on your school campus, visit our website!
Do you see students at your school sitting alone or having a hard time making friends? For many students, navigating the schoolyard at break or finding a lunch buddy can be challenging and overwhelming. Sitting by oneself is a lonely experience. In some cases, students who are by themselves become targets for bullying. Feeling socially isolated can also cause poor academic performance. What does your school do to encourage students to engage with others outside their groups or who may be feeling alone and ostracized? We have a few ideas below to help your students find a welcoming place at school.
For older students, a new app called Sit With Us helps students who have difficulty finding a place to sit for lunch or hang out find a welcoming group. The app allows students to designate themselves as “ambassadors,” thereby inviting others to join them. Ambassadors can then post “open lunch” events, which signal to anyone seeking company that they’re invited to join the ambassadors’ table. Sit with Us is a mobile app that is designed to create a kinder more inclusive school community. It was designed by 16-year Natalie Hampton after she experienced bullying and loneliness during her seventh-grade year. Hampton told Audie Cornish on NPR’s “All Things Considered” that the reason why she felt an app like this was necessary is because it prevents kids from being publicly rejected and being considered social outcasts by their peers. She is definitely on to something - recent studies conducted by Princeton, Rutgers and Yale University show that when students, especially the “cool kids,” stand up to bullying it has a significant impact. During a 2012-2013 school year, over 50 New Jersey middle schools provided their most socially competent students with social media tools and encouragement to combat bullying, and saw a reduction in student conflict reports by 30 percent.
We think Natalie's app is a great idea, especially for middle and high school students. For those schools where phones aren't allowed or whose students are too young to bring them to school, here are a few other ideas to give kids a chance to feel included:
Teaching children the difference between tattling and telling can help a child more than you realize. A child who tattles can often have a harder time making lasting connections with other children around them. Tattlers can be wearing on adults, too. It can be difficult to have patience for a child who is continuously seeking attention by tattling.
That being said, it is equally important for children to understand the difference between telling and tattling. Children who do not want to be identified as tattlers may not tell an adult about a situation when they should. This can be a detriment and can cause issues to arise later.
Here is a simple activity that you can do with your class, at the dinner table, even while driving in the car:
Step 1: Print out the Telling vs. Tattling poster.
Step 2: Starting with you - tell a story where a person is tattling or telling.
Step 3: Ask, “Am I tattling or telling?” You can have your students refer to the Telling vs. Tattling poster.
Step 4: Ask the students to come up with their own stories and present them to the class. Encourage them to ask the question, “Am I tattling or telling?”
For ideas on stories you can check out these additional resources:
Let us know what you are doing to help your children with understanding the difference between tattling and telling. Leave a comment or send us a message.
We've designed our program to be extremely cost effective and budget friendly! The 21 Day Kindness Challenge School Program costs just about $1/student. Our goal is to bring the 21 Day Kindness Challenge to as many schools that want it. Here are some different ways schools have paid for the program:
We believe that giving students the opportunity to raise money for the program provides them with invaluable leadership and career skills. It can also be a bonding experience for students who may be having trouble fitting in or finding friends. Some student leadership groups have raised money by hosting bake sales, rummage sales, runs/walks and other small fundraising activities.
Many school districts have special funds set aside for anti-bullying or wellness campaigns. Check with your district office to see if this is an option for your school.
The 21 Day Kindness Challenge is also a great opportunity to reach out to local community organizations like your rotary club, 4-H, chamber of commerce, Lions Club, etc. for support. Many groups are looking for ways to make an impact for their local students and will provide small grants to your school.
Parent groups are also an excellent resource. You may want to reach out to your parent group (PTA, Home & School Club, Parent Alliance) to see if they will fund the 21 Day Kindness Challenge. We have found that parents are very supportive of programs that will have a significant impact and that directly engage their children.
We are happy to help you! Please contact us, and we would be delighted to provide you with specific funding ideas to meet your school's needs. We have videos, flyers, email, and snail-mail templates, etc. that you can use for community groups and parents.
Literature is a powerful way to teach life lessons! This month we have six book suggestions by grade level that focus on friendship. We hope you and your students enjoy these books. We’d love to hear any additional book recommendations you have, you can send us an email or add a comment below.
Help your child build the confidence he or she needs to create new friendship connections at school. The beginning of school is a great time for parents to talk with their children about how to build new friendships. Dr. Eileen Kennedy-Moore, author of Smart Parenting for Smart Kids, discusses four ways you can help your child create new friendships.
These four ways are outlined in the video:
Character Matters by Dr. Thomas Lickona, a developmental psychologist and professor of education emeritus at the State University of New York at Cortland, is a must read for any school administrator that has a strong desire to create a character focused campus. There are more than 100 strategies for building school partnerships with parents, teaching academics and character at the same time, creating a character-based discipline program, preventing peer cruelty and promote kindness, and much more!
Please let us know your thoughts about the strategies in this book and what you’ve implemented in your classroom or on your campus in the comments below.
Kindness really does make a difference in our world. The 21 Day Kindness Challenge team is proud of this teen who is reaching out and doing what he can to spread kindness in his community. With a simple yet very helpful act of kindness, this teen made a difference for his neighbor. Thank you, Brett, for reminding us how easy it is to be kind!
We encourage you to share Brett's story with your students, and see what kind acts you can inspire in them!
Do you want to give ideas to your students on how to spread kindness in their neighborhoods, too?
Here are 5 easy ways to say thank you or just let people know that you care.
Do you have some other ways that you or your students spread kindness in your community? We want to hear from you! Share them with us by commenting on this blog post or by sharing on our social media channels Facebook and Twitter.
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Note From the Founder
Hello. I am the founder of the 21 Day Kindness Challenge Program.