Week of Respect

Our school and many schools around the nation are celebrating the week of respect. To raise awareness, our school has special dress up days such as asking students to wear a hat, mismatched clothes and to wear the color orange. Weeks like this promote community awareness and discussions about important topics. My classroom brainstormed specific ways respect looks like in different settings familiar to students.

activities, respect week, classroom community, anchor charts, ideas

Since respect is an abstract concept that can be hard to understand and explain, specific examples help students visualize how they can be respectful. My students were responsible for giving examples and drawing pictures of the different scenarios shown below. Students who are older can be responsible for writing examples on a sentence strip to help in the process of creating the anchor chart. Interactive anchor charts can help students feel more ownership and responsibility.

This chart will now hang in my classroom so we can refer back to it as needed throughout the year. Other activities regarding respect can be found online on sites such as Pinterest (where I got the idea for this poster) and Discovery Education (where I found videos). To aid in the presentation and discussion, I showcased different examples of respect through videos and class modeling.

26 Random Acts of Kindness

Today at morning meeting, my teacher challenged the students with a “26 random acts of kindness” sheet that gave concrete examples of how students can be kind to other people. Since there are 26 days before February break, the students have the opportunity to do at least one activity a day to complete all 26. Activities as such should definitely be included in the classroom since one purpose of school is to create better citizens.

Encouraging students to think about others at an early age can lead to a healthy habit of doing kindness. Some activities on the sheet included: 1. “Invite a friend to play with you at recess,” 2. “Write a nice note to your teacher,” 3. “Hold the door for a parent or a teacher,” and 4. “Read a book to a friend for fun.” This colorful worksheet, created by someone online, is a great way to promote community and kindness in the classroom. It is straightforward and simple enough for the students to complete. Students can work on the activities at home and in school.

In addition to other activities at morning meeting, we always practice the proper way to greet someone. I realized that we must explicitly teach students to smile, look someone in the eye, say “Good Morning (name of person)”, and shake their hand. Students need to be taught how to be polite and how to greet someone properly since it is not natural. Spending a little time everyday on treating students and teachers with respect and kindness really helps change the classroom dynamic. In this classroom, all students are inclusive and kind to one another. You rarely see students fighting and rarely see any sort of drama between the girls and boys. I think this is a direct result to conversations and activities as such.