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KINDNESS

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.


Aesop
Children experience their world as an environment of relationships (National
Scientific Council on the Developing Child (NSCDC), 2004). Nurturing and caring
relationships are essential to the healthy development of children and can contribute
towards establishing positive self-esteem and social skills. Providing a safe and
supportive educational setting that focuses on kindness can contribute to establishing
positive relationships based on mutual respect and understanding. The Early Years
Learning Framework states that it is the responsive interactions and relationships
between children and educators that shape learning (Department of Education,
Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), 2009).
The concept of kindness will be introduced to the students through a kindness lesson
that incorporates a book, kindness buckets, warm fuzzies and a song, which are all
shown in the attachments below. Reading of the book Have you filled a bucket
today? by Carol McCloud, would be followed by a class discussion about the various
ways you can be kind and how it makes you feel asking various questions such as
How they could show kindness to friends, family and teachers? and How does it
make us feel when people are kind to us? A class discussion will enable students to
relate how their actions can impact on others linking to the Western Australian
Curriculum learning area of identity that students interact with others with care,
empathy and respect (School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCASA), 2014).
This would be followed up with other books that discuss kindness in different ways so
the students are exposed to various examples. Placing a kindness bucket on the
whiteboard will give a visual reminder to the students and teachers that we are
embracing the concept of kindness. Acts of kindness will be verbally acknowledged,
written on a post it note and placed next to the kindness bucket, and will be read out at
the end of the day. Students will then be given pompoms to place into the warm
fuzzies bucket to contribute their part in filling this up. There will be a whole class
reward when the warm fuzzies bucket is full, such as extra play time outside or
watching a movie in class. Contributing to a whole class mission helps students
develop their identity by participating positively as part of a group and become strong
in their social and emotional wellbeing as stated in the Western Australian
Curriculum (SCASA, 2014). The YouTube song called Kindness is a muscle would
be watched to encourage the students to incorporate acts of kindness in their everyday
lives. This would be played on numerous occasions so that the students could sing
along and dance to relating this concept to experiences of enjoyment making them
feel happiness. Learning this song with the actions could be used to perform at a
school assembly or to their parents spreading the word about kindness.
Role plays and social stories will be used to incorporate the vision of kindness in
different ways that the students will be able to relate to. Showing by example through
being a good role model, speaking respectfully, using a positive tone and outlook all
contribute to achieving the first principle of the Early Years Learning Framework to
develop childrens strong sense of identity through secure, respectful and reciprocal
relationships (DEEWR, 2009). Having such a big influence in the lives of children in
the classroom, creating an environment based on kindness contributes to the
development of positive social and emotional skills that will hold the students in good
stead for their future lives establishing a great beginning to the educational journey.
References

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). (2009).

Belonging, being & becoming: The early years learning framework for

Australia. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved from:

https://docs.education.gov.au/node/2632

National Scientific Council on the Developing Child (NSCDC). (2004). Young

children develop in an environment of relationships. Working Paper No. 1.

Retrieved from http://www.developingchild.net

School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCASA). (2014). Curriculum and

assessment outline: kindergarten curriculum guidelines. Retrieved from:

https://k10outline.scsa.wa.edu.au/media/documents/outline_downloads/Weste

rn-Australian-Kindergarten-Curriculum-Guidelines-pdf.pdf