As MLK day approaches, we have been focusing more and more on kindness and service to others. Kindness is always a focus in our classroom; however, we have been spending a lot more time discussing what it actually means to be kind and its effect on others. Students engaged in spreading joy and kindness around the school by hanging up kindness posters that encouraged others to practice kindness. On top of encouraging others, first graders practiced their public speaking skills! First graders went to every class and gave a talk about their kindness posters, how to use them, and why they were hanging them up. They answered questions from other students and displayed great confidence!
Ryan McLean from publicspeaking.com says, "Who knows what exactly what kids are scared of when it comes to speaking in public. There are so many different fears about public speaking that it could be almost anything. However, I believe if we get them practicing (and enjoying) public speaking early and build up their confidence as a public speaker then as they grow in their teenage years and as they go into adulthood then they will be confident in public speaking." So, not only were first graders practicing their public speaking skills and confidence, they were also practicing the art of spreading kindness to others. Martin Luther King, Jr. represents kindness, inclusiveness, and servitude. Students are exemplifying the character traits that Dr. MLK, Jr. wanted the youth of this nation to possess. I hope that by reaching out to others to encourage kindness will, in turn, help our young students have a sense of ownership in their actions towards others. Our class kindness project doesn't only radiate within the school walls; first grade has reached out to schools and students all around the globe to learn how other students and cultures view kindness and service. Our class was very excited when we received our first response from another first grade class in Louisville, Kentucky! We are anticipating our next responses this next week from Australia, South Africa, and Switzerland!
I look forward to the special week we have planned to celebrate each and every one of us, to share our uniqueness, and the spread even more love and kindness!
I love the outdoors, reading, art, gardening, and sharing my love of learning!