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Kindness Bank

Found in: building trust and community; motivating students

In my classroom, I had a Kindness Bank that sat on my desk with a basket of pennies beside it. At the beginning of each year, the children and I would discuss what acts of kindness are and how we might use them in our classroom. Acts such as holding the water fountain for another student, helping a friend tie a shoe, etc. were recorded during an interactive writing session.

We posted this list on a chart, and I took pictures of the students doing acts of kindness. We placed the photos on the chart. When a student preformed an act of kindness, the child who was the recipient of this act could tell me. I would then tell the student who did the act of kindness to place a penny in the Kindness Bank. It took them a few days to understand that the person receiving the act of kindness must be the one to tell the teacher. They loved to put a penny in the bank and one act of kindness always led to at least several more.

At the end of the year we had a special day when we counted the pennies and decided what to do with our money. One year, we donated the money to our school fund that was raising money for a new playground fence. They learned that 180 pennies won't buy lots of things, but they were amazed that the class was able to do 180 acts of kindness.


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