July 23, 2003
In my classroom, I had a Kindness Bank which 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, 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. This past 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.