Friday, June 1, 2012

Kindness, Generosity + Emotional Intelligence

JUNE JUNE JUNE JUNE JUNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We made it!!! Bring on summer!
by Debbie Clement of RainbowsWithinReach

Last month was seriously big, busy, and on-the-go for me. (I'm sure it was the same for you, too!) It started off by my having the opportunity to give the keynote for the state of Kentucky's Head Start conference. Then came making visits into schools, libraries, parks-n-rec settings, childcare buildings..... you name it, the 'end-of-the-year' season is filled to the brim for a music-lady slash Author/Illustrator. 

How do we begin thinking about the summer season? With a smile!!

For all the teaching on the A-B-C's and the 1-2-3's that happens throughout the year, I'm always thrilled to encounter an act of kindness on the road. It's such a delight to receive or even to observe generosity. Where does that kindness originate? How can it be taught? Or at the very least how can we reinforce these positive traits in the children with whom we interact? Let's get started!

Let's take a look together at some of the emotional intelligence teaching opportunities that I've observed in the last month. Starting off with a treasured book from my treasured friend and mentor, Ms. Eddie of Medina, OH -- who opened her treasure-chest-closet to find this cherished book from a few years back. Of course this first one is my absolute fave! 

What can I do to be kind? "I can draw a picture for a friend!"

Ms. Eddie had her kiddos draw in marker so that their pages could easily be copied to share the finished class book with each contributing illustrator in the room. What a great kindergarten keepsake!

photo of: Emotional Intelligence: Written Acts of Kindness in Kindergarten
Written acts of Kindness by Kindergarten Kidderos

We can have the children 'draw' + 'write' their own concept of kindness!
I just LUV that these children think of being kind as something that they can "do" for their family members and friends. 

Every Friday on my own blog I have a continuing series:
"Fine Motor Leads to Fine Arts." 
I've invited those followers here to see the Fine Motor Fun!
So let's continue to look at fine motor methods of talking about helping, kindness and generosity.

Here's a slightly different approach: 
Community Helpers! 
"How I Would Help" 

Wait till you see this!!! 
Both the Community Helper book and this next system to help children with 'sharing' toys and materials were just a few of my observations last week during my two day residency at Sutter Park Elementary. I was there to share my original children's songs with the young children with special needs and their typical peers. 

This idea is simply awesome! 
Want that truck? Tell your friend and negotiate a 'time' when they can share it with you! This classroom has a system to help the children navigate this concept. 
[Please pin this image + share to our broader professional world.]

Notice that the classroom has both a one minute and a five minute timer..... talk about helping to teach the concept of delayed gratification! 

Photo of: Sharing Toys: timers to reinforce the concept of sharing

I just wrote two articles on my blog about the significance of 'teaching' delayed gratification and the value of developing 'patience.' 
Click here to see those suggestions.
Part 1: Seeds, Gardens and Growing
Part 2: The Chicken and the Egg

Beyond the 'timer-system' to help support children in their efforts to share, they also had this poster to help remind that there are many ways to share between friends. How can we problem solve together?

Down the hallway in Sutter Park, I found this system to share with you

Here's a pompom variation from our own Denver WonderPeeps (grand-children) on their own home kitchen counter.....what a help to recognize siblings in their growth and sharing.

I shared it from my blog earlier this year. 
It seems right at home in this article.  

The photo that follows the kitchen counter top is an ARK wreath.
Children in the FL classroom are delighted to add an upcycled ribbon from home to the growing wreath as they are caught in the act of being kind. The wreath continues to 'grow' as the year unfolds.
photo of: snowman art project, kindergarten snowman, snowman bulletin board
Kindness Counter on the Kitchen Counter
Kindness Wreath: Add a Ribbon as Kindness is Observed!!

Debbie Clement loves making visits to schools to record and share the amazing sights along  her way.

She has written and recorded over 100 original songs for children, transferring three of her songs into traditional picture book format. Her newest book, "Red, White and Blue" won the national INDIE Award of Excellence!

Pop on over to her own blog at Rainbows Within Reach. Where the creativity abounds!!

If you're looking for any of her products, please visit her dot com. Remember to use the promo code: GREAT to save 10% off of your order. 

This post was added over at Corkboard Connections Blog hop on all things kind + caring.

photo of: Corkboard Connections Blog Hop on Creating a Caring Classroom
Create a Caring Classroom 


  1. What great inspiration, Debbie! I especially love the Acts of Kindness drawings and writings. I pinned your post to my Character Education Pinterest board at

    1. Deb...... thanks so much for the pin. I know that it will bring additional readers to this significant topic. There are so many critical things for these early years -- but surely kindness + generosity of spirit are at the top of the list.


  2. I agree with Deb! This is a wonderful post. I also love the Acts of Kindness pictures. It has been pinned on my Posts and products about kids board (and tweeted) ~ Thanks Debbie!

    1. Deborah, this is like a camp for the 'Debs' isn't it. I know that all three of us are on the same wavelength and I'm most appreciative of your efforts to get this particular post out to a wider readership.

      Its been so great to get acquainted as this year has unfolded!


  3. I really like this post. Great ideas! For sharing my students use a kitchen timer so when the 5 minutes are up they can 'hear' it. The Act of Kindness is precious. If your school work with the "The Virtues Project" you can focus on different virtues to do different books or do a Virtues Book

    1. Amelia, thanks so much for taking the time to offer your support and insight. The idea of a ringing bell would work so well for many children. Thanks also for the link to the Virtues Project. I hope your sharing it will lead others to that resource!


  4. Those pictures of how they can be kind are just precious!!! I love how little minds work.

  5. Wow! This is such a great collection! Thanks for sharing on this week's Kids Co-Op linky!

  6. This is great. We do something similar, The Happy Tree. It's all about promoting positive behaviour and making others and yourself happy. :)


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