“Intentionally Practicing Kindness to Get Better at It Week” at AES

Cultivating Kindness at AES – content taken from Karin Lockwood’s Blog

On Tuesday, January 27, Ms. Lockwood created an “Acts of Kindness” Bulletin Board on the 2nd Floor in the Middle School, and health students in grade 6 and 8 began adding post-its with kind deeds they had done or had observed being done.



At the Middle School assembly on Wednesday, January 28, we shared the Kindness Boomerang Video by Life Vest Inside and invited all students and staff to ‘pay it forward’ through acts of kindness and name and note these acts on the Kindness Bulletin Board. This was a warm up for International Random Acts of Kindness Week 2015.


On Wednesday, February 4, the Middle School Student Climate Committee, led by MS Counselor, Colleen Coady, and MS Principal, Beth Coyle, met and brainstormed ways to generate more enthusiasm and participation in the Random Acts of Kindness Week and ways to extend the initiative beyond one week.


By Friday, February 6, the Acts of Kindness Bulletin Board was almost filled up!



At a special Middle School assembly on Monday, February 9, Jonah Rosenfield (MS science teacher and Team 8 Lead Teacher), launched the “Intentionally Practicing to Get Better at It Week 2015″ with a short presentation and invitation to participate in more acts of kindness to fill metaphorical buckets on each floor of the middle school building.



On Monday, February 9, in advisory, all grade 6 students participated in a holding a stone activity (an adaption of cultivating forgiveness). They selected a stone to represent an unforgiven hurt and decorated it to identify it as their own. Then they carried the stone in their non-dominant hand for the rest of the school day (5 hours).


On Tuesday, February 10, during ET, the grade 6 students reflected in writing on the holding stone / unforgiven hurt activity, symbolically ‘forgave’ by letting go of the hurt while Toby Mac’s song “Forgiveness” played, and many voluntarily shared with their peers how they felt holding the stone for five hours, how it felt to release the stone, and ways in which this activity connects with Kindness week and the Grade 6 Beliefs.

The plan is for the stones to be made into cement stepping stones that will be placed in the Middle School rock garden.


On Wednesday, February 11, during assembly, three Girl Scouts students shared a video called Opening Doors and Hearts as part of a bullying-prevention project and in support of Kindness Week. After the video, the students asked for a moment of silence to remember those who have been targeted by bullies.



Students adding cards to the Kindness Buckets!




Grade 6 Health Exploratory

Wellness is a way of life, a lifestyle, and it encompasses physical, emotional, and social well-being. The goal of this six-week exploratory health class is to provide opportunities for students to learn information and skills that will help them to lead healthy and productive lives. Students are encouraged to ask questions in class and to continue with conversations at home with parent(s)/guardian(s). Students are also encouraged to explore their own values and those of others within the context of family and cultural beliefs. The class emphasizes respect for self and others and any perceived ‘differences’ among students.

Recently, many students put the flower behind their ears while completing a reflection after they finished a mindfulness practice / flower meditation:


What do 8th graders think are important 21st century skills?

Students taking health this semester were asked this important question!

They first watched/listened to Taylor Mali’s poem on health, “An Apple A Day is Not Enough“:

Students then participated in a silent chalk talk routine that included the prompt: “What other skills do you think you need to be successful in the 21st century?” Students worked in groups to identify themes in the thoughts/ideas recorded – see below:

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