Teach Kindness With Cursive

“If you build it, he will come,”  a voice in a cornfield whispers to Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams.  And he does. And they do.

We all have fields of dreams. Mine is to see children create peace.

One way for them to do this is affirming it. With words. With art. With deeds.

Or with cursive. Why not teach  cursive writing while affirming peace? The book Cursive Writing Practice: Inspiring Quotes by Jane Lierman does just that.  With quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt and Gandhi, she helps children visualize a better world.


If you want to do the same, you could buy her book on Amazon or create your own quotes with the following lesson. Either way, you will be instilling character and kindness in your students.

And that is what teaching is all about.

Objective: The learner will practice proper letter formation in cursive by writing kind sentences.

Materials: Class set of cursive reproducible, pencils, lined paper, board, chart paper or electronic whiteboard.


  1. This lesson should be done after the students have already learned the alphabet and how to connect letters.
  2. Review formation of some troublesome letters such as g & q or s.
  3. images (4)
  4. Pass out worksheets. Have students read the kind sentences.
  5. Model how to write sentences.
  6. Allow students time to complete worksheets.

While the students write, watch them mumble the quotes. Knowing that they are internalizing positive sayings.

The following day, have students could invent their own kind sentences.    You’ll be amazed at what they come up with.

Forest Secrets

cropfs - Copy

The half-tree, half-human beings live a secret existence deep in the old growth forest.

Until now.

When 11-year old Daisy Castillo discovers a plot to destroy the forest, she tries to halt the approaching evil while keeping these magical creatures from being discovered.

But danger waits in every shadow. For if these corrupt men succeed, the Forest People will die. A few surprises are in store, as some unknown and undiscovered friendships hold the key to her success. Fate hangs in the balance as Daisy faces her deepest fears, including heartbreak from the past, to rise up against all odds.

Suspenseful, mysterious, and full of danger, Forest Secrets captures the enchantment of nature and the power of friendship in this classic tale of good vs. evil.

Peace Mediators in Seven Easy Steps

For Peace Day here is a program I’ve designed. Hope it brings peace to your school!

Laurie Woodward

Fighting? Bullying? Gossip? When I started to see lots of problems on the playground I decided it was time to try something new. But I didn’t want kids to feel like I was just adding another rule. I decided to empower kids with a program that they could manage, organize, and man.
We called them Dolphin Mediators.
What are they? Dolphin Mediators are a group of student volunteers who help to keep our school calm. After I train the kids in assertive language, they memorize my script and roll-play situations. Once they seem comfortable with everything from stopping a bully to helping little ones take turns, they are approved to be recess monitors. Then they walk the playground, clipboard in hand, helping our school keep the peace.

If you’d like to give it a try at your school the lesson goes as follows:

Objective: Students will learn positive communication techniques to help other…

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Class Meetings

Are you looking for ways to keep your class peaceful? Try class meetings.

Laurie Woodward

“The two main purposes of class meetings are to help each other and to solve problems,” Jane Nelson says. According to William Glasser, the American psychiatrist who developed Choice Theory, class meetings are a time when “the teacher leads the whole class in a non-judgmental discussion.”

Amongst the guidelines were a list of dos and don’ts. For example, blame or put-downs were not allowed. These meetings were a place to solve problems, listen to the person speaking, and give each child a voice.

The next day, I told my students to get in a circle then pulled out a wooden mallet.

“This is the talking stick,” I said, holding it up. “Only the person holding it is allowed to speak. While he or she is sharing, everyone is quiet and listening. Remember we are talking about feelings, not tattling or name calling. When someone is finished sharing a concern with…

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Five Tips to Start the School Year Peacefully

Well, it’s getting closer to that time we teachers both dread and look forward to. The beginning of a new school year. Along with the mad rush to get everything ready, I try to also think of how I’ll promote peace this year. Here are a few things I do that you might find helpful.

1. Create a Peace Zone. Here I have a small table for both peace and discipline cards below inspirational posters.


2. Plan your reward system. What rewards will you use?  Personally I have two reward systems: cooperative and individual. My students sit in cooperative groups and get points for on-task behavior. That group with the most points receives a prize at the end of the day. For individual behaviors, each student has the opportunity to get two tickets weekly: one for completing all homework and another if they did pull their card. They can use these ticket to purchase toys from the treasure box.


3. Think about your rules and your assertive discipline plan. I find that a few  general rules are easier to manage than a long list of specific ones. Examples include: Treat others, property, and self with respect. Follow directions. Wait to be called upon to speak.

For discipline, my students make their own cards. On one side, they color their name and a positive scene doing something they like. This affirms their uniqueness and what privileges can be lost when rules are broken.On the opposite side are three columns: Date, Problem, Next Time. These are filled in when students get to the “pulled card” level of misbehavior. I believe writing the problem down and then writing what would have been a good choice helps children reflect on their behavior. I do have this caveat: Next time must be stated as a POSITIVE. If the problem is pushing in line, then he/she should write, “Keep hands to self.”

4. Write Discipline into your lesson plans for the first weeks of school. Give yourself plenty of time to train students. This is not the time to rush into the standards but to establish procedures.Believe me, it’ll pay off. Whenever I’ve rushed because I’ve felt under the gun, discipline got a heck of a lot tougher. And you don’t want to start the year like that.


5. Plan an art project that will make every child  feel successful. Need ideas? Pinterest has tons.

The Care and Conservation of Beta Readers (Guest Post)…

I’m beginning to ask friends to be beta readers instead of hiring an expensive developmental editor. And the feedback they give is invaluable.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

beta-reader-superheroSeveral years ago, a new phrase crept into my vocabulary. I wasn’t sure where I first heard it, but it was repeated regularly among writing circles in online conversations such as, “Three of my Beta Readers agreed on it, so I revised it.” Beta Readers sounded like something I could use, so I set out to discover them, wherever they were hiding.

I had an editor, and a proofreader. Or two or three… but my pockets were already running pretty thin, so I was concerned about what an additional pair of eyes would cost me. After conversing with a few authors of Honest-to-God Stature, I realized that instead of an additional staff item, Beta Readers were actually a rare species that writers needed to treasure and conserve once found.

There was a time when their species was restricted to the narrow spaces in publishing office cubicles between desks of editors…

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