Tuesday, January 1, 2013

OLW: Gratitude in 2013

I don't make New Year's Resolutions because I typically never kept them so about 10 years ago I decided instead of making resolutions I was going to try to do some"things" better. I have always heard to create a habit you need to do something for 30 days continuously, so I live on that idea.   

I have been reflecting  if I wanted to continue my monthly OLW tradition that I did for 2012, and I am feeling pulled towards the word: gratitude. I heard about 26 Acts of Kindness, and I knew I had my new OLW for 2013.

As I posted earlier, I have been struggling with getting back to normal but when I heard about 26 random acts of kindness I knew in my heart that I had found my passion for 2013.  The picture above came from Teaching Madness  in which she is posting her 26 random acts and encouraging others to do the same.  I found Lesson Plans in which this teacher has her students completing random acts around their school.  There is a face book page for random acts and a twitter hashtag #26Acts.  

My plan is wide spread first for me I started a blank index card with today's date, and I am personally going to do 26 random acts and just write the date down on the card, so I can keep track of the number.  I am going to pass out to each of my students an index card the first day back and ask them to create a Random Act of Kindness card and at some point do something nice for someone and leave the card.  This flows with our class reading WONDER and Choose Kind which is our January motto.  Finally I am going to write my thank you notes for my holiday Christmas presents and include one index card with the above picture glued on it, and ask my friends/family to consider doing one random act of kindness as some point in 2013.  

So I have my OLW (gratitude) but I am not going to post my random acts because I want to keep that secret to myself; however, I am sure there will be several blog posts that come out of having gratitude in 2013.  Finally if you are interested in joining me in this endeavor, here is the note I will be including in my thank you notes. 


  1. I've been struggling with what to read aloud next, but WONDER seems perfect. We'll be focusing on historical fiction paired with nonfiction (read to learn), but this will balance that nicely with empathy (read for your heart/empathy). This post spoke to me, too:
    Maybe we can link our classes up through Kidblog or ELGG for some cross-district conversation...

  2. You inspire me. Thank you for sharing this thought and this call to action. Happy New Year, my friend!

  3. Wonder-filled goal for you & for choosing your word for 2013. I am out of the classroom now, but have done RAK in the past with students. I think it enhanced the climate of the classroom immeasurably. Thank you for sharing the links, too.

  4. I like the idea of leaving the card in the wake of your Random Act of Kindness - it is sure to serve as an inspiration for people to "pay it forward".

  5. Maria, I love your idea. When I taught first grade, we did something similar and connected it to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As a class we worked on doing 100 acts of kindness as a whole. I, too, am going to be reading Wonder as my next read aloud. (First, I have to finish Hide and Seek) and will connect 26 Acts with it. I also want to use the picture book Karen suggested. Thank you so much for sharing. Happy New Year!

  6. I know I write it often but honestly the comments mean the most to me! Just think what we could all accomplish if we start in our own homes/classrooms. I just finished writing my last thank you letter so the first part of my plan is complete.

    Mary Lee: Let's talk :)

  7. I love that you've accompanied an action with your word.

    RAK is a big deal around my house. We attempt one RAK a week. I love when my kids come up with an idea or a person. It is evidence that kindness can be infused.

    I believe you will see the same results among your students. Here's to choosing kind.


  8. In the spirit of the book WONDER...“The best way to measure how much you've grown isn't by inches or the number of laps you can now run around the track, or even your grade point average-- though those things are important, to be sure. It's what you've done with your time, how you've chosen to spend your days, and whom you've touched this year. That, to me, is the greatest measure of success.” - RJ Palacio

    Looking forward to lots of GRATITUDE and CREATING in 2013!

  9. PS...We have a new blogger joining our OLW mission...check Erin out at...


  10. What an inspiring plan for you and your class! I can't wait to follow your journey as you enact your plan. I've often thought about doing something similar to this in my own room, now I think I will!