Room 11's Kindness Christmas Countdown - teaching compassion to elementary aged children

December 07, 2017

We’ve all heard of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Here’s a reversal on that beloved song-story.

Instead of getting, these kids are giving. Instead of counting up, they’re counting down. Every day is something new, a new way to show kindness and help others.

Room 11 started something and it’s catching on! Setting out to teach their students to think of others, be helpful, caring and kind, they set up a wall of kindness in their hallway.  

They have the wall set up with a Christmas tree and “leaves” that make up the tree. Each leaf is labeled with the date numbering the days that are left in school before the break for the holidays. Each day they turn over a new leaf, making visible the reverse side of the leaf, on which is written a direction for the day. In other words, the leaves tell the class what to do that day to make the day a bit nicer for some lucky soul at the school that day.

For example. Give Ms. Carolyn a high-five, Ms. Jenn a card, Ms. Vicki a hand.

The day that Carolyn got high fives, she grinned the day through.  The day it was help Vicki all of the students in the school got the gala save-the-dates to bring home to their parents, and the fish ate well three times!

The motive of the teachers here is that the students learn ways to think of others. In the process they feel pretty good themselves. So they learn new skills to be kind to others, practice social skills, work on life skills, improve communication…   


But the other cool thing is that their wall is catchy! The kindness deeds have spread to other rooms as well, with kids and staff following the cues on the wall.  Like the students in Room 11, they’re also enjoying doing the good deeds and practicing new skills. too

Further, this project is cumulative. Each day the kids are to do the thing from the previous days plus the thing for that day. So it adds up exponentially and you have all these kids doing lots of good deeds in the day.

Another awesome part is that often this time of the year for elementary children is wrought with stress. Knowing a big holiday is upcoming, whether it is Christmas,  Hanukah, a birthday or something else that is “exciting” for some, providing a reverse calendar so that you can count down the days till the big day helps to make it easier to wait and manage.

We’d love to have you follow along with Room 11’s countdown by doing kind deeds at home with your children, at work with your co-workers, or on your own, Please write about your deeds of kindness and compassion in the comments section! It will be fun for the classroom to see if you’re catching the spirit of their kindness too!

Read an article about how Room 11 has addressed healthy food goals:

Room 11’s Fruit Pizza

Fundraising Events, Activities, and Ongoing Ways to Help the SchoolOff the Wish List! How In Kind Donations Help Students in a Preschool in Schenectady.