It’s the first days of first grade, and like in any grade (or any place where there are new groups of people who don’t know each other well yet), there have to be lessons on how to be a good friend. We did this with a book (or two…or three), and then we charted what we noticed. We then spent the rest of the day purposefully doing things WITh our friends, then noticing which of those “good friend” things we were doing.
We started with the book Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend, because our friends in Rm. 203 came and shared it with us. Yes–their WHOLE CLASS came over and shared the book with us because they thought we’d like reading it. (Which, by the way, is another message Ms. Turken and I had discussed wanting to sent to our classes: Readers share books they like with their friends! So, ok, we had coordinated this beforehand, but then we did the same and shared our Box book with them when we were finished with it. 🙂 ).
We also read an Elephant and Piggie book (don’t you love those??) called My New Friend is So Fun! and talked about what we know about how good friends treat each other.
We made our chart…
…and Jamie had a super idea that we keep going back to the list to check ourselves throughout the day. Then Kaiden suggested that we make a note because I mentioned that I might forget. See his post-it up there!? What great 1st grade thinking already!!
Our next chance to practice our “good friend moves” came next when we went outside for recess. We talked before we left about goals we had to do the things on the chart, and then we got busy having fun and being friendly!
We read a couple of more books…
…and talked about examples of “good friend moves” we found in the books. We learned a lot from Louise, Peanut Butter and Jelly (yep, she’s in that book at the end–sorry, spoiler alert!).
After Day 2 (when this work started), we continued to come back to our work over and over. We did things with our Room Crews (which I’ll show you in another post), and focused on things we had in common. Each group made a web of things that everyone in their group had that was the same. We practiced using kind words, asking good questions and working together. Taking turns was important, and so was using quiet learning voices so everyone could concentrate. Wow–who knew that being a friend was such hard work?!
After we shared in our small groups, we connected with the whole class and we figured out that a lot of us had things that were in common. The next step was to do the same procedure, but with things that the whole group DIDN’T like. They thought that was a fun twist, and they did a great job.
Obviously this is the first but not the only time we’ll talk about being friends. I have been so impressed, though, with how kids have stepped up and are demonstrating the behaviors on our chart. I know we’ll only continue to add to the tally marks and the “moves” as we go forward. I can’t wait to share our progress. Here’s to being great first grade friends!