Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Friendship Art

While some young children may find it easy to make friends, most are still learning and developing the necessary sills to interact in a positive, social way with their peers. I did a small unit on friendship at the beginning of the year with my Kindergarten class, but felt like the season of Valentines was a good time to bring the subject back up again in more depth.

I definitely feel that teaching and modeling social skills is an important part of my job, as doing so will help them to be more successful students and allow my classroom to continue to be the safe, happy community that I want it to be. My hope is that every student feels a sense of safety and belonging at school, and helping everybody to develop positive friendship skills is one way to encourage that environment.

One of my favorite friendship activities is friendship art. It coincides perfectly with reading this book, which also happens to be a part of our language arts program. Each table group gets one piece of paper, and they work together to create a picture. The rules are that everyone can contribute something that they like to the drawing, but they need to use their own space in the picture to do it. We also talked about the possibility of working together to make a drawing (one person does the tree trunk and the other person draws the leaves) and we decided that it was not nice to make fun of someone else's contribution to the picture.

Each picture turned out differently, and each group worked together in different ways. It also turned out to be a great teaching moment for some of the students who had difficulty sharing the space and getting along during the process. :) All in all, it was a successful activity and every group was excited to share their creation with the class.

 More friendship ideas and activities to come!

P.S. We had a fun Valentine's Day Celebration yesterday. I came away with so many yummy treats and cute Valentines. I felt spoiled!
I loved some of the creative ideas--- a couple favorites were Rolos wrapped up like dynamite for "You're the Bomb" and a bunch of glue sticks for "You're the glue that keeps our class together!"

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