What Does it Take to Be A Good Friend?

When we are little, we are taught throughout all our young lives how to be a good friend. We are praised for including others, disciplined for leaving others out. Thumbs up for sharing, thumbs down for calling a friend a name.

As a kid, everyone you meet is your friend. You instantly engage in play, you laugh, you run, and you literally lose all your cares. Not a single child is on the playground thinking about what someone might think of him, how long that friendship will last, will they turn their back on you, or will they truly be there through thick and thin. Carefree friendships are a childhood treasure. Continue reading →

Friendship Bandaids, The Right Way

I adapted my next lesson for 1st grade from my new Puzzle Pieces book. The original lesson, as it is written, was just a bit too “young” for our first graders. It had the perfect message, but I had to work to extend the ideas just a bit. Plus, I fully believe in teaching children that there is more to fixing a problem then just saying sorry. Continue reading →

Being Nice

It basically feels like forever since I have A. written a post and B. since I have talked about my Jellybeans.

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One of the units in Jellybean Jamboree is all about friendship. I think the unit does a great job of hitting “hot” friendship topics and covers a wide range of how to be a good friend and how to deal with friends who are unkind. The unit discusses qualities of friends, sharing, being nice (kind words and actions), feeling left out, listening to each other, and being special. Continue reading →

The New Bear at School

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I know I have mentioned this many times before, but a big skill we’ve been working on in 1st grade is building healthy friendships. More importantly, understanding that what we do and how we act can effect our friendships. Children say what’s on their minds and they act with impulse, they are resilient to the consequences of their actions, which is actually a quality for which we should commend them. Yet, when your behaviors, actions, words are hurtful to others, children must begin to recognize how this effects the relationships they are building or breaking. Continue reading →

Partly Cloudy

I have to give credit where credit’s due. I got this lesson from Marissa over at elemetaryschoolcounseling.org. But, since I always put my own little twist into things, I figured I’d write up how it went over here at our all boys’ school!

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Thanking Friends

. . . a 1st and 2nd grade approach to the “Tree of Thanks.”

Continuing with my goal of recognizing the GOOD things our friends do (and not just spending our time “tattling” on one another at recess), I took my Tree of Thanks lesson and adapted it for my 1st graders. They really (and I mean REALLY) liked it, so I actually did the exact same lesson with my 2nd graders (who also REALLY liked it).

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Thanking Friends

Topics Covered: Responsibility, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Respect, Communication Skills

I started my lesson off by reading a very, very, VERY old book that must have been passed down to me from someone else. The illustrations in the book are so old that color on them is really faded and one of the second graders was pretty sure it was a 3-D book and I was missing the glasses that went with it. By the looks of the cover I’m 110% positive it is not a 3-D book, but hey I’ll continue to look for those glasses just in case.

Anyways, the book is called That’s What Friends are For by Florence Parry Heide (to emphasize the oldness of my book, please note the differences in book covers – mine vs. Amazon’s). In the book, Theodore (an elephant) is trying to figure out how to visit his cousin on the other end of the forest, but he can’t walk because (somehow) he hurt his leg. Throughout the story, various friends come to give Theodore advice. Pretty much the book talks about how giving advice is nice, but a real friend is meant to help. The book ends by saying, “Friends should always help a friend. That’s what friends are for.”

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So after reading the story we talk about the kinds of things for which Theodore could thank his friends. Then, I pass out a slip of paper to each boy. It simply says, “Thank you ______________. You are a good friend because _________________.” Anonymously the boys are able to thank one friend for anything they would like. Just like the Tree of Thanks lesson, I had to explain to the boys that they needed to write a more detailed thank you than, “You are a good friend because you are nice/good/kind, etc.” Once the boys had written their thank yous, they folded it in half and gave it to me.

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Now here comes the fun! We all sat in a circle and passed a ball to one another. Each time the ball was passed the person would thank the other friend for something. Maybe not the best explanation . . . I admit . . . here’s an example:

Me: (I’m passing the ball to Johnny) Johnny, thank you for holding the door for me earlier today.

Johnny: You’re welcome, Miss LeBrasse. (Passing the ball to Sam). Sam, thank you for playing with me at recess.

Got the idea?

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So, once that round was over, we played one more round. Example:

Me: (I’m passing the ball to Paul) Paul, you are a good friend because you always listen to me when I’m teaching a lesson.

Paul: Thank you, Miss LeBrasse. (Passing the ball to Dave). Dave, you are a good friend because you helped me pick up my crayons when they fell on the floor.

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Once we had played the game twice, I passed out the folded thank yous. Now, here’s the deal, not every boy got one, but to me that was okay, because during the game they would have received 2 additional compliments. So, anyways, that’s how it went. I hope it doesn’t sound too complicated because it really wasn’t!

In fact, the boys were so quiet and intently listening during the game because they truly wanted to hear what their friends would thank them for (plus they really wanted to throw and catch that ball)! Give it a try and let me know how it works out! I’d be really curious!

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A Tree of Thanks

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am getting caught up! I’m about to share with you a lesson I did right before Thanksgiving! Thank goodness I’ve at least gotten out of my October lessons. But don’t fear you really could use this lesson at any time of the year, just change those leaves to green and a spring tree you’ll have!

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Loyalty

What does it mean to be a loyal friend?

Well, to me it means sharing wonderful guidance lessons. I’ve never met Marissa over at elementaryschoolcounseling.org, but with all of the helpful lessons she’s given me this year I have to consider this “friendship” a pretty loyal one. Continue reading →