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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Friendship

Fourth Grade Friends
Fourth grade is one of those pivotal years when it comes to friendships! Some students have been friends for many years, meeting each other in preschool or kindergarten.  Others are making new friends each year in their new classroom.   Whatever the case may be, there's always a lot happening with friendships on the playground, in the lunchroom and during class time.

While the students are at recess,  I'll take a moment to go outside or watch through the window to get a better sense of which students are playing together.  When students come to me about something that has happened outside, knowing a little bit about their friendships helps them maneuver this part of the school day.

As a class we have been focusing on "kindness" this year. Mostly, we have been focusing on the topic through reading books. Some have included Have You Filled A Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud; Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson; Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson & The Boy Who Grew Flowers by Jennifer Wojtowicz.  Our class has even participated in two Twitter chats (#4thbookchat) around the last 2 books.  While these books speak to the theme of 'kindness' they also touch upon 'friendship'.

Qualities of a Good Friend
Recently, the students had a guidance lesson around the topic of Friendship.  The lesson got interrupted and so it wasn't quite finished.  In an effort to wrap up the lesson, I asked the students to share some information about qualities they thought friends possess and to provide evidence of those qualities. Here's a sampling of what these sweet 10 year olds had to say about friendship.  Qualities that were most stated were Loyal, Trustworthy & Caring.

Even more amazing were their responses to the open ended question of "What else can you say about friendship".  Here is what these 4th graders had to say:
  • "Friendship is one of the most important things in your life and you should stay in touch and hang out"; 
  • "If you didn't have friends you would be lonely and not have fun."
  • "Friendship means that your friends don’t make fun of you if you are not great at something or even if you don’t know how to do something. "
  • "In a friendship you should always include others because that's the nicest thing you can do."
  • "Friends help you no matter what!"
  • "Having friends makes you want to be more social and make more friends."
  • "If you are not selfish you will have a better time keeping your friends."
  • "Make good choices with the friends you have. Maybe once or twice you will have a fight but that is normal."
  •     
    Lifelong Friends
  • "Friendship is hard to earn but easy to lose!"
While in elementary school we continue to help students navigate the fine art of making and keeping friends, it's nice to know that these students have some definite ideas about mutual trust and understanding. It just goes to show that these kiddos have a strong foundation to build upon.

What do you do to promote "good friendships"?




RESOURCES:

PBS: Parenting: Raising Girls: Understanding Elementary School Friendships
Parenting Science: How to Help Kids Make Friends
Health Line: 10 Top Friendship Games & Activities
Today's Parent: How to Help your Child Make Friends
Understood: 7 Ways the Teacher Can Help Your Child Make Friends




14 comments:

  1. So True!! 4th grade in a very influential year, especially with friends. I feel also, friends in K, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade play with one another. By the time 4th grade comes along, students are becoming more social and connecting and building friends with more oral language skills. (As a resuslt can increase the about of 'secrets', feelings of exclusions, etc). Great piece!! Thank you for sharing!
    -Miss B (www.booksncrayons.com)

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