Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Friendship Box

After Monday night’s Twitter topic with my #kinderchat PLN on bullying, I started thinking about ways I as a classroom teacher help my students learn the life skill of being a friend.  Wondering and questioning myself "Do I do enough to help develop this skill with my students?"
A few years ago when I made the move from teaching 1st grade to teaching Kindergarten, I attended a Kindergarten conference hoping to gain a few ideas to use in my new adventure.  I walked away with many great ideas.  The Friendship Box being among one of my favorites.  I do not know the presenter’s name that shared this idea, but I am glad she/he did!  I use The Friendship Box daily during the first quarter of school.  After that I use it on Mondays during our morning meeting time (calendar) to start the week off on a positive note.  
The Friendship Box: Words and Deeds to Make Friends
·        Wrap a small box like a present, making sure the lid can come off. 
·        Attach a tag to the box that says “A friend is a present you give to yourself.”
·        Fill the box with laminated cards that have the following written on them.

Examples of things I write on the cards.  I am sure there are many more ideas to add to the box.
Ways to make a friend
·        Help a friend clean up.
·        Share a book, crayon, scissors, pencil, etc. with a friend.
·        Help a friend when they get hurt.
·        Help a friend find something.
·        Cheer up a sad friend.
·        Smile when you look at a friend.
·        Ask a friend to play with you at recess.
·        Help a friend with their back backpack.
Things to say to make a friend
·        Are you O.K.?
·        I like to sit by you.
·        Will you please be my partner?
·        I like what you made.
·        I like what you built.
·        I think you are really good at __________.
I have the Leader of the Day pull out a card.  I then read the card and role play what the card says with the leader. Then we discuss why this would be a good way to make a friend or be a friend.
I also have a friendship necklace that I let students wear when I see or someone tells me they have seen someone being a good friend.  We always try to make it a big deal when someone is being a good friend. 
One website that I have also found to have some great book selections and friendship poems is: http://web.archive.org/web/20080109151939/http://www.theteachersroom.com/friendship.htm
Learning to be a student at the age of 5 is not an easy job.  In my opinion, it is my job to make sure I do all I can to help each student develop the life skill of not only making new friends, but being a good friend as well.
Friends at school
Are big and small.
Friends at school
Are best of all!


  1. So cute! This is wonderful!! Congratulations on both teaching your kids how to be friends and modeling friendship the way you do each day Jana!

  2. Wow, I didn't think anyone else called their students 'sprouts' except me! Very cool!

  3. Mr. A. I picked up the term "Sprouts" during my student teaching block. My cooperating teacher called her students "Sprouts," I thought it was a great term to use for kiddos just starting out....they are Sprouting! Thanks for reading my Blog. I read yours all the time. Hopefully, it will someday be half as good as yours!

  4. Kinderchat.....Thank you for the kind and encouraging words!