The struggle is real, people! Third graders can be so sweet and kind... or not. Many are the times that I have opened the classroom door to be greeted with a group of kiddos, all trying to tell me their side of a particular recess story.
My boys? They seem to do okay most of the time. Give them a ball to kick or throw, and they're happy.
But my eight-year-old girls? Today they're best friends forever. Tomorrow? Not so much. Feelings get hurt, friends get left out, tears are shed... and that's just the teacher! Seriously though, it's hard to get on with the business of learning in the middle of all the drama.
Some years are much better than others, and I think it depends on the personalities of our students. This year I have twelve boys and seventeen girls, and I have to say that it's a challenge.
One thing I've found to be helpful is to make a Friendship Tree. This is perfect for February, when hearts are all around us. First, trace your own hands and forearms for the branches, then make a trunk. Then brainstorm with the class about what makes someone a good friend. Have each student make a heart out of construction paper. They can write one word or phrase on their heart, decorate it, and place it on the classroom tree.
The next time problems arise, you can send them to look at the tree, and ask themselves if they are being a good friend!
Here's to friendship,