The book reading was Cliques Just Do Not Make Cents. We defined cliques – a group of individuals who share a common interest (not a bad thing) and exclude others (the bad part).
I was super proud of one girl who shared that a friend of hers in the neighborhood excludes his younger brother when they play. She made a promise to stand up to this friend to include his younger brother. This can be a hard stance to take. We also talked a bit about this as well. Girls love to talk!
We also made friendship necklaces. The 3 beads are supposed to represent the 3 qualities they want in a friend. Ex: kind, honest, adventurous.
We ended with some fun jump rope games. Some days I just want to play games the whole time so I can see their smiles and belly laughs.
Wow, great discussions this week at Briar Chapel!
As we were playing the Key Jar game (link below for more on this game), girls started sharing experiences they have had or were currently experiencing at school. Some takeaways from the lesson –
1) as I stopped the Key Jar game, one girl said “here comes the conversation.” Then another girl said “but that is why we are here.” Love.Love.Love.
2) some girls do not feel comfortable going to the guidance counselor (it is something private, and they do not know her well enough) or current teacher (too strict). I tried to help them brainstorm someone at school that they did feel comfortable going to with a problem. Maybe a former teacher or assistant?
3) the bus seems to be a place where issues pop up. Assigned seating can help.
4) some “teasing” might be a girl’s way of saying she wants to be a part of your group but not sure the best way to go about it. I charged one girl with the task of trying to include the teasing girl to see if that helps.
5) with name calling, ignoring is often the best approach. If you react, the bully will continue.
6) don’t be a bystander. If someone is bullying your friend, stand up for your friend.
Here is the link to the Key Jar – http://momastery.com/blog/2015/04/24/key-jar/
And some pics from our lesson.
One of my favorite Key Jar questions. The answer – kind, honest, not perfect.
The book reading was Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully.
Getting into character is important!
The book reading this week was A Bad Case of the Stripes. Camilla is embarrassed to tell her friends she likes lima beans because all of her friends think they are gross. She comes down with a bad case of the stripes because she is not true to who she is. Oh, and her friends laugh at her changing stripes. When I asked if laughing and name calling would be bullying, I got a lot of yeses.
After a drawing exercise that asked the girls to draw themselves as something they liked (no one picked lima beans….huh?) we learned some yoga moves and some breathing techniques the girls can use when upset. Breathing and relaxing are good strategies during stressful situations.
The focus this month will be on bullying. We started this week’s lesson with the book reading of The Sneetches. Exclusion is one of the ways girls can be bullied, just like in the book.
Next we worked on some definitions of bully, victim and bystander. It was easy for the girls to define the first 2 words, but the bystander one was harder. I wanted to include it since this is the place that some girls end up in a bullying situation. If you just sit back and watch, that is just as bad as being the bully because your behavior condones what the bully is doing. I stressed that you should always stand up for yourself or a friend in a bullying situation, bullying is NEVER ok, and that you should always seek out an adult for help if it continues. This is not the same as tattling.
Some good role plays, discussions, and we made our own trail mix. The goal (other than a tasty treat) was for the girls to see friendships like trail mix… they should not be just one type. Including friends who are not the same as you allows you to learn new things, makes friendship “less boring” as one girl reported, and can make cliques less likely.
Oh and just another reason to love Glenwood Elementary…. check out what I found in the parking lot 🙂