Sunday, February 8, 2015

Friends Are Special

Ahhh .. February in Kindergarten! It is a heavenly month to behold! The children are seamlessly moving from activity to activity, much of the chatter is meaningful and context based, and there is a flurry of writing and reading everywhere in the room! Is it a miracle? Is it luck? Could it possibly be my teaching? 

At this moment in time, I’m not sure the reason is as important as the outcome:  My room is filled with young readers and writers excited to come to school each day to learn new concepts, and interact with their peers. I venture to say that it is my favorite month of school!

To celebrate the joy that February brings, I created a little friendship book that I thought you would enjoy sharing with your students too. It’s called Friends Are Special. The kids love this book because I xerox their small school pictures for everyone to use!
 Friends Are Special Freebie
Each child will need a B&W or color copy of their school picture, plus copies of 3 more friend’s photos. I’ve learned through experience NOT to allow the children to choose the 3 friends. Feelings always get hurt! 

This book can be completed in small group, reading centers, or whole group. I actually prefer to do it in whole group as I enjoy seeing and hearing the conversations between the children. 

Once the books are copied and stapled together, and you have made copies of the school pictures, you are ready to go.  As I pass out each book, I also give each child his/her own school picture. The child glues the picture on the last page of the book. The children begin to color the front page, and I pass out three friend’s pictures to each child. The children glue one picture to each page in the book.  
The procedure for each page is the same, but only do one page at a time and then begin the procedure over again:

In whole group, read the words in the word bank and discuss the meanings.
Each child finds the friend that is pictured on the first page. 
Ask the friend how to spell his/her name or allow the friend to write the name. 
Ask the friend to help choose the words from the word bank that best describes him/her.
Repeat with pages 2-3. Page 4 is  completed independently.
The kids love making these books. I always provide extra copies of the books and pictures. I place them in the writing center after we have completed the activity as a group. It is the favorite writing center of the entire year!

Enjoy the month of February with your precious little ones! It you decide to give “Friends Are Special” a try, would you please leave me a comment on my TPT store? Your comments are my only way of knowing if my ideas are helpful to you and your students. Happy Teaching and Happy February!