Yesterday I met my wonderful new class at orientation. Now my brain is in hypergear! Last night right before I was drifting off to sleep ideas started swirling in my head.
During the first week, I like to do a lot of activities to break the ice and help the children get to know each other better. On the first day I plan to buddy them up for recess. I want to make sure that everyone in the class has someone to play with. If they want to play with someone else other than their buddy that's fine BUT they have to include their buddy too.
The next day I buddy them up again but everyone has a new buddy, and so on for the first week. I think it is important to help the children develop relationships. After recess, we discuss how the time with their buddy went. This enables me to help them handle certain situations and how to resolve certain conflicts. At this age, you cannot assume anything so I model, model, model, discuss, discuss, discuss.
Another benefit of buddy up time is that one buddy may help the other buddy remember the recess rules we went over earlier that day.
What's amazing is that most years the majority of my class ends up playing together at recess rather than breaking off into little groups. It's rewarding to see how they help each other and look after one another as the year progresses.
On a side note, I sell on eBay and promote other sellers. If interested check out my eBay Store: Lowery's Loft. My username on eBay is GroovyEducator (just like this blog).
clip art courtesy of mycutegraphics.com