Feel Good Friday
Today was Friday, but it wasn’t Friendship Friday – it was FEEL GOOD FRIDAY!
If I did Friendship Friday in my classroom every Friday, I would run out of surprising student pairings very quickly. I like the idea of Fridays feeling special (and not just because we all get to run away from school for two days at the 3:15 bell), so I started Feel Good Friday. Now, when my students come in on Fridays, they ask, “Is this Friendship Friday or Feel Good Friday”? Either way, they’re happy!
Over the years I’ve learned that time invested in structured activities that allow my students to build relationships with one another and to learn how to communicate with one another is time well spent. So, on Friday afternoons, we take a break from the curriculum and we do something that’s intentionally fun, yet still has a purpose. “Free time” is not in my teaching vocabulary (sorry to all my free-spirited colleagues!). It may be that I am a control-freak or it may be that I think my students can feel like they’re having a blast while I’m slipping in something meaningful. Sometimes they don’t even notice. ; )
Have you ever played Table Topics? It’s a little set of conversation-starter cards that come in a pack. Someone chooses a card, reads it out loud, and everyone goes around and answers the question. The questions are fun, thought-provoking, and original. Sometimes I pull the cards out when we have an extra minute in the classroom and my kids get excited to share their answers with their classmates.
So, today for Feel Good Friday, everyone made their own Table Topics game to take home for the weekend. This week the topic of screen time and choosing to interact with other humans came up several times, so it seemed appropriate. The kids had a great time brainstorming fun questions, writing them on notecards, and planning when and how they would take a few minutes to play with their families this weekend. It was a simple, fun activity that will hopefully create some fun experiences for my students over the weekend.
Let’s keep creating opportunities for our kids to interact appropriately with one another, even if it takes some extra time and energy (hey, sometimes I sit and stare at my phone too!). Hang in there!