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Do your kiddos have spring fever? If behavior problems seem a bit more rampant these days, take a step back and focus on your classroom community. A little student bonding can go a long way toward squelching disputes and disruptions. Try this all-time favorite to get your kiddos showin’ a little love.
- Have the group sit in a large circle.
- With a ball of yarn in your hand, pick a student to praise (maybe an unlikely candidate), and toss the ball while holding onto the end of the yarn.
- That student then praises someone, and tosses the ball (while also still holding onto their end of the yarn).
- Continue until every person has heard something nice about him/herself and has had the opportunity to throw the yarn and say something nice to another student.
- Once the web is complete, go backwards to unwind the web: Now, the person who received a compliment will throw the yarn back to their compliment-giver, giving them a compliment in return. This time, don’t hold onto the yarn while you throw, and wind up the loose piece as you go. By the end, everyone will have given and received much-needed praise, and your ball of yarn will be a ball once more.
- To conclude, give each student a piece of the web to wear on his/her wrist to symbolize the friendship of the class. (Or make simple yarn bracelets with this adorable art yarn.)
Connection is essential to the success of the students in any classroom. Fostering those relationships, even during your final days together, will make for happy memories and a peaceful classroom.
Kristin M. Woolums, M. Ed., teaches fifth grade at a private school in Atlanta.