Each student in my kindergarten class is assigned to one or two students in an upper elementary class. The students create art projects together, work in the computer lab, or attend one of our plays. The older students take the younger ones on a campus tour and teach them to play sports like kickball. One project had the Big and Little Friends work together to make Clifford ears and a bone with the Little Friend's name on it.
This program is a win-win situation because everyone benefits from it: the Little Friend gains a sense of belonging to the school environment and making new friends, and the Big Friend gains self confidence by being a mentor to an appreciative younger student. What I enjoy seeing is how all the students absolutely love it! The pairs meet every two weeks and at the end of their time together, the Friends sing this song: “Good-bye now, good-bye now! The clock says we’re done. We’ll see you in two weeks. Good-bye now, everyone!”
A successful classroom community promotes positive social skills and academic achievement. Foster a sense of belonging in your classroom with these tips, activities, and unit plans.