The dynamics in my classroom have changed dramatically over the past couple of weeks. With those changes I realized that the culture in my classroom was more of an "all for one" than a community of learners. I think this is 50% my fault and 50% due to uncontrollable circumstances. I decided this week to right this wrong in my classroom by introducing "Friend Week". Almost everything we did this week required teamwork and communication. My read alouds were about friendship and self-esteem. This week I'm going to share the books I used to recreate the community of learners we had at the beginning of the year.
On Monday, I explained to the kids that it was friend week and we were going to get to know each other again and relearn how to be friends. I also explained that in order to be a good friend to others we have to like ourselves. We did all of this at the beginning of the year so most was review. The first book I read was I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self-esteem by Jamie Lee Curtis.
Jamie Lee uses many different kids in many different situations to show kids liking themselves. Some of the kids are succeeding some are having a hard time, some are beautiful and some are having a bad hair day. This book was the perfect way for my kids to get thinking about the things they like about themselves. After my students wrote and shared the things they liked I posted them in my room as a reminder of how great they are.