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Old 02-02-2013, 09:14 AM
DrivingPigeon's Avatar
DrivingPigeon DrivingPigeon is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 4,092
2nd Grade Teacher
Originally Posted by KinderCowgirl View Post
I understand too dreading that conversation with the parents. We actually have an objective on our report card that says "makes meaningful friends" and it's so hard to say "no, actually, they don't".
Wow, that would be a tough objective to grade!

I think the difficult thing about this situation is that, for me at least, it isn't on the report card. As teachers, we're so caught up with everything we have to teach, that sometimes we let social issues just slide through the cracks. I sometimes have to remind myself that I need to address the social issues in my classroom, and look out for each students' emotional needs, as well.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:41 AM
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readingrules12 readingrules12 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,128
5th Grade Teacher
Excellent post Driving Pigeon--this is a passion of mine--please read on:

I can only remember once crying when I was a teacher (fortunately I made it out of the classroom) before it happened.

We were doing persausive writing in 4th grade. A boy had written with all of his heart about how he was going to persuade one person to be a friend, so he could finally know what it would be like to have a friend. That moment changed me as a teacher. I decided that helping children to make friends would be a part of what I'd do as a teacher. These are things I do that have worked:

1. I use children's literature books that model how to be a good friend. As we discuss the book, I show them examples and non-examples of what good friends do.

2. If there is a child with no friend, I have that child sit by someone of the same gender that might want to be friends with that child. That has worked more than I thought it would.

3. I praise these children a lot. They need to know what they are doing right, so they see some good in themselves.

4. I have found 7 things that really work to make friends.

1. Having common interests in others.
2. Listening well to others.
3. Having the confidence to be oneself.
4. Choosing friends that are good friends and not trying
just to be "friends" with the popular students.
5. Saying kind things to others.
6. Rarely criticizing others.
7. Wanting friends, but not being desparate to have

I find #5 and #6 are common with children who have few friends. I often try to get these children to be my helpers. In third grade, I ask these students if they could find good things about other students and what they did. I then praise them and ask the child if they could say some of these things to the other children. As they start noticing good things in others, other children start accepting them more.

The rest is too complicated for a post. Each child is different on why they aren't making friends. I do try changing their habits, and it helps. It also lowers my discipline problems, because those without friends will often be the ones who are trouble in a classroom.

I don't find I solve all the friendship problems, and I don't intend to do that. I do find that I do make some improvements though.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:22 AM
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Proud2BATeacher Proud2BATeacher is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,798
Sp. Ed. Teacher
Originally Posted by juli233 View Post
first of all I feel for you. This is difficult. I have a kid who also NEVER stops making noise, even small noises I don't know that I have yet seem him quiet once this year and yes it bother the other kids which make it hard to be friends with him.
that said have you used Michelle Garcia Winner's books or programs? Superflex? I find it works for a lot of kids, it gives them the visual aids to identify their feelings and behaviors, it also gives you a common language of expected and unexpected behavior. For example you can explain that the unexpected behavior like crawling around on the floor makes the other kids feel uncomfortable because it is not what they expect(the social norm) Just a thought HTH
I just started teaching the social detective last month and my students really love it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:30 AM
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Proud2BATeacher Proud2BATeacher is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,798
Sp. Ed. Teacher
My friend has helped a student "fit in" a bit more in her classroom. This student is a gifted LD student with minimal social skills. He verbally admitted that his goal is to get the other students to get upset (we work in a school where every student has severe behaviours, so he has had students try to attack him). He is always making inappropriate comments to his peers and adults. We know part of his problem is that he doesn't have any friends...and he doesn't have any friends because he is mean to them. Well.... my friend starting doing sharing activities. She pairs her students up to share assignments and each student has to tell the other what he likes about their assignment. Now the other students are a little kinder to her gifted student (playing with him -- last week was the first time that he played with another student, initiating conversation) and her gifted student seems happier (he now smiles in class) and is a little bit more pleasant with his peers.
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friends, students

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