Morning Group Time is an important part of the day at Bixby. Meeting together as individual grades gives students a significant anchor at our school. Group Time becomes a safe place for each age group to come together as a community.
For our group of 1st graders, Colleen and I have been focusing on helping students to adjust to the changes that come with moving up into the elementary program. While our students have already experienced parts of the Bixby community by the time they come to us- lunch with friends, music with Danielle, swimming with Kyle, sports with Nifer- 1st grade brings many exciting, new things to figure out. The transition to new teachers, changing classes, Free Time, more friends and Lower Yard can be made more smooth by using group time to help kids explore and reflect on their experiences.
This week in Group Time, we began to delve more deeply into the most important topic of friendship and emotions. This is a big one in 1st grade! At this developmental stage, kids show more independence from parents and family. They begin to pay more attention to friendships and teamwork. There is a new awareness of wanting to be liked and accepted by friends. It becomes more important than ever before to be able to answer these two questions: what does it mean to be a friend? What does it mean to have a friend? Using the book How Full Is Your Bucket by Tom Rath as a jumping off point, we’re talking about the “invisible buckets” we each have. These buckets contain our feelings. When we feel happy, respected and loved, our buckets fill up. When we feel sad, ignored or not liked, our buckets become empty. Our interactions with others play a huge role in the fullness of our buckets. Our goal as teachers is to help our 1st graders begin to recognize the connection between the two and how it impacts their days at Bixby.
1st-3rd Grade: Reading; 1st Grade: Group Time