Monday, August 25, 2014

A New Year and Team Building

I am doing a whole character theme for the year and will write about it soon but I wanted to first write about our first day activity that has been so fun.

In every class, we are singing the song "Make New Friends" as a team building song, as well as for encouraging the kids to befriend other kids.

Once we learned the song, we are using individual tennis balls, borrowed from the PE teacher, to bounce on the strong and weak beat while singing. The kids just stay in their criss cross applesauce position or their chair (5th and 6th grade). I encourage them to just let it drop and not bounce to high to keep it on the beat. I am using a card reward system to encourage great behavior. I will write about that when I write about my theme for the year.

Once they get pretty good at bouncing on the strong and weak beat by themselves, I will have them bounce it to a partner. With the older kids, probably at least 5th and 6th, we will get in a circle and I will first get them to put out their left hand (palm up and not moving). They will touch their left palm and then touch their neighbor's left palm (to their right) in this motion- "touch and pass", "touch and pass". When they are pretty good at it, we will add in tennis balls while we say "touch and pass" and then we will add our song. If we get good at that, we will do it in a round. I do this exercise every year with my 6th graders and it is really a team building exercise.

The kids told me there is a second verse, but I have found many more:

Make New Friends

Submitted by Sue Lynch

Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.

A circle is round,
it has no end.
That's how long,
I will be your friend.

A fire burns bright,
it warms the heart.
We've been friends,
from the very start.

You have one hand,
I have the other.
Put them together,
We have each other.

Silver is precious,
Gold is too.
I am precious,
and so are you.

You help me,
and I'll help you
and together
we will see it through.

The sky is blue
The Earth is green
I can help
to keep it clean.

Across the land
Across the sea
Friends forever
We will always be