I keep this framed poster in my classroom. I have the students make their own after we talk about how to treat others. I refer to it any often throughout the year because I want the students to treat others they way they would like to be treated.
I think the 5 Rules for being a good friend are simple enough that anyone can do them.
1. Is it true?
So often, my 5th grade girls will tell stories about one certain girl, and I stop it the moment I find out about it. We walk to the chart and discuss what they said about someone. If what was being said, was true, then #2 & 3 really come into play.
2. Is it Helpful?
Brainstorm what you can say that would be helpful. Have some easy scenarios ready, so students can discuss as a team:
- "Hey, "the student" is wearing the same shirt as yesterday.
- Did you see "the student" with that old pokemon shirt on? That is soooo out of style."
- "The Student" has an armful of stuff, let's help him carry some of it to class.
Have your students come up with their own scenarios of things to talk about that would be helpful and not helpful.
3. Is it Inspiring?
Inspire can be defined as = to cause someone to have a feeling or emotion. Here are some examples:
- The book The North Star inspired the student to work hard in class.
- Garrett inspired Nicholas to memorize his multiplication facts by helping him learn is 4s.
- Katelyn inspired Ryan to be brave in partnering up, when she offered to be his partner during "Hand Up, Stand Up, Pair Up."
- Nicholas was inspired to practice reading so he could catch up with Garrett in AR points when Garrett said, "Here's a good book to read and it is worth a lot of points."
4. Is It Necessary?
Here are a couple of examples:
- Guess who had an accident during class because the teacher didn't let her go to the bathroom?
- Look who doesn't have anyone to play with? Let's ask her to join us.
5. Is it Kind?
Have students look for kind things to say and put them in a container (I'm thinking bucket to go with "Have you filled a Bucket today?) to read later, or post on a bulletin board.
You may notice that the paper looks wrinkled. Before they write I hold up a piece of paper, and ask the class to pretend that is paper represents your friendship with one of your best friends. Now imagine that you just grabbed toy from your friend without permission, or you cut your friend off and take the first turn in a game. How would that feel? At this point I wrinkle the paper some. We talk about making things right by apologizing. We notice as a class that smoothing out the paper helps, but it doesn't take away the wrinkles. The wrinkles don't really go away, so we need to be careful with our friends, by thinking before we speak.
I purchased several frames from the dollar store, and let my students who have earned enough classroom money purchase them. I laminated the rest of them and handed them out.