Five For Fraturday... Back to School and Building Community - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Five For Fraturday... Back to School and Building Community

I am sure you aren't surprised my Five For Friday didn't make it up ON Friday... After the first week back in school, I was POOPED!!! I spent a lot of time this week making sure my students understand the importance of community in our classroom. Here are a few things we did!
We have one rule in my classroom:
with Ideas by Jivey
I love to introduce this rule with these two books:
Golden Rule Book with Ideas by Jivey
Do Unto Otters Book  with Ideas by Jivey
We use these books to help us make lists of things we will do in our classroom to demonstrate The Golden Rule- and these lists stay posted in the room all year.
I ran across this book on Amazon in my suggested titles...
This book is one of my new favorites! It went PERFECTLY with The Golden Rule and also led to great conversations about bullying and how to handle it. Lucy is a unique little girl who is getting picked on by a boy named Ralph. My kids suggested very quickly as we read the book that Ralph is probably mean because he was sad on the inside (he was sitting alone on the bus while Lucy and her friend sat together talking and laughing). I was impressed! Poor Lucy was having a hard time sleeping and eating because the boy was being such a bully, and she was afraid of being a tattletale. Lucy did a good job in the book of using her words, but it didn't work... We talked about when we should tell an adult, and when we should try to work it out on our own. In the end, she followed The Golden Rule, even though it was really hard to do so. This was the perfect book to show that we don't just treat our friends the way we want to be treated, but we treat EVERYONE that way.
This was the perfect time to pull out my THINK poster from "It's Cool to be Kind!" (a freebie in my store!)
Freebie Poster with Ideas by Jivey
Freebie Poster with Ideas by Jivey
Another major lesson to build community is to learn to work as a team. I love Fearless 5th Grade's Saving Fred activity, so we did it again this year! The students must get a life preserver (Gummy Saver) out from under a capsized boat (a cup) and around Fred (a gummy worm) WITHOUT touching anything with their fingers! They are only allowed to use paper clips, and they can't impale Fred!
Building Community Lesson Fearless 5th Grade's Saving Fred Activity with Ideas by Jivey
They also can't drop Fred in the ocean (on the desk).
Building Community Lesson Fearless 5th Grade's Saving Fred Activity with Ideas by Jivey
To be successful, EVERY student must participate- otherwise the gummy saver doesn't get stretched enough and Fred gets dropped. Last year, I only had half of my class successfully save Fred. They broke the gummy savers, they drowned Fred (dropped him too many times)... but this year, EVERY group saved Fred! I was so excited! I hope this is a sign it will be great year of working together and getting along! :o)

Since this is such a fun motivator for students to work as a team, I'm also going to link this up with my BBB, Joanne!
Lastly, we set goals for this year using The Helpful Counselor's SMART Goals!
Smart Goals with Ideas by Jivey
(I was going to share some of my students' goal sheets with you, but I didn't get a chance to get pictures because we had horrible storms yesterday afternoon and I had to get home before it got really bad! I will update the post on Monday when I can get some pictures.)

This is a great way to help students set goals because they understand all of the parts to actually achieve their goal! I highly recommend it.

I hope you all had an excellent week! I know lots of you aren't back to school yet, so maybe this gives you some good ideas of things to try! :)


  1. Wow! You had a busy week. I'm impressed that you were even able to post at all after the first week back! Kudos to you. I have all of those books except The Golden Rule, so I will have to add that to my collection. Thanks for the ideas. Save Fred is one of my favorites to build community and teamwork. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love Saving Fred! I just might have to do that with my 4th graders. Thanks for sharing!!!

    4th Grade and Glitter

  3. I had my students last year try to save Fred as well! It's a fabulous team building activity! I must find a copy of the Golden Rule! Thanks for sharing your first week Jessica!


  4. That Saving Fred Activity is hilarious! I love it!! I also love the "Do Unto Otters" book. I have that one in my classroom, I need to dig it out and remember to use it this year. Glad you had a great first, albeit exhausting, week back to school!

    Wild About Fifth Grade

  5. Of course I love your book recommendations (especially the spaghetti one), and the saving Fred activity is adorable! Glad your first week went well!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late

  6. Wow! You had a great start! I love all of your book suggestions and activities! Thanks for posting! Have a relaxing well-deserved weekend.

  7. I did have a great, but tiring week! We all forget how much we have to stand up in a classroom and my legs get tired! I am trying some activities to help build community, but my problem is I have 15 classes. I have each for an hour a week. I tried a fabulous team challenge last week and LOVED it. I am taking some photos this week so I'll post more about it soon!
    Teachers Are Terrific!

  8. What a great week! I'm so glad I ordered Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun after reading your review! Thanks for the reminder about Saving Fred-I need to add it to my plans! Great community building activity! I'm getting excited and nervous...1 week for me! Thanks for sharing and linking up BBB!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  9. Yay...I'm glad you reminded me to get stuff for Save Fred. We had so much fun with that yesterday! xo
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  10. Yay! I'm glad your students were able to use the SMART Goals printable!

    Last year I switched from counseling to sped 3-5. Love the ideas on your blog!

    Best wishes,


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