Posted October 26th, 2016
When you’re working to teach 5-year-olds, getting them to express their feelings and thoughts out loud can be a challenge. Teaching conversation skills is just as important as learning letters and numbers. In Mrs. Seamer’s class, she uses a friendly face to help students learn how to interact with each other and adults.
Buddy the Bunny is a bit shy, so Mrs. Seamer teaches the class a song that will help Buddy make new friends. The lyrics say: “How do I make new friends? I introduce myself.” After the song, Mrs. Seamer asks the students to help Buddy feel comfortable enough to come out and play. One at a time, students come up to talk to Buddy, asking her questions and giving her compliments. It might seem like a fun game, but at the same time, Mrs. Seamer is reminding the students to speak loudly and clearly, to make eye contact and to take turns, as well as how to answer questions and make suggestions to continue a conversation.
After Buddy felt a bit better, students broke into pairs and practiced asking each other’s names and if they’d like to play. Students could only talk if they had the ball. Mrs. Seamer worked with each team, making sure they were working together to have a conversation.
It’s sometimes the things we don’t think about that our students need most: courtesy, kindness, and the willingness to help others.