The AIM Buddy Project research year is coming to an end as participating schools are wrapping up the program sessions with fun, innovative Conclusion and Celebration session activities!
Over the school year, teachers and buddies have been engaging in many thoughtful and reflective discussions while exploring the AIM topics: empathy, honesty, forgiveness, generosity, and learning from others. The Conclusion and Celebration sessions act as an “exclamation point” to the learning experiences buddies have shared throughout the program. These culminating sessions bring buddy pairs together again to celebrate the learning and collaborative work they did all throughout the AIM Buddy Project.
Teachers have shown creativity in organizing fun, thoughtful Conclusion and Celebration activities for the buddy pairs to share. These activities were designed to be a special occasion for the buddy pairs to mark the end of the AIM experience together. Some ideas have come directly from the AIM Teacher Guide (TG), and others come from teacher’s own imaginations.
- “Acts of Kindness” Activity (from the TG)
After reading Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud, teachers had buddy pairs think about the themes of kindness, friendship, and helping others that arose during the AIM program. Then they decided on and performed acts of kindness for the people in their lives. Finally, buddy pairs “filled their own buckets” by illustrating ways they could be generous with their time while making connections to their own lives.
- Create A Good Buddy Poster (from the TG)
Teachers placed art and writing materials in five areas of the room. Then each 1st and 4th grade buddy pair joined a group to work on a poster illustrating one of the five AIM topics. The groups discussed, reflected, and illustrated the most important aspects of their topics. Then they took turns presenting their posters to the group.
- Create A Good Buddy Quilt
These 2nd and 5th teachers took the “Good Buddy Poster” idea from the TG and turned it into a “Lessons From Arthur That Tie Us Together” class quilt. Buddies illustrated their favorite interactive story or game. Then they tied the quilt pieces together with red ribbon—which was an inspiration from a book they were reading about destiny and friendship.
It is exciting to see the creative and varied ways that teachers and buddies are marking the end of the AIM Buddy Project. It’s even more exciting to see that some teachers will be extending the buddy relationships to go beyond the final Celebration sessions by continuing regular buddy meetings throughout the school year to read, dance, or just have fun together. It is also encouraging to discover that the learning and the relationships will continue beyond the AIM Buddy Project!