PPBF: Our Friendship Rules

Today I'm excited because I've finished around round of Peace Class. We were talking about manners and their connection to respect and I found it so intriguing to talk with them about the why behind some of the manners. Not a single student knew why it's not good manners to put your elbows on the table. Interesting ... 

Turns out the why is pretty important to motivation; 
just yesterday, I found this Daniel Pink quote on Twitter: 

How do you encourage your students to respectfully figure out the why?

Then last night I attended a Red Grammer concert. WoW!
He performed music from this simply powerful CD.

Click the graphic for a sample song.
What an expert bucket filler and gift to our community this 
Grammy-award-winning musician and friend is.
And speaking about gifts, check out today's PPBF.

Title: Our Friendship Rules
Authors: Peggy Moss & Dee Dee Tardif
Illustrator: Alissa Imre Geis
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers
Date: May 2007 
Suitable for ages: 5 and up
Realistic Fiction
Themes: friendship, betrayal, conflict resolution
Brief synopsis: Our narrator experiences conflict with {and risks losing} her best friend when she shares her biggest secret to impress a cool new girl.
Opening page: When my friend Jenny Martin hides, she is almost impossible to find. Unless she starts talking. Jenny Martin is my best friend.

Read Roxanne's Books That Heal blog review {here}.
Check out a review on scrumdilly-do blog {here}.
Download the pdf from one of the authors {here}.
Find lots of resources at Friendship Is Our Hands {here}.
Try this idea I wrote for our school website:

Why I like this book:  I've used this gem so SO many times since I added it to my shelf; it's just so real. Alexandra loves her best friend Jenny Martin, but she gets sucked in by the outward beauty of Rolinda, the new girl, and starts dressing like her, trying to emulate her. She even cuts her hair like her. Soon she's sharing her best friend's biggest secret with Rolinda. And it hurts Jenny. Bad.

Just today I shared it with three firsties who are sort of stuck in a triangle and one of them said it so eloquently: You can't just pick a friend by how beautiful or fancy she is. That's just on the outside. What about what's in her heart? So just like Alexandra and Jenny in the book, we work together write friendship rules together, and then look at them to see if they're "outside" or "inside" qualities.
 My favorite rule on their contract? Keep an open heart!
A friend that fits is totally worth the work.
So many extension possibilities in this scrapbook-style Mom's Choice Silver Medalist. Check it out to see for yourself.


  1. Love your choice. What an empowering book for kids about working at their friendships. I like that it is so realistic and the girls solve their own problem. Also like the piece you wrote for the newsletter. And, I am a fan of the bucket filler books. What fun to attend a Red Grammer concert.

    1. Thank you, Pat. You always leave a heartprint when you stop by!

  2. Knowing our manners and th e why for them is so important. And then why friendship forms is so real. We all need manners in our friendships. It can be cultural. Thanks for introducing this book to us. :)

    1. YES, we also talked about situational and geographical manners. In the north, for example, we did not use sir and ma'am to address adults; down here in TX it's considered a huge sign of respect to include sir or ma'am.

  3. Now I shall have to spend half an hour googling about elbows on the table, which is actually a rule I don't personally enforce with children. That opening is a brilliant hook. This does sound a real friendship gem, Barbara.

    1. Well if you find out why, please let us know. I researched myself and came up with a whole lot of nothing. It was a blast, however, to hear what the kids had to say as they speculated the why!

  4. Like Joanna, I am clueless about the why for the elbow rule. Someone help us out?! I love friendship books. :)

    1. I think you'll LOVE this one, Wendy! And don't you think the title is SO very clever?!

  5. What great first lines... as for elbows, who knows? Maybe "proper" young ladies and gentlemen keep their hands in their laps unless using a fork or knife. On the other hand, if you use your L hand to hold fork (& eat) and your R hand to cut with, then elbows on the table might mean splattering something on another person's plate -and that WOULD be rude.

  6. Can't have too many books about friendship. I need to find and read this one. Thanks for sharing it.


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