Wednesday, January 30, 2013

3rd Grade Bullying Survey

In order to get an idea of how third graders viewed bullying at our school, I had all students complete a survey.  With their responses, I created a powerpoint to visually show the results (and freshen up their math graphing skills!).  I shared the results with them and we processed which data to be proud of and which data we should work on.  The results are posted in the pictures below. 

Austin Child Guidance Center Workshops

The Austin Child Guidance Center is offering a series of FREE workshops for parents.  These workshops address a variety of topics of interest to parents.  The workshops are held in the evening from 6-7:30pm at their center - and FREE childcare is available.  The workshops are offered at no cost, but they have a limit on the number of participants, so please visit their website for more information and to sign up.

February 21: The Next Step for Divorced Families - helping parents through family changes brought on by divorce

March 21: Anger Management at Home: Strategies That Work - learn how to reduce angry outbursts as well as what to do while they're happening

April 18: When Worries Get Too Big: Helping Your Child Face Fears and Learn to Cope - learn about typical fears and worries, how to recognize when your child's worries have gotten "too big," and how to help your child face his or her fears and cope with anxiety

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

No Name-Calling Week Displays

All of the students on our campus have taken on No Name-Calling Week in full force!  Posters are hanging throughout the building, bulletin boards are up, pledges have been signed, and students are even creating their own ways to raise awareness!

Bulletin Board in our main hallway showcasing our lessons.

Student-made poster hanging in the hallway.

 Our school wide and class wide pledge to stop name-calling and teasing others.

More examples of posters hanging in the hallways.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bully B.E.A.N.S.

In second grade we read Bully B.E.A.N.S. written by Julia Cook.  In this story Bobette does not treat other friends kindly.  One of the victims goes home upset and tells her mom about what has been happening.  Her mother has the remedy: Bully Beans!  Bully Beans are magic jelly beans that when chewed up remind kids that they have the power to stop bullies.  The beans stands for:

Students brainstormed ways to be a helpful bystander and handle bullies on their own.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Preventing Bullying

The experts over at have great information on bullying for parents, teachers, and students.  Here is some information about how to prevent bullying that I found on their website:

Intervene when children are young. Children who bully are not born bullies and children who are victimized are not born victims. But many young children engage in aggressive behaviors that may lead to bullying, while others react by submitting or fighting back. Adults can stop these patterns before they are established by encouraging cooperative behaviors such as sharing, helping, and problem-solving, and by preventing aggressive responses such as hostility, hurting, and rejection.

Teach bullying prevention strategies to all children. Don’t assume that only “challenging” children become bullies or that only “weak” children become victims. Most children are likely to be victimized by a bully at some point in their lives, and all children can benefit from learning to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behaviors; how to stand up for themselves, and others; and when to turn to an adult for help.

Take bullying seriously. Pay careful attention to the warning signs and to children most at risk. Make sure children know that bullying will not be tolerated and that you will work with them to make bullying stop.

Encourage empathy. Children who can empathize understand that bullying hurts. They are less likely to bully and more likely to help children who are bullied.

Teach by example. Be an effective role model. Children learn how to behave by watching and emulating the adults in their lives. Consider how you solve problems, discipline, control your own anger and disappointment, and stand up for yourself and others without fighting. If children observe you acting aggressively, they are more likely to show aggression toward others.

Help children critically evaluate media violence. Children may learn aggressive behaviors by watching television and movies that glorify violence and by playing violent video games that reward violent behavior. Help children understand that media portrayals of violence are unrealistic and inappropriate. Intervene when you see children imitating media violence in their play or in their social interactions.

Provide opportunities for children to learn and practice the qualities and skills that can protect them from bullying. Children who are confident are less likely to tolerate bullying and more likely to have the courage and inner-strength to respond effectively. Children who are assertive know how to react to a bully in effective, non-aggressive ways, and they are less likely to be targeted by bullies in the first place. Children who know how to make and keep friends can rely on them for protection from bullying. Children who know how to solve problems constructively avoid responding aggressively to conflict.

Encourage children to talk about and report bullying. When they do, listen carefully, and be patient: Talking about bullying can be difficult, and children may feel embarrassed or afraid to share their concerns.

Develop strong connections with the children in your care. Children are less likely to bully if they know it will displease an adult whom they respect and trust. Similarly, children are more likely to confide in an adult with whom they have a caring and trusting relationship.

Reexamine your own beliefs about bulling. Misconceptions may prevent you from “seeing” a potential bullying incident or intervening as quickly as you should.

Just Kidding: Hurtful or Harmless?

In fourth and fifth grade we read Just Kidding written by Trudy Ludwig.  This book tells the story of a student who is constantly teased by another student that thinks it’s okay to be hurtful and then say “just kidding.”

We began a discussion about how many of us have had something hurtful said to us, followed by the phrase “I was just kidding,” “I didn’t mean anything by it,” or “Can’t you take a joke?”  Then we brainstormed a list of how we know when something is good-natured teasing or hurtful teasing/bullying.  Finally students read different scenarios with a group and tried to figure out if the teasing that occurred was hurtful or harmless.  We discovered that it is a very gray area and depends on many variables.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What's in a Name?

In sixth grade we researched our names.  We learned where our name originated from, as well as what our name means.  Students thought about who gave them their name and why it was chosen to be their name.  They also elaborated on what they like about their name and the nicknames they like to be called.

 After we finished researching, students created an informational poster to show what they had learned and to teach others about their unique name. 

Bystanders: The Juice Box Bully

In first grade this week, we read The Juice Box Bully written by Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy.   The Juice Box Bully is a story about a new student, Pete, who doesn't make good choices when interacting with other students.  The kids at Pete's new school teach him about "The Promise" that their school has made and get involved to be helpful bystanders.

The Promise:
  • I WILL speak up instead of acting as a bystander.
  • I CHOOSE to participate in activities that don't involve teasing.
  • I FORGIVE others if they make poor choices.
  • I MODEL good behavior.
  • I ACCEPT others for their differences.
  • I INCLUDE others in group situations.
  • I WILL talk to an adult when there is a problem I cannot manage on my own.
  • I AM powerful in making a difference in my school.

As a connection to No Name-Calling Week, we began our discussion talking about if they have ever been called a name or have been teased before.  How many of us have watched this happen to someone that we care about?  When we stand by and watch someone be treated unfairly, we are a bystander.  Bystanders can be helpful or hurtful by their choices.  We brainstormed a list of helpful things we can do if we see someone being bullied, teased, or called a name they don't like.  

Then we chose an idea from the list to create our own Juice Box of how we can help others in need.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Acknowledging our Personality Differences: Part II

(Continued from Part I)

Students used the information from their personality quizzes and utilized a character trait chart to find words to describe them.  They found 20 adjectives that exemplified them and wrote them inside of the paper head template with their name in bold.  Then students passed their papers around the room for other students to think of positive adjectives that characterized them.  They wrote these outside of the head.  Student enjoyed reading the similarities and differences between how they think of themselves and how others view them.  Finally, we added water color. (Note: Their names have been removed for privacy)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Learning Styles

In fourth grade this week we are discussing the different ways we learn.  We talked about why it is important to know how we learn in order to advocate for ourselves and use the best studying techniques for our style to be successful in school and life.  Students made a flip book that described the 3 different learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.  On the outside they labeled the three types with pictures and on the inside they detailed helpful strategies.

We then took a survey to find statements that described our learning style in the classroom.  We discussed which statement matched up with each learning style to tally our own unique results.  Finally I had students explain the ways in which I taught to all 3 styles during our lesson today.