Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mix It Up at Lunch

Today we participated in the nationwide Mix It Up at Lunch Day sponsored by tolerance.org/blog/mix-it-2015. Our teachers talked about the purpose of the day "to connect with others and make a new friend" during morning meetings. The student services staff gave each student in grades 1-5 a lego and had signs on all the tables with the variety of colors. The children sitting at the tables made something with their color and then during the last lunch period we had a child from each color add their creation to a single product that is on display in the library. We would recommend using legos because most elementary students like building with legos and you can get them in as many colors as you need. Lat year we ordered pencils that said "Mix It Up at Lunch Day 2014" and had the students write on post it notes something new they learned about a person but this was much easier. We do something different most years to keep up the interest. It is a great opportunity to observe students social skills and how they cope with problems (like not sitting with their best friend).

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Unite Against Bullying

Our school mascot, a Knight, joined the staff and students for wear orange day October 21 to make bullying end! Orange is the color for fairness in Character Counts. A key word in our definition of bullying is bullying in unfair (a group against one). The Knight was dressed in the a color each day during Character Counts Week.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Character Counts Week 2015

Our state requires that we teach character education.  Our school uses the Character Counts 6 pillars as the foundation of our program. When properly implemented, CHARACTER COUNTS! is an immersive program connecting staff and students through a shared language and framework of values called The Six Pillars of Character. It fosters a positive environment that has been shown to improve overall attendance and test scores while reducing negative incidents such as bullying and discipline referrals. For the week students and staff dress in a color of one of the traits each day.  On Monday we will all be "true blue" for trustworthiness...

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Bullying: Awareness, Prevention & Intervention

What do you share about bullying prevention on your school web page? In Virginia there is supposed to be a designated point of contact for parents to go to about bullying. I am the point of contact for my school.  I think it is very important for parents to know what we are teaching students about bullying behavior. Here is a link to the page for my school program   http://www.apsva.us

Bystander Revolution | Break the Cycle

Bullying Prevention

    The best short films about bullying, check them out     film-festival-bullying-prevention-upstanders

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


My first lesson of the year in grade 5 involves discussion of growth mindset and setting a reach higher goal. I explained that it is better to focus on what they need to improve and strategies than getting an A or a B. The lesson was successful judged by the fact that I got less than 10% who wrote a goal to get a specific grade. They each wrote their goal on an arm cut out - it makes a nice "kid work" bulletin board display.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Bullying Prevention in PreK-grade 2

With our younger students I use constructs from the Bullying Prevention in Positive Behavior Support handbook focusing on giving students the tools to reduce bullying behavior through the blending of school-wide positive behavior support, explicit instruction, and a redefinition of the bullying construct. I like that it teaches one approach, Stop-Walk-Talk, to address all disrespectful behavior because young students have a hard time distinguishing conflict and actual bullying behavior. Th3 52 page manual is a free download at https://www.pbis.org/resource/ The images above are one of the slides from my presentation in the lower grades and the draw and label response sheet I have my first graders do after I teach the lesson and read "Lucy and the Bully." I also teach the 3 prong response strategy to all teachers as part of our annual update training on bullying prevention.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Literature Based Bullying Prevention Program

Our school uses a literature based bullying prevention program from K-grade 5. These are the books I will be reading in my lesson at the younger grades to address the theme of bullying behavior in October - Bullying Prevention Month. In grades 3-5 the teachers read the books that are part of the Steps to Respect (Classroom Curriculum Kits). The entire school uses the Steps to Respect definition of bullying and uses Safe, Caring, and Respectful behavior expectations. All students are taught an assertive response is usually the best way to handle challenging behavior and to be positive, helpful bystanders or upstanders - not provide an audience or join in. All staff receives annual training on how to respond to disrespectful behavior and what to do if the reported behavior is bullying. Our state requires schools to use a research-based program to address bullying. We have been doing this for 8 years and we evaluate it every June. We have swapped out some of the books over the years as new ones are published that send clear messages about both prosocial and bullying behavior. We use an online Bullying Report Form that you can see on the Counseling page of our school's website.http://www.apsva.us/

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Bullying Prevention Month - Stop Bullying Before It Starts

Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center has a free toolkit for educators for Preschool - grade 3 to go along with The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin. Two of my volunteers put this up outside my office today and the students walking down the hall got so excited. The Digital Teacher Toolkit allows teachers to stream the movie for free and deliver engaging lessons on bullying prevention  pacer.org/bullying/resources/toolkits/spookley/