Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Have a bully free holiday!

In the spirit of the holiday season some of the fourth graders decided to decorate my door. Their brilliant idea goes perfectly with our bullying unit!

Have a bully free holiday!

Stop Bullying -- It Only Takes One!

The Fourth Graders just began learning about bullying. Such an important topic! For our first lesson we defined bullying.


It is bullying if:
It's on purpose to hurt
It happens over and over
There is an imbalance of power

We also read and discussed the book "One." This book is a great way to demonstrate how sometimes it only takes "one" person to stop bullying! Here are some pictures about what fourth graders could say or do to stop a bullying situation.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You Can't Say "You Can't Play"

One way that kids sometimes bully others is by excluding them from their play. The first graders want to make sure that nobody gets left out, and if it does, they remind each other:

You can't say "You can't play!"

They love this idea, and they love talking about it! When I stop by their classrooms, inevitably someone comes up to me and repeats the saying or tells me about how they have used it recently. Sometimes someone will mistakenly say, "you can't play you can't say," which everyone finds very funny! Yesterday as they were leaving the cafeteria, one first grader saw me across the front lobby and called, "Hey Mrs. Lallier, you can't say 'you can't play!'" and scampered off to recess with a big smile on her face.

But what if the last time a kid played with you, he did something you didn't like? You still need to include him, but first ask him to please not do it again. You might say,

"Yes, you can play with us, but please follow the rules of the game"
"You can play with me, but please don't yell in my ear."

Here's an example:

If that doesn't work, then ask a teacher to help, but most of the time first graders know how to solve these problems themselves. When you and a friend work out your friendship problems all by yourselves, you feel very proud!

Recently one first grader told me that he has gotten better at "playing with different people and making friends with them and caring about other people. When [student] tells people they can’t play, I stand up for them and tell him, 'You can’t say you can’t play.'”

Here are some other pictures first graders drew about including others:

Brave, Bold First Graders

Do you know how to tell the difference between bullying and plain old mean behaviors? First graders do! They know that it's not okay to be mean OR to bully, because both of those behaviors are unfriendly and hurt people's feelings.

Recently, first graders finished a unit on bullying. They learned how to tell the difference between behavior that is mean and behavior that is bullying. It's bullying if one of these things is happening:
  • someone is being mean over and over
  • there is a threat
  • a group of people is being mean
Ask a first grader to tell you what they should do if someone is bullying, and they will answer, "Tell a teacher." In our post-unit assessment all 38 of them got the answer to this question correct! Every student got a chance to practice telling Mrs. Burriss, Mrs. Thorburn, or Mrs. Lallier that they were being bullied. Here's what they said:

Student: Mrs. _______, someone is bullying me.
Teacher: How do you know it's bullying?
Student: It is happening over and over. / The person threatened me. /
A group of people are being mean.
Teacher: Thank you for telling me. We're going to solve this problem!

But what if the teacher you tell doesn't understand or doesn't believe you? First graders know -- you tell another teacher! They all practiced doing this as well:

Student: Mrs. _______, someone is bullying me.
Teacher 1: Oh, just ignore it! / Solve it yourself! / Go play! / Don't tattle!
Student: (goes to another teacher) Mrs. _______, someone is bullying me.
Teacher 2: How do you know it's bullying?
Student: It is happening over and over. / The person threatened me. /
A group of people are being mean.
Teacher 2: Thank you for telling me. We're going to solve this problem!

To help learn about the importance of telling an adult when bullying occurs, we read Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Bullies, and learned the refrain:

Be Brave, Be Bold
A Teacher Must be Told!

To hear the Be Brave, Be Bold song and find Howard B. Wigglebottom activities, click here.

Here are some more of the first graders' pictures of themselves telling a teacher about bullying.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Second Grade Conflict

Second grader's have begun learning how to manage conflicts. Conflicts happen all the time in second grade!

Our first lesson on conflict second graders learned that:

Conflict= a disagreement.
A trick question- Is conflict good or bad?
What makes conflict good or bad are the choices that you make.
What it means if a conflict escalates, and what it means if it de-escalates.

Second graders filled out a worksheet about a conflict that they had with a friend, and how they resolved it.

Here are some examples:

My friend and I had a conflict because "we were arguing over who gets the dominos."
We resolved our conflict by "splitting them in half."

My friend and I had a conflict because
"we were playing the opposite game as the other."
We resolved our conflict by " just playing something that we wanted to play together."

My friend and I had a conflict because "my friend wouldn't let me play with her."
We resolved our conflict "by talking it out."

My friend and I had a conflict because "we were fighting over toys."
We resolved our conflict by "playing something else."

Friday, November 4, 2011

Third Graders Learn About Expected and Unexpected Behaviors

In our class councils, third graders have been learning about how their behaviors affect how others think and feel about them. Expected behaviors make people have good thoughts and good feelings about us. When we have expected behaviors, others think things like "I like being around this kid," or "She/he is a good worker." They might feel happy, relaxed, or proud about us. Unexpected behaviors make people have uncomfortable thoughts and uncomfortable feelings about us. When we have unexpected behaviors, others think things like, "That kid is unfriendly," or "He/she is making it hard for me to concentrate on my work." They might feel upset, frustrated, or angry with us.

The third graders have done a lot of thinking about expected and unexpected behaviors. They noticed that different settings call for different expected behaviors. Calling out is an expected behavior at recess, but unexpected in the classroom. Sitting at your desk is expected when you are doing your work, but unexpected when your teacher has given the direction to line up. They also noticed that expected behaviors change as we get older. Crying is an expected behavior for a hungry baby, but not for a hungry first grader or teacher. Asking for food is an expected behavior for a hungry first grader, but not for a hungry baby or teacher. Waiting to eat until a work break is an expected behavior for a hungry teacher, but not for a hungry baby or first grader. A teacher crying about being hungry would definitely make third graders have uncomfortable thoughts and feelings!

Here are a few examples of expected and unexpected behaviors for third graders that the kids identified. Can you guess why expected behaviors are written in green and unexpected behaviors are written in red?

Expected Behaviors
playing safely
raising your hand in the classroom
listening to directions
focusing on your work

handling disappointments quietly

using kind words

looking at the person you're talking to

Unexpected Behaviors
getting into others' personal space
pushing in line
distracting others

interrupting the teacher

side conversations

playing with objects in your desk


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What I Want People to Think About Me!

Fourth graders are continuing to learn about expected and unexpected behaviors. In my recent lesson I had them list "What I want people to think about me". They did both as a group and individual activity. They came up with some really great and interesting thoughts. Here is what they had to say:

I am a good person
I am a good student
I am not a bully
I am caring, safe, and responsible
I am a good listener
I am not weird
I am helpful
I am healthy
I am cheerful
I would help you if you fell down
I am polite
I am kind
I am the best person I can be
I am a good writer
I am a bucket filler
I am unique
I don't tattle
I am friendly and caring
I am fun loving
I am respectful
I am athletic
I respect others' property
I am loyal
I am nice

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fifth Grade Anti-Bullying Activities

The fifth graders have been hard at work learning about bullying and what they can do to stop it. Each class council begins with a randomly selected fifth grader taking charge of the SmartBoard and leading a review of bullying concepts. Almost every student has their hand raised for every question! Many of the kids want to do extra activities to learn more about bullying and share what they have learned. After playing a game about bullying prevention during a lunch group, a couple of fifth graders came up with the idea of creating a bullying-themed Jeopardy game for class councils and offered to give up some recess time to help create it. Several other kids have been using their recess time to create a bulletin board that illustrates how bullying feels, the four types of bullying (verbal, physical, social, intimidation), how to tell if a situation is bullying (it's on purpose to hurt, happens over and over, and involves an imbalance of power), and what to do (tell an adult right away!) Here are close-ups of the bulletin board materials:

The Four Types of Bullying

You know it's bullying if . . .

it's on purpose to hurt

it happens over and over

and involves an imbalance of power

How bullying feels . . .

Responsible First Graders

The first graders completed the last page of their "My I-Care Rules" books with rule #5,
We Are Responsible for What We Say and Do. Here are some examples of how they take responsibility for their mistakes and for helping others:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Second Grade Uncomfortable Feelings

Last week I introduced uncomfortable feelings to second graders. They practiced making faces for feeling disappointed, frustrated, scared, upset, and worried. They came up with scenarios of when they might feel this way. Here are some of their drawings of uncomfortable feelings:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What I like about DBS!

Being a new school counselor at DBS, I thought it would be a great idea to invite every second and fourth grader to a lunch group. This was a great way for me to learn names and connect with students on a more indvidual level. I asked each student what they like most about DBS. I loved hearing what they had to say!

Here are some of their responses:

I like gym, art, and library.

I like P.E (many students said this :-))
I like this school because it is really safe and someone's watching you all the time.

I like all the specials
(many students said this as well).
I get to play with m
y friends.
I like the dome and I have been playing on it since I was one.

I like to learn new things.

I like the food at school.

I like the teachers.

The teachers are nice.

It's fun and a lot of my friends are here.

Playing with meal worms.
I like this school because I get to meet new friends.

I like to work.

I really like the teachers in this school.

I really like learning.

I like reading.

I also asked the students "why I should be excited to be at DBS?" Here is what they had to say:

Because you get to see the kids be happy, and learn what we do.

Because you can make new friends.

To spend time with us!

I get to see all the kids.

Because you get to talk with us at lunch time.

Because there are lots of fun things to do!

Because you get to meet lots of teachers.

There are a lot of cool kids.

Because you get to know how the school works and get to know the principal.

Because you get to meet everyone and they get to tell you what they like to do.

Because you get to hang out with us and we all can be friendly.

Because you get to teach lessons.
Because you get to share new ideas with kids.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Caring About Each Others' Feelings

The first graders continued working on their "I-Care Rules" books last week. They thought of lots of ways that they could show that they care about each others' feelings. They recognized that "We care about each others' feelings" is one of our DBS expectations, as well as being one of I-Care Cat's rules. Here are some examples of how first graders show empathy:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friendship Wishes

One of the good things about having so few girls in fifth grade is that we can easily fit all 13 at once for girls' group time. Each of the girls anonymously shared a friendship wish for this year, and have been making "Our Friendship Wishes" posters for their classrooms and the counseling office.

Here are their wishes:
  • to be friends with some of the new kids
  • to make a lot of friends
  • to play with all of my friends this year
  • to have more friends
  • to make a new friend
  • to be with everyone in 5th grade
  • to meet a good friend
  • to make more friends than last year
  • to make lots of friends this year
  • to get my best friend back
  • that all my friends do not get bullied by other people
  • to get along with everyone
  • to make a ton of friends

I-Care Language

I-Care Language is language that shows that you care about others, such as "please," "thank you," "I like you," "You're a good friend," and Mrs. Lallier's all time favorite, "I'm sorry."

First graders worked on I-Care Cat's third rule, "We use I-Care Language," last week. Here are some of their ideas about how they can use I-Care Language. Dads will be glad to know that a lot of kids were thinking about them when they drew their pictures!