Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Finds: Weird!

I have already blogged about so many great bullying resources out there, but what I was looking for was something so that kids could see all of the people involved:  the target, the bully, and the bystanders.  I wanted to be able to discuss what each person's role and responsibility was in bullying.  When reading another blog, I came across the most fantastic series of books about this very topic!  The books in the series are Weird!, Tough! and Dare! by Erin Frankel.  All three books tell the same story, but from different perspecties:  Weird! gives the persective of Luisa (the target of the bullying), Tough! gives the perspective of Sam (the bully), and Dare! gives the perspective of Jayla (the bystander). 

The thing I like the most about this series of books is that it is so comprehensive!  As I previously stated, it covers the responsiblities that each person involved in bullying has.  Students learn that they have a role in stopping bullying, even if they are not the bully or the target.  Everyone has a role.  Depending on your need, these books can be used one at a time, or in a series of lessons.  At my school, we have something called Wildcat Team Time where classes spend the first 20 minutes of every day talking about the 7 Habits and related prosocial skills.  I have not been able to keep these books on my shelf because so many teachers are wanting to use them for WTT lessons!  Most of them take the time to go through each book with a fine tooth comb so that kids really understand.  Another thing that is AWESOME is that in the back of each book, there are discussion ideas, lesson ideas, etc.  Also, if you go to, there is a free downloadable leaders guide!  Free is my favorite.

Like I previously stated, teachers have been begging to use this book in their classrooms during WTT.  I've even talked to my principal about ordering several sets so we can keep them available for classrooms to check out.  I have used this series in classrooms and individual counseling, and would definately be suitable for small groups as well.  I hope to use the series in its entirety during classroom guidance next year.

I know that you will love these books as much as I have, and that you will see how your students understand the concept of the bystander so much better when it's connected to the other two stories.  ENJOY!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Committing to Make a Difference

I've already posted about the Trudy Ludwig books that make my heart sing!  This year I worked with 5th grade on bullying between friends.  We read the story My Secret Bully and had a great discussion on how bullying between friends can occur.  Later in the year, I decided to focus more on bullying and what role each and every one of us plays.  I had one 5th grade classroom who had a particularly hard time, so I went in for 5 days to co-teach with the teacher.  After this, we decided for me to focus my monthly guidance lesson in all of the 5th grade classrooms on bullying again.  I picked out parts of Confessions of a Former Bully to discuss with students, focusing on the roles of the bystander, the bully, and the target.  We talked about what each of us could do to make an impact on bullying.  As we read the story, I told the students that whenever they felt inspired to do so, they could go up to the poster and write down their commitment to stopping bullying.  Here's what the end result looks like:

I also hung up a poster with some of the helpful information from the book so that students could reference it if needed.  This is hung in the 5th grade hallway so that students can always be reminded of their commitment.

How do you get students to commit to stop bullying at your school?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Using the Habits to Solve Conflicts

It has been such a busy time for us all, I haven't had time to blog.  But as part of my personal growth, "sharpening the saw" is one of the 7 Habits I need to dedicate more time to.  For me, blogging sharpens my saw! 

Yesterday I was meeting with 2 students who were experiencing some friendship issues (I dedicate a lot of counseling sessions to this type of thing).  Usually I find it is best to have all parties involved present so that we can all talk safely and honestly.  Anyway, I was giving my usual "conflict resolution" strategy suggestions when the light bulb went off!  Why did I never think of this?!  These ARE the 7 Habits.  As I've already posted, we're going through the Leader in Me process and have been teaching the 7 habits for some time now.  I realized that these strategies would probably make a lot more sense to students if I used the language they are used to:  7 habits lingo.  Thus, my teaching tool was born:  Using the 7 Habits to Solve Conflicts.  This was something that was easy for me to explain to students, made sense to them, and integrated concepts we were already teaching.  I even put up this poster outside my office (which is also located right by the bathrooms that my 4th grade friends use).  4th graders by far write me the most notes about this topic, so I thought...hmm, maybe if I post this in a central location, they can try to use the skills first, BEFORE they get to me.  I use the 7 habits in so many ways, but I'm still amazed to see how easily they integrate into everything I do. 

How do you use the 7 Habits to teach conflict resolution?