Tuesday, March 1, 2011

News You Can Use Right Now

If you're looking for hands-on strategies on preventing bullying and conflict in your classroom, you can sign up for a live webinar I'll be doing on March 24th. Here's the information. Hope you can join us!

 Bullying Prevention and Conflict Resolution: Tips and Strategies You Can Use Today

Here's what we'll cover:
- Ways to foster kindness and compassion
- How to help kids be “upstanders” for peers who are mistreated
- Six steps for working out conflicts 

Time: 4:00 Eastern time, 3:00 Central
Cost: $25.00 
A Strategy for Fostering Compassion and Helping Kids Disavow Mean Words

Using a "Memory Bank" is one way to help kids grasp the impact of mean words. Here's a wonderful description of how to use this strategy from 4th grade teacher Melissa Shanahan of Cedar Bluffs Elementary School in Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska:

Our fourth graders have been doing activities from No Kidding About Bullying. These activities are designed to help students manage anger, resolve, conflicts, build empathy, and learn to get along. One of the activities is about creating memory banks. The lesson talks about how our actions today may affect how people remember us in the future. I talked about how when we treat someone poorly we create a bad memory for them. The students wrote down mean things that had been said to them. Next, I read the comments. Then the students put the mean comments into a box called a "Memory Bank." While the students answered questions I shook the box loud in front of them. They said it was too hard to concentrate with all the noise in their ears. I told them that people who are treated poorly may have that going on in their heads all the time. It's really hard to think when you have bad thoughts of things people have said to you floating around in your head. We then threw away the  bad thoughts and filled the box with positive ones. I explained that it would be nice if our brains could do that, but they can't, and what we say ad do today can affect the way feel about us and themselves in the future. As a class we are working hared to create a positive memory bank for the people in our lives. A parent recently told me that one of my students referenced creating  a positive memory bank for someone at basketball practice.

We've also made posters to hang around our school with the new definition of cool from No Kidding About Bullying, how to be an upstander, and using kind words. I've been sending home a letter a week so parents can know what we've been working on in class. I'm hoping they will reinforce this at home.

I've had several parents thank me for working on these skills with the class. It's really nice to have something to refer to when there are problems in the classroom and on the playground. Using the word "upstander" and reminding my students of the memory bank seems to help. I'm excited to try the rest of the lessons.

Thank you, Melissa, for sharing this. We look forward to hearing more from you!

One More Thing: 

If you're an educator in the state of New Jersey, here's another workshop I think you'll be interested in:

Hope to see you there!!!

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1 comment:

  1. You're a true visionary. I can't wait to learn from your next post.