October is National Bully Prevention Month and because of all of the bullying that has been happening in our class this year we have spent quite a bit of time on this topic. After reading about this series on a blog and then discovering them at the library, I thought that maybe this would help us get through to them.
Each book is written from a different point of view about the same situation. Weird! is the girl who is getting bullied. Tough! is the bully. And Dare! is the girl who stands by and doesn’t act. Three of us (my co-teacher, a student, and myself) each took a book. We read a page or two from each book in a rotation, so all three were happening at the same time. I think that these are great books regardless of how you choose to read them, this is just the way we decided to share them.
After finishing all three books, we asked the students to consider which character they most identified with. What kind of person are you? The bully? The bullied? The bystander? Then, discuss with their table groups what they can do to prevent bullying depending what type of person they identify with most. Surprisingly, they were very honest about themselves. The bullies admit to being bullies, the “weird” children were quick to admit who they were and the bystanders knew that they let it happen and can “dare” to stop bullying.
The conversations that filled our room today were honest and respectful. Hopefully we will see a difference in the way students treat each other now that they have heard what it is like from the other sides of bullying.
Lately, it seems like we test, with a little teaching in between. It has so overwhelmed education that it keeps popping up in children’s and young adult literature I have been reading/listening to lately, so I needed to share a few examples I have come across lately.
Let me just say I LOVED listening to this a few weeks ago on my way to school. It is about this boy who moves into a purple mansion when his dad remarried. He starts having these horrible nightmares and travels into this “Netherworld” where nightmares live.
So one of his friends has this reoccurring nightmare where he can’t pass a test. And so he gets a reminder…
“Most tests don’t measure how smart you are,” he proclaimed. “They just measure how good you are at taking tests.”
So in the fourth book of the series, the demigods are talking to a Sphinx. They need to answer ‘riddles’ to pass through unharmed,but it turns out that the “riddles” are actually questions about random facts.
“This test material is specially designed.”
“Think? How am I supposed to test whether you can think? That’s ridiculous!”
Once the grading machine is broken by a member of group, the Sphinx is infuriated:
“I can’t be exemplary without my test scores!”
I disagree Sphinx – we can be exemplary without constant assessments!
As I walked up to my grandparent’s back door, I saw my son playing with his Legos on top of Kleenex boxes. It took me back to so many times we had as much fun with the box as the toy that came inside the box. I love how even with all of the technology at his fingertips, my son sees the mountain in the pile of Kleenex boxes.
Also notable as being as fun now as it was years ago…popping the roll of biscuits on the edge of the kitchen counter!