- Define in own words
- Use in a sentence
- Text to self connection
Looking for a way to explore character traits using sound vocabulary tools and align with ELA standards? Sound good to be true? You can do it! I've created a courage booklet that incorporates the vocabulary tools :
Interested in more character ed materials? I plan to make books for all of the character traits included in my Kids of Characters Posters.
I am thrilled to host Keith Deltano from Don't Bully Online for a guest post on cyber bullying today. A serious comedian, Keith is a winner of the teaching excellence award for his work with at risk students and the national impact award for his parent outreach and education efforts. He is the creator of the anti bullying curriculum, “The Complete Anti Bullying Kit.” Keith has served and worked with youth as a public school teacher, private counselor, strength coach, and US Army Airborne Military Police Officer. We are also hosting a GIVEAWAY, details at the end of the post.
The calls have come in, accusations made, screenshots presented, and now you have students in your counseling office that do not fully understand the potential consequences of social media abuse and cyber bullying. What do you say them?
Misuse of You Tube, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, and Flickr by teens has resulted in long term suspension, expulsion, suicide, and criminal charges…and that’s the short list. As a school counselor, one of your jobs is to help your students make good decisions regarding social media. This abuse is not limited to teens. As a nationally touring anti bullying speaker, I have met elementary school principals that have had to suspend students for making racist, hateful, and threatening comments on social media sites.
It's the Law
All 50 states have passed HIB (Harassment Intimidation and Bullying) laws and school systems are struggling to comply. The aggressiveness of these laws varies from state to state. In many states, school administrators are required to contact law enforcement when racist, threatening, or pornographic imagery is included in a student’s post. I’ve met students that have lost full boat scholarships because something they posted on Instagram resulted in criminal charges. Once again, this is not limited to middle and high school students. I’ve met parents at my workshops that have elementary school students involved with criminal HIB investigations.
Students and parents have all heard of cyber bullying, the suicides that have occurred because of it, and the dangers of social media abuse. What I have learned in my travels is that very few students and parents have made a concrete connection between all the media coverage of cyber bullying and their own personal behavior. Students may have a vague idea that cyber bullying is wrong, few understand they may pay a heavy price for engaging in it. In other words, they may expect a lecture and even suspension, but few seem to understand expulsion and a criminal record can be around the bend. We in education have spent a great deal of time speaking with each other about social media, not so much with students. This has to change.
Permanent, Prosecutable, and Painful
I focus on defining and retaining three words students can relate to social media and cyber bullying: permanent, prosecutable, and painful. These three concepts can be applied in a one on one conversation in your office or a school wide activity. To maintain consistency, include the words in every assembly, discussion, poster contest, presentation, parent conference, PTA meeting, anti bullying pledge, student handbook, or school website article you create that addresses cyber bullying and social media. Either way, we want to make sure students understand social media abuse is permanent, prosecutable, and painful.
As I’m sure you are aware, students will not retain all of what you say to them, they are, however, able to retain key concepts when they are consistently connected to memorable keywords or phrases. Think: “stop, drop, and roll.” Let’s take a look at permanent, prosecutable, and painful to see how you could include them in your anti cyber bullying efforts. Your presentation and materials could include these points:
What you send out there is permanent, you cannot get it back, and it will be out there forever. For example, if you post an inappropriate image of yourself out there on Instagram, you will have to deal with the image’s existence for the rest of your life. If you make an inappropriate comment and post it on social media, you will have to deal with the consequences for a long time. You cannot control the life of a post, tweet, image, text, or email. Businesses and colleges conduct background checks on applicants. They will check out who you are online. You may not be able to get into college because of something you posted to social media years earlier.
Inappropriate social media behavior is prosecutable by law enforcement agencies. Not only can you be suspended from school, you can be charged with a crime. If prosecuted for cyber bullying, you will be charged with a misdemeanor that will be on your juvenile record until you are eighteen. As mentioned before, employers and colleges conduct background checks on their applicants. You may be unable to get a job because of something you posted on Snapchat. You may be unable to get a college scholarship because you tweeted a racial or threatening comment. If you are prosecuted for online harassment or cyber bullying, the record of that prosecution will stay with you and limit your options until you are eighteen. If what you do with social media is serious enough to result in a felony charge, it may stay on your record for the rest of your life. Your future could be radically changed by one text, tweet, or post.
You can cause a lot of pain with one hateful post. Do you want to be responsible for hurting another person? Do you want to be responsible for another human being harming themselves in any way as a result of something you posted? You have no way of knowing the emotional state of the person you are victimizing. Your social media actions may have consequences that cannot be reversed. The anger you feel when you post something hateful may not last, the harm you cause may be permanent.
Sending the Message
As a school counselor, you already have lessons and activities that address cyber bullying and social media safety. Simply work permanent, prosecutable, and painful into them. Most of the materials I’ve reviewed on cyber bullying are “light” and they simply do not bring home the severity of the consequences or the damage that can be done when social media is abused. Use these three words to make your anti cyber bullying efforts more impactful, especially with older students. Work to get the whole staff on board with this language.
You can reduce cyber bullying and online drama at your school. It will take a very focused and targeted effort using specific language. If the students hear it enough, in the same language, with the same consequences, by all their leadership, the message will get through.
Thanks so much for posting with us Keith! I think the message you drive home is really powerful. We can't just tell students that cyberbullying is inappropriate, we have to help them to learn the consequences for themselves and others. Keith has generously offered to give away TWO Anti-Bullying Resource Kits away. To enter, comment below with how your school addresses cyberbullying. Winners will be announced here on Monday, February 20th.
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed, our winners are Laurel and Gretchen. Congrats!
Goals are important. Without them where would we go? (Answer: There) We seem to think that kids know how to set goals because we do. In fact, it's a really hard skill. Here's a round up of everything goal related in the Counselor Up world to help you find your way. Happy New Year to you!
There are TONS of material on goal setting around the interwebs. I am a proud contributor of Confident Counselors and we have recently shared our top tips for setting goals with students. My wonderful counselor friends sure do have some great ideas. What are your go to tips for setting goals with students?
It gets a bad rep but recess is hard. So many skills are needed to navigate the playground successfully. What to do? Join recess club! Recess club is designed for small groups. When I've run this group in the past, I allow about 6-7 kids. I think it would be possible to teach a whole class in shifts with a teacher assistant or parent volunteer in the room while some kids are outside for club. I recommend this group for K-2 but it could be adapted for older kids.
The most important part of recess club is free time on the playground. Choose a time when other students are not outside. In my school, that meant 9:00am. We started the group in September to make sure that we could finish the group before group before the mornings were too cold.
Using the Equipment
Every school has unique rules for using the playground equipment. In the first lesson, we start off with an active icebreaker and then talk about the appropriate use of equipment. I created skill cards to include each piece of equipment. To make them fun- we play games with the cards. I like to play go fish by printing two sets of cards. To practice, we go outside and walk around the entire playground to talk about appropriate ways to use the equipment. What are the norms for waiting for your term? Are certain pieces of equipment only allowed for older/younger kids?
Inviting A Friend to Play
In this lesson, we use the anchor card to learn the appropriate way to ask others to play. Each kid draws a role play card and then practices. I pull one kid aside and ask the to say "no" to a student that I know won't be upset. We then practice what to do when someone says no. For playground time, we go outside for free play. Every 5 minutes, I yell "switch" and students find a new friend to invite to play.
Not as fun as playground time but a part of reality in school, indoor recess requires a whole set of skills. We play a board game to practice the skills of taking turns, waiting patiently, and game play. Any board game will work, but I created a recess game that teaches conflict resolution, procedures, and other recess skills. The best part of this lesson is that it can be done in any order so it's a great back-up plan in case it rains on a club day.
Anytime kids play, there is conflict. That's a good thing! Conflict is natural and an important skill for life. I work with kids to practice creating "Bug and a Wish" sentences. We brainstorm actual playground problems and then work together to write a bug and wish sentence. I try to leave as much time as possible to for free play on the playground so that we can work on actual conflicts that arise.
What does review look like for recess club? Play! Never underestimate how much kids learn in free play.
Love what you see? You can easily recreate this group yourself, or you can find everything all set for you in my recess club download on TPT. Take advantage of the 2016 Back to School Sitewide sale to save 28% August 1st and 2nd!
I am excited to welcome Mary Dournaee as a guest today. Mary is a math and science educator, curriculum developer, and blogger for New Math Teacher. Mary is a passionate lifelong learner who loves to grow that passion in others as well. She aspires to post creative and engaging ideas about math education and learning. Visit her TpT store or follow her on Facebook and Twitter for more ways to promote math learning in the classroom. Today she will be sharing how to incorporate creativity and social skills into STEAM education and a FREEBIE just for you. My mind is buzzing with ideas!
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education is certainly getting a lot of attention right now. Many programs seek to transform STEM into STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) with the belief that this will drive innovation. What these acronyms are still neglecting is the connection between social intelligence and STEM or STEAM education. More than ever, successful companies rely on effective social networking and creative marketing to reach the public and sell their products. How can we incorporate these essential social and creative skills into our STEAM educational programs?
Primarily, our educational systems need to focus on growing a student's social intelligence and critical thinking skills within the context of STEAM education. There are six key areas of social growth that can strengthen STEAM educational effectiveness: social communication, nonverbal communication, group dynamics, expression, problem solving, and managing conflict. A great way to incorporate these skills into a STEAM classroom is through group projects.
Social communication really is its own language. Communicating socially begins with simply introducing yourself to others. Students need to be able to concisely discuss their own unique experiences, values and interests to others. When getting to know others, they need practice valuing others as individuals. This includes remembering names and the experiences, values, and interests that others share with them. Students also need practice finding common ground between these experiences, values, and interests. Focusing on developing active listening skills and enthusiasm will help. Within a STEAM classroom, students in a specific group can assign themselves roles within the group based on personal interests.
Students may not realize that their expressions and mannerisms tell a lot about them. When working within a group, students may require support to realize that their voice, including tone and volume, needs to be clear and loud enough to catch the attention of all group members. Eye contact and facial expressions are also important so that a student can tell if those around her understand and agree with what she is saying. Finally, body expressions and posture can either convey confidence and enthusiasm for an idea or disagreement and doubt. It's important to address any differences in opinion right away so that they do not undermine the project later.
Within a STEAM project-based classroom, group dynamics play a key role. Both the whole classroom and each individual project team affect group dynamics. The group will better understand what is expected of them if a clear and concise rubric is used. The rubric allows for a great starting point for group conversation and produces better products overall. Students can practice skills like asking questions, sharing, and cooperating within the group to establish a group identity around common ground and accepted differences. It's important to note the importance of rules within the group dynamic as well. Some rules are strictly adhered to, like those that involve the safety and well-being of group members. Other rules are a bit more flexible, working through ambiguity within a group is a very advanced social skill and one that will serve students well in the workplace.
Expressing feelings within a classroom team is important for continued success down the road. Students should practice identifying and regulating their feelings while also empathizing with the feelings of others. Practicing constructive ways to deal with difficult emotions is key. For example, a student may feel frustrated that her part of a project is taking more time than someone else's. She might try using "I statements" like: "I'm frustrated that I found three pages worth of research while Jake found only one. I'm going to take a walk to the water fountain to cool off." Jake might empathize with her and offer to summarize her longer research while she summarizes his. This way, students resolve feelings in a way that helps build stronger relationships in the long run. The goal is that everyone within the team learns and grows from the experience of being in a group. The way this growth manifests may be different for each student. Students should feel confident and successful about the results of their project and want to do a similar one in the future.
Problem solving in a group setting involves a lot of collaboration and creating groups of students with diverse backgrounds often encourages unique and creative solutions. Within a STEAM classroom, this process should include some creative brainstorming, alternative solutions, and finally a best solution agreed upon by the team. Being able to identify problem causing behaviors and obstacles will allow members to refocus their attitudes when needed. The growth mindset is a great tool here. The growth mindset, recently popularized by Carol Dweck and Jo Boaler, postulates that intelligence is not fixed. Every time that we make a mistake, we find an opportunity for growth. This is true within a group project as well. The group may refocus their efforts if they realize that their original solution it not ideal. Improvement is a key aspect of innovation.
Managing conflict within a group involves several key social skills. Standing up for oneself is an essential life skill that can be practiced within a school group setting. This involves maintaining a positive self-image, dealing with bullying/teasing, and being assertive. Another life skill practiced in groups is the ability to compromise. This skill includes creating a win-win scenario for all those involved. It also involves identifying and negotiating for needs over wants. Everyone should feel like they gave something and got something in return. A final important life skill is the ability to revisit a conflict if the outcome is not satisfactory to all. This involves problem solving skills like analyzing outcomes and posing alternative solutions. Students in groups often need to manage conflicts that arise from uneven workload distribution. If a group realizes that one student is carrying most of the workload, the members should revisit their roles and reassign work as needed. Managing issues like this one helps everyone feel respected and allows for additional opportunities to work together in the future.
In summary, whatever acronym it uses, STEM and STEAM education can focus on growing a student's social intelligence and critical thinking skills within the context of a science, technology, engineering, art, or math group project. A great way to incorporate these skills into a STEAM classroom is through well thought out and structured group projects like the sample lesson and project below. Individual student roles within the group and clear, concise rubrics for assessment help build these social skills into the educational framework.
Thank you Mary! For every counselor who has wondered where they fit into the STEAM picture, you now have a whole toolkit of ideas to create collaboration opportunities with your STEAM subject colleagues. Mary has been kind enough to share her FREE research group rubric with you!
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