Friday, October 31, 2014

Stop Bullying: Speak Up and Red Ribbon Week

This week has been a lot of fun! We have celebrated Red Ribbon Week, Halloween, Ballet Folklorico and the choir performed, I started my new hip hop session, I started Small Groups, etc!! Super busy, but lots of fun! I also made it to all of the 4th and 5th grade classrooms to talk about bullying. We watched a great video, which was aired on Cartoon Network, called, "Stop Bullying: Speak Up". The kids learned a lot from this and it also helped spark a lot of good conversation on the topic.

Red Ribbon Week was full of fun!! Every day we were able to dress up! Here are some pictures from "Give Drugs a Scare with Crazy Hair Day" and "Put a Cap on Drugs Day":



We also celebrated 20 kids who earned a Red Ribbon Week Prize for showing empathy, which is our SEL Word of the Month, to someone this month. Here is a picture of our SEL Word of the Month wall and some of the kids who received the award. November's SEL Word of the Month is "Responsibility". Talk to your kids about how they can show responsibility at school and home.

Next week I will be in PK, Kinder, and 1st Grade to give guidance lessons on conflict-resolution. Look for more on that next week. Have a safe and happy Halloween!!! 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Red Ribbon Week, Unity Day, and Hip Hop

As I mentioned in my last post, Unity Day was this past Wednesday and to show that OHE "Unites Against Bullying," we all wore orange shirts. Here are a couple pictures of all the orange in the cafeteria. Ms. Ashorn's class even had every single student wearing orange. It was neat to see!

We continued learning about bullying all week in 2nd and 3rd grade. We also watched "Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Bullies" as shown in my previous post. Next week I will be in the 4th and 5th grade classes and we will watch some clips from that show different scenarios in which a student is being bullied. We will also discuss what types of bullying they are seeing in the clips and what a bystander and ally are. Cyber bullying is also something that is important to start talking about with all students. With our society becoming more and more technologically advanced, we have to be more careful about monitoring what our children are doing on the internet, phone, computer, laptop, tablet, etc. It is becoming more common to see children bullying each other through technology and is a quick and easy method for them to use. We definitely want to help put a stop to this. More to come on this lesson in my next post, but in the meantime feel free to check out for more information on bullying and cyber bullying.

Did you know that I also teach a hip hop dance class after school? Well, today my hip hop group was able to perform in front of the whole school at our assembly. We dance to Nico and Vinz', "Am I Wrong?" It is a very inspirational song and the kids did a FABULOUS job!!! I am so proud of them all. My second session with a new song and choreography start up next Tuesday. Contact me if you would like to sign up!

Next week is Red Ribbon Week where we will continue to promote an anti-bullying environment, but will also encourage children to make a pledge to live a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle. To spread awareness and make our pledges in a fun way, we will have themed dress-up days all week.

Here are our themes for the week.  Please allow your child to participate and take a stand against drugs!

                        Students wear their shirts backwards.

                        Students have crazy hair

Students dress up like cowboys/cowgirls; can be bandanas, cowboy hats, plaid shirts, and/or boots *(bring tennis shoes to change into for P.E. if you wear cowboy boots)

                        Students can wear a cap or hat of their choice.


Students can dress up as their favorite book character (no masks, face paint, weapons) *(bring tennis shoes to change into for P.E.)

Hope to see everyone dressed up! Have a fantastic weekend!!! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Bullies

Today was a busy week, but I was able to get to all Pre-K, K, and 1st grade classrooms to talk to them about bullying. We watched a Howard B. Wigglebottom video from called, "Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Bullies."

In this story, Howard is being bullied by the Snorton twins every single day of the week. They do things to him like taking his lunch, stealing his shoes, pulling his ears, saying mean things to him, and stealing his jacket. Howard keeps hearing a voice in his head throughout the story that says, "Be brave, be bold, a teacher must be told," but he is scared to tell because he is afraid things might get worse. After seeing the Snorton twins get bullied by their big sister and discovering why maybe the Snorton twins are bullying, he decides to be brave and bold and finally tell his teacher about what has been happening to him and the Snorton twins. The teacher tells the principal, who tells the Snorton twins' parents and Howards problems have been solved.

After the story we talked about how bullying is something that occurs repeatedly and is usually done when no one is watching. We also discussed what bullying isn't and that if it is something that only happens once or twice, it is probably just being mean, but not bullying. For example, if a student gets pushed in line and this isn't happening frequently, it is just being mean and a bad choice that was made, but it is not bullying. We talked about who they can go to if they are being bullied or see someone else being bullied: a teacher, a counselor, a principal, a bus driver, a nurse, or any adult that they trust. Here are a couple of helpful posters to serve as a reminder:

Next week I will be in the 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms and we will complete this same lesson. Also, Wednesday, October 22 is National Unity Day where we will "Unite to Take a Stand Against Bullying". To show our support for bullying awareness, the entire staff and student body will wear orange that day, so don't forget to have your child wear orange and wear orange yourself! For more information on Unity Day, you can go to:
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October is "Bullying Awareness Month"

Did you know that October is "Bullying Awareness Month"? Many of us hear the word "bullying" thrown around a lot, but many people don't actually understand the true meaning of that word. Labeling a student as a "bully" is a serious allegation and is a term that should not be taken lightly. I often hear kids say that someone is "bullying" them when they actually mean that someone has teased them once, or someone hurt their feelings. It can be confusing, so here are two posters that I found on a fellow blogger, Ms. Sepp's, blog that are very helpful in deciphering the true meaning of bullying.

Hopefully these two charts help to clarify things a bit. We take bullying allegations very seriously at Oak Hill and I want to be sure students understand how to identify whether it is bullying or not. I will be giving lessons all month, to all grade levels about what bullying is and what it isn't, how to report it, and what to do when you are being bullied. We will also talk about being sure it is bullying before making the serious accusation. If it is teasing or someone being mean to them, rather than bullying, we still want the situation to be handled, but without using the word "bullying". For these types of smaller, peer conflicts, I work with students all year on how to handle conflict on their own, or when necessary with the help of an adult.

Next week I will be in Pre-K, Kinder, and First Grades to watch a "Howard B. Wigglebottom" on bullying. It includes a fun, interactive song that really helps the kids remember what to do if they are being bullied and how to report it. The kids loved it last year and sang it all year long! More on this lesson next week. 

A great website to go to for a lot of great information on bullying and how you can help prevent your child from either being a bully, or being bullied is:

I also just received information on a great new, interactive app you can use regarding bullying. It includes conversation starters, tips, warning signs, reminders, etc. You can download this app in the app store for your iPhone or through Google Play. Here is a video and the link for more information on this great tool: 

If you ever have a question about bullying or would like some more resources, feel free to ask! Hopefully together we can help put an end to bullying!