Friday, September 28, 2012

Stomp Out Bullying

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. To signify its importance, STOMP out Bullying created BLUE SHIRT DAY. Specifically the first Monday of every October, kids, teens and adults are asked to participate in BLUE SHIRT DAY by wearing a blue shirt to create awareness to STOMP Out Bullying. GO BLUE and wear a Blue Shirt this Monday, October 1st. Together we can create awareness and STOMP Out Bullying.  Let’s make October 1st the day that bullying and cyberbullying prevention are heard all over the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District.

Being bullied is never easy, and can make a child feel very powerless, alone, isolated, and fearful. The following are ten things your child can do to stop a bully. These tactics works for adults as well as children. No matter what the bullying situation, it is possible to stop a bully by trying the following ten tactics.
1. Learn to look or act indifferent. A lot of bullying comes as a result of the reactions you give bullies when they push your buttons. If they find that they can elicit a response from you, they will continue to bully you. So, learn to keep your emotions off your face, so that they give up and move on.
2. Ignore the bully if you can. Bullies usually taunt first, and bully second. So, ignore them if you can. If they instant message you, don’t respond. If they yell your name at school, just keep walking. If they come up to you in a classroom, just look the other way. Ignore, ignore, ignore. Bullies feed off of attention.
3. Stand up to them. This does not mean bully back, it just means that you shouldn’t put up with it. Let them know that you will tell on them, that you aren’t going to just take it, and that you aren’t afraid to get them in trouble. Usually bullies pick on kids who are too weak or too frightened to ever get them in trouble.
4. Avoid the bully. Sometimes bullies will bully out of opportunity more than anything else. So, avoid places, situations, times, and people that may lead to you being bullied. For example, don’t wander clear out by the fence during recess because a bully will have ample time to bully you without a playground monitor catching them.
5. Tell someone. There is a difference between tattling and telling. If you just tell to get them in trouble you are a tattle, but if you tell because they pose a danger to you or your friends, tell on them.
6. Be brave. You can’t show a bully that you are afraid of them, or the bullying will get worse. If you fear standing up to them, fear telling on them, and fear interaction with them, and let them know it, you empower them. So, instead, work on that mask of indifference, and avoid them when possible.
7. Work the buddy system. Bullies tend to single out kids who are already singled out, who are alone. It is far easier for one kid to pick on one kid, than one kid to pick on two. So, have a buddy when you are in situations where you might run into the bully.
8. Build self-esteem. Bullies can sense when someone has low esteem, and they prey on that. It is like they figure out what you are most afraid of, and self conscious of, and that is what they target.
9. Confront them. It is important that if the bully you, you call them out on it. Ask them what their problem is, why they are picking on you, and make sure they know you are the victim. Sometimes recognizing that they are making someone a victim will give them a wakeup call, and get them to stop.
10. Report it every time. If it happens at school, tell the teacher, lunch lady, hall monitor, or whomever you need to to make sure it gets stopped. If it happens enough times, is reported often enough, etc. it will eventually stop.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Week One: iPads in the JH

Its been a great week at Howard-Winneshiek CSD with our 1:1 iPads in the Junior High. The students are actively making choices about how to generate, obtain, manipulate, or display information. Technology use allows many more students to be actively thinking about information, making choices, and executing skills than is typical in teacher-led lessons.

Students are learning on the go all the time with these devices in their hand. Just take a look around the community and where are the Junior High students hanging out? I have noticed groups hanging out at the local library, arriving before school or even staying after school later to all use the WI-FI access. But the BIG question to ask our selves is what will we do to help rural students in our district who live on a farm to receive WI-FI access?

The teachers are also learning how to support students in performing authentic tasks. They have been working collaboratively with one another as a team to learn new steps, processes, and Apps for the classroom. This has been a learning curve but they all have been eager to learn new technology and utilize it on a daily basis. When meeting with the staff they were overcoming how students should submit an assignment from their iPad. That evening I received a video that a teacher created from the Show Me App explaining to the students how to submit their homework. It's these types of challenges the staff is coming together to find solutions and how to solve the problem. As Superintendent Carver wrote the staff "there will be Opportunities and Challenges and I am confident we are ready for  what's next"!