Pickett's Mill 3rd graders had an interactive lesson on active listening. After a discussion on on how to listen actively (squaring our body to the speaker, maintaining eye contact, using our mind to focus, and sitting up tall and straight), the students were divided into groups and given a cue word to listen for as I read "The Wonderful Listening Story."
Each group had their own word and said their special line whenever they heard their word. We discovered that as the story grew longer, their responses became delayed or forgotten altogether as they grew tired of actively listening. The students then divided into pairs and used their listening skills to carry on conversations with each child taking turns being the listener or the speaker. The students concluded that in order to be a good listener, they have to make a choice not to talk or play with things around them when the teacher is instructing.
Like all skills, the skill of active listening becomes stronger through practice. Parents can help their children develop good listening skills by modeling good listening skills in the home and frequently engaging their children in conversation.
The students were able to connect the habits, be proactive and seek first to understand, then to be understood as habits that will help develop good listening skills.
Academic: Standard A: Students will acquire the attitudes, knowledge, and skills that contribute to effective learning in school and across the life span.
AD-A1.5 Identify attitudes and behaviors which lead to successful learning
Standard A: Students will acquire the knowledge, attitudes and interpersonal skills to help them understand and respect self and others.
PS-A1.8 - Understand the need for self-control and how to practice it.
PS-A2.7 - Know that communication involves speaking, listening and non-verbal behavior
Our 4th grade students have learned that gossip is another form of bullying. Reviewing our RAP definition, the students concluded that gossip is repeated over and over again, it involves an imbalance of power because there are many people involved in spreading the gossip around, and it's done purposely with the intent to embarrass, hurt or continue to spread the gossip.
The students were able to play "gossip telephone" using scripted cards. It was interesting to see how much the story changed by the time the last person heard it. The students learned that gossip causes confusion, hurt and embarrassment and violates a person's rights and privacy. They also learned that bystander strategies can also be used in gossip situations: stand up for the person by saying "you're gossiping and I won't listen to it" or distract the person by saying, "instead of talking about them, why don't you tell me something about yourself."
I concluded the lesson by reading a folk tale, "A Sack full of Feathers", a story of a boy who learns that gossip is like feathers blown away by the wind - once the gossip is out there, it can never be taken back and it goes wherever it goes. If students are proactive in their choices, they can choose to not participate in gossip. When they seek first to understand, then to be understood, they understand how hurtful gossip is to friendships.
This lesson covered following ASCA standards:
PSA1.7: Recognize personal boundaries, rights and privacy needs
PSA2.8: Learn how to make and keep friends
The 5th grade students are learning about online safety and how to have "cyber-sense" . Topics include online dangers, cyber-bullying, social net-working safety and internet responsibility.
Students used the Premier booklet, Online Safety, to assess their knowledge of the pitfalls of cyberspace and to learn proper "netiquette." The booklets will be coming home with them so be sure to reinforce the need to be vigilant when it comes to cyber safety.
Our young people are so computer savvy today and many of them already have Facebook accounts even though it is not legal for them to have an account so it's important for parents to monitor their childrens' internet use and block potential harmful sites. Other potential dangers involve online game chat rooms, harmful viruses that hijack your computer or capture personal information, and the perils of getting angry and saying regretful things in a chat, email or text.
With new bullying laws in many states, it is unsure how cyberbullying will play out in our legal system. Children must learn to be proactive and "walk away" from any exchanges that make them want to lash back via the keyboard. Parents should always monitor their childrens' computer use and make sure that the family computer is in a visible place. Set clear expectations about what sites are allowed and which sites are off limits, and have consequences to back it up. Discuss with your child how you want to handle inappropriate language in chat rooms, emails or texts and learn how to print that information..
For more information about cybersafety, visit Cobb County's Prevention Intervention.
This lesson covers the following standards:
PS:C1.2 Learn about the relationship between rules, laws, safety and the protection of rights of the individual
PS:C1.4 Demonstrate the ability to set boundaries, rights and personal privacy
PS:C1.7 Apply effective problem-solving and decision-making skills to make safe and healthy choices