I’ve been reading a lot about Genius Hour and talking to a few colleagues who have either done it or want to do it. I’m still exploring exactly what it will look like for us but I wanted to have a place to gather ideas and suggestions and anything else that might help.
If anyone has any great resources or ideas, I’d love to hear about them!!
*UPDATED – A few resources for me to check out:
I think it’s really important to prepare for something like Anti-Bullying Day so that it doesn’t just become a fun excuse to wear a pink shirt to school. Bullying is, and has been, a hot topic in education so rather than present my own ideas on bullying I wanted to hear from my students and have a candid discussion about bullying.
We started our class with the question:
What is bullying?
Here are their responses.
The next question we looked at was:
Do you think that bullying happens at our school? How do you know this? What is your evidence?
After sharing our opinions and evidence we thought about:
In what other settings do you think bullying happens?
Here are their responses:
*Note to self as a teacher: The “think, pair. share” strategy we used for most of these questions was excellent but “thinking” is a job that requires perseverance and perseverance should be taught explicitly.
After talking about the settings in which bullying occurs we talked about:
What are the effects of bullying?
Here are the Delver’s responses:
I was very impressed with the insightfulness in their responses so far. To follow this up I asked the question:
Do you think it is possible to eliminate bullying?
Students were asked to line up according to how strongly they felt about their yes or no answer. This activity elicited a lot of questions back at me from the students. My favorite was: “Miss deVries, are we talking about in this school or everywhere in the world?” We decided to do two response lines, one for eliminating bullying in the world and one for eliminating it in our school. No one felt strongly that bullying can be eliminated in either setting but many more students were closer to yes in the setting of their school. When I asked why they thought our responses differed, they told me that it was because they felt like they had power to affect their school but no control over what people in the rest of the world were doing. Again, very insightful!
We ended the activity by watching an amazing animated poem by Shane Koyczan. It is a powerful portrayal of bullying and its effects. Watch the video below:
What have you done in your classes to prepare for Anti-Bullying Day? Are their any other questions that you think we should have addressed?
Stay tuned for the follow up from our next class:
What can people do to limit the amount of bullying? What can people do to help repair the effects of bullying?