Friday, October 2, 2015

Week 6: Birthdays and Bullying (Week of 10/02/2015)

Mrs. Schwoerer welcomed us back into the library for a week of learning the basics of bullying. While our project doesn't start until Monday, we got to hang out in the library anyway. This week, we started with a Prezi called "Bullying 101: Understanding the Epidemic". Students took notes and discussed bullying with the following EQ's (essential questions): What are the effects of bullying? What are the four types of bullying? How are they different? How are they the same? We had many conversations in class to not only help the information stick but to really get an in-depth look at how bullying is a real issue that needs to be addressed.

We did A LOT of talking this week. Students were able to discuss bullying in their small groups and then report out in a "quick and easy" presentation of their discussion to the class. The insights my students have into bullying are astounding. They truly understand that it IS a problem and DOES have lasting effects, issues that can stick around well into adulthood.

I hope this week served to whet their appetites for research. I gave them just enough information to start having real questions, which should direct their research. Starting Monday, students will choose whether they're working alone or with a partner, what type of bullying they're presenting on, and which of the three Tiers (choices) they'll be choosing to present their findings. Each Tier is based on research, but the student commitment is stepped up on the technology side. This way, each student is able to work within their own comfort zone and shine as brightly as they can. We'll be working in class all of next week and the following week so students should be able to get the bulk of their work done or completely finish it all in the time given.

This week in AVID, we attacked our first Tutorial. Like all first tries, we got a little frustrated by the Tutorial Request Forms but absolutely rocked our first Tutorial. I explained to my students that some things in life are like a video game: sometimes we have to play a level a couple of times until we know what to do and what not to do. We can only understand Tutorials so much but talking about them. In order to truly understand how a Tutorial works, we needed to try one out to see what we knew and what we needed work on. My students did an amazing job! The remainder of the week was dedicated to debriefing the Tutorial and talking about how we're going to attack next week's Tutorial. I'm really impressed with the candor my students have had when discussing this process. They're absolutely scholarly when we talk about our shortcomings and truly want to excel. I couldn't be luckier to be their teacher!

This week has been a great week with all of my students. Today, we celebrated my birthday in class (it's tomorrow) by playing the Kahoot review game and working outside in AVID, spending the last ten minutes with Miss Ahearn's class playing Pictionary as part of our Fun Friday. I'm so lucky to have so many amazing students and families! Thank you for a great year!!!

Don't forget to be awesome!
Kevin Laffin

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