What is a friend – anti bullying week 2008 2

What is a friend, originally uploaded by LindaH.

It’s Anti-bullying week at the moment and I thought as a change from previous years I’d pick out some more positive displays. Rather than being against something these displays promote things that will help to create a whole school culture where bullying is less acceptable. Let’s face it bullying isn’t an issue we can make a fuss about for one week a year and in many ways it’s much more important to change the ethos of the school.
I’m particularly fond of the next one as the idea for this hall display came from a child with some special needs who knew exactly the kind of school he needed, one where bullying just wasn’t tolerated.
Happy school
There’s an excellent article in this month’s Learning Support magazine about bullying and SEN which I wish every TA and teacher would read.
Of course there are also excellent resources on the Bullying UK site.

Classroom Displays for Anti-Bullying Week

Sunny Day

Anti-Bullying Week (Nov 19th-23rd) classroom displays can be done very quickly and without much fuss. This one was done by Year 3 in one morning as a cross curricular activity. It combined literacy, art and PSHE with lots of emotional intelligence and project based learning along the way. (Oh, and handwriting practice) The teacher and I provided anti-bullying leaflets and literature, access to the web, and lots of support and advice.
I already had the sun and the cloud. Actually, I made them with a year 1 class as props for an assembly about 7 years ago! 🙂
Children worked with talk partners, each pair produced a tear drop with a short poem about the feeling of being bullied, an example of bullying behaviour to go on the cloud and a strategy to use if someone tries to bully you to go on the sun.
Work was added to the display as soon as it was made so it developed over the course of the morning. By 12:15 we had a fine display and a room full of contented Year 3s who were feeling very pleased with themselves. (Not to mention three tired but happy adults.)
It was a great morning’s work and the room buzzed with that happy noise that classrooms full of happy learners make.
If you are interested in displays for Anti Bullying week you may want to look at these posts too – Classroom Displays – Anti-Bullying
There are some good resources for Anti-Bullying Week on these sites:

  • Teachers TV – lots of good quality videos for teachers to watch alone and some to watch with classes
  • Build you own posters online to print off (uses lots of ink!)

  • Special Person Bulletin Board

    Classroom Display
    Here’s a good idea for a classroom display that promotes ownership and involvement. Sally says:

    Each week someone is the Special Person. They get to embellish the board with whatever they want, do extra jobs for me and have their picture taken to be added to the hall of fame photoalbum I’ve made!…… another thing the special person gets to do…select the joke of the day from my joke book. The jokes are so cheesy it is unbelievable but they find them hilarious!

    I’ve worked in lots of classes where variations of this idea have been used but I like the way this one has been linked to the information about what’s happening this week. It draws the rest of the class in more. It made me wonder if there could be room for ‘ what we are learning this week’ on the board as well? If that could be documented, say with a few quick pictures and captions as the week went on, then the photo album could become a record of the year’s work too. What do you think?

    A Classroom Library

    Our class library, originally uploaded by riaskiff.

    Creating a classroom library may not seem relevant to classroom displays but I think we need to consider all aspects of the learning environment and the way they work together when we plan displays.

    I want to highlight some of the more interesting classroom libraries that I’ve seen recently. This one is a simple, yet soothing space. The colours are muted and not too stimulating but with just a touch of red for warmth. The books are tidy but accessible. They can be quickly popped back into the trays with very little fuss. There are cuddlies to hand which can be surprisingly important even for older children. The mat, rug and cushions combine together to make a cosy welcoming space. (Just a note about cushions. These are much better than beanbags as children with asthma can find the filling problematic.)The bookcases have been used to create a discreet, yet visible area. I think this is a lovely, well thought out space and it makes me want to curl up there with a good book so hopefully it will have the same effect on children!
    Here’s a very different approach:
    Book Center/Listening Center
    This time there’s a child sized sofa rather than rugs and cushions. It’s a nice idea but I wonder if it’s less practical. It’s definitely more expensive! It limits the number of children able to use the area and makes it harder for an adult to join them at the right level. The children will be side by side rather than clustered and whilst this might be useful for maintaining a quiet area, speaking and listening aren’t really well served by this arrangement.
    On the plus side the area looks welcoming and cosy. Displays have been used discreetly to remind the children what this area is about. The area is clearly visible but it’s not quite as defensible a space.
    A place to learn
    This space is more enclosed than the others. It’s got child sized furniture and it’s quite small. It looks like an interesting and engaging space that will appeal to children. It’s going to provide a good speaking and listening environment but it worries me slightly on a few counts. Firstly, it is almost too private. If children do feel unobserved there is always a potential for bullying behaviours to go unnoticed. Secondly, it’s not an easy space for an adult to enter, get involved and facilitate discussions.
    One other advantage of the first area is that there’s less attempt to control how the children sit. Child sized furniture is often most appealing to adults and to those children who like to sit quietly anyway. For those who are more kinaesthetic or squirmy as I prefer to call it 🙂 even the most delightful furniture can, literally, be a pain!

    Golden Rules 1

    golden rules, originally uploaded by LindaH.

    Year 3 started off this year with a large number of rules they’d chosen themselves. Each of the 4 house groups had contributed their own set. This meant the class ended up with far to many rules to follow and things that were too complex for some members of the class to remember. Generating your own classroom rules is a lovely idea and when we’ve done it before it has worked quite well. This year was different.
    We need to intervene and simplify the rules and the language they used. This was designed to help some members of the class who are able to cope better with a reduced volcabulary.
    The myriad of rules were quickly put into themes and narrowed down to 4 essential areas. Importantly this process was done as a whole class activity with the assistance of our visiting specialist behavioural management TA. The class still feels ownership of the rules and it was one of the children who suggested calling them the “Golden Rules”. If these simple rules are followed then no one will be in trouble.
    We posted the rules in a prominent position in the classroom and also put laminated versions on the tables. We also made a point over the next few days of catching children following the rules and took photos of them. These were added to the display to remind them what good behaviour looks like and that they can all do it.