Sunday, February 1, 2015

Digital Bullying Prevention Curriculum

Welcome to the 2015 Digital Learning Month Web 2.0 Challenge Blog. Thank you to our bloggers today from Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County: Amanda Hoagland,  Technology Integration Coordinator; Laura Rodebeck, 4th Grade Teacher at Sugar Creek Elementary; Lisa Clouse, 7th & 8th Grade Language Arts Teacher at Doe Creek Middle School.

What can we do to prevent bullying in our schools? What digital resources are out there to help us in our efforts? How can we implement best practices required by law? (HEA 1423) These are the questions we asked ourselves before creating our K-12 anti-bullying, digital curriculum!

During the 2013-2014 school year, Southern Hancock Schools received the Imagining and Creating Grant from the IDOE’s Office of eLearning. Because of this grant, our anti-bullying lessons were written and our K-12 anti-bullying curriculum was born!

For each grade level, Southern Hancock teachers wrote one 20-30 minute lesson for every month school is in session. Each lesson contains an introduction, lesson activity, and a wrap-up. Our program is implemented district-wide; therefore, the themes for each month are consistent across grade levels. The themes are:

August -- Defining Bullying 
September -- Reporting Bullying 
October -- Unite Against Bullying 
November -- Responding to Bullying 
December -- Pay It Forward 
January -- Empowering the Bystander 
February -- Cyberbullying 
March -- Individuality 
April -- Effects of Bullying 
May -- Reflection

You can find all of our K-12 lessons here or search for them in the My Big Campus Library. Feel free to use our curriculum in your district, school, or classroom. All lessons can be customized to fit your needs when you “branch” (duplicate) and edit them inside of My Big Campus. For more information about bullying, go to Bullying Prevention and Intervention in Indiana.

Elementary Curriculum
by Laura Rodebeck 4th Grade Teacher at Sugar Creek Elementary

As unlikely as it may seem, bullying does happen in elementary schools, many times starting as young as kindergarten. Nine out of ten students report being bullied by the end of their elementary careers ( Our focus at the elementary level was to educate all students on the definition of bullying, how to handle it, who to tell if they are bullied, and how to help others who are being bullied. Most elementary students see themselves as the target of bullying and don’t always recognize bullying behavior that they may exhibit. Educating them on all aspects of bullying can make them aware of the signs, appropriate responses, and how to hopefully prevent it from happening at all. In our curriculum you'll find a variety of technology tools to help get the point across to students. Check out the Awesome Upstander site. Awesome Upstander is a free app and a free site!

Here's a quick view of some of our K-6th lessons that can be accessed through My Big Campus, and there's one for each month August through May. We learn about cyberbullying in February!

Activities and reflection wrap-ups ask the students to integrate the lesson into their lives in a practical way.

By preparing age-appropriate lessons for our students and making it an emphasis in our schools, our hope that is bullying can be eliminated, or greatly minimized, with education, understanding, and a consistent priority.

Secondary Curriculum
by Lisa Clouse Language Arts Teacher at Doe Creek Middle School

According to, 160,000 teens skip school daily due to bullying. Additionally, they report 67% of students believe schools do nothing about bullying. We find statistics like these unacceptable, and we do not want to be a part of them.

Developing an age-appropriate anti-bullying curriculum was only the first step in the process. Next, we focused on putting that content into the hands of our students and teachers. Each school’s schedule is different, so administrators worked to identify time where students and staff could engage in this important curriculum. The high school decided that homeroom was the best place to offer this instruction, while the middle school organized a special schedule for one day each month to accommodate it. EVERY teacher is involved in facilitation of this curriculum, because we must all be involved in the change we want in our schools. Once schedules were determined, teachers who created the curriculum aided their peers in the use of My Big Campus where the curriculum is housed, and we were on our way!

The secondary curriculum has a dual focus and is customized for each grade level, 7th grade, 8th grade, and high school. One part of the curriculum empowers students through information and access intended to aid them in reporting if/when necessary. Check out these 7th grade curriculum examples! This will give you a glimpse into the content and flow of the lessons.

Lesson 1 - What is Bullying/Categories

Lesson 2 - Reporting and Perceptions

The second aspect of the curriculum promotes an accepting and united school culture as can be seen in the following links and examples.

Lesson 3 - United Front

Lesson 5 - Paying It Forward

Lesson 7 - Social Groups: Breaking the Barriers

Sharing this curriculum began in August 2014 allowing for delivery of 6 of 10 lessons at the time of this blog. When students were asked about their perception of the curriculum and its effect, they reported feeling more informed about the topic. They also felt like they could do something about bullying if needed. Secondary teachers noted changes in the ways in which students discuss bullying and conflict with each other or when reporting it to a teacher. Students have also embraced activities that promote anti-bullying. New Palestine High School students organized an anti-bullying club while Doe Creek Middle School students participate in dress-up days and activities that signify a strong, cohesive community. Our district also sponsors a Run, Walk, and Roll event to create a united front against bullying in our community.

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