Fulton Middle School then invited Ralph for 2 back to back “Change the Story,” assemblies. We were able to distribute packets of Change the Story game bullying and prejudice modules to all 7th and 8th grade homerooms in advance. So the game created opportunities for the students to think through key concepts, identify problems and […]
With the start of the 2015 school year, Ralph Singh has been busy. Sandy Creek invited him to spend a day for staff professional development. With the excellent groundwork of Jackie Hobbs and Dori Hathway, a team of 12 teachers who wanted to review ways to extend the school-wide activities into their class work. Following […]
Hannibal Central School District is the first to finish their initial set of oral history interviews and have them uploaded to the site. As part of their summer Upward Bound project, under the direction of John Snow, Jr. who also serves as the town historian for Granby, students interviewed local historians of the surrounding towns […]
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“Tie stories to the other literature read throughout the day. Constantly refer to these stories and how the characters in their books compare to the Wisdom Thinker stories.”
“As far as behavior and academics I think these lessons lend themselves to the importance of responsibility and respect. Children learn that they are responsible for their own actions and those actions have consequences, both good and bad. Many of my students have referred back to a story I’ve read and told me how it is influencing their actions.”
“Take this opportunity to have the kids write about what the problem was, how they would solve the problem, has anything like this ever happened to them. Then have the kids share and again have open discussions. This might start out as a teacher directed activity but in the end it’s the students who should lead the discussions.”
“I like to relate the stories to something that has happened to me or even in our classroom. This will usually open up discussions. If the kids can relate to themselves they have a better chance of remembering how they can handle similar situations.”
“After reading one of the stories or watching the videos online it is very important to have discussions.”
Elementary Teacher Syracuse City Schools
“Several years ago I used a handful of these stories with a small group of third-graders. The group was comprised of students who had a tough time reading at grade level. Some were officially identified with reading, writing, or speech/language challenges, others were not officially identified and were struggling just the same. They were a mix of English language learners and native English speakers.
I asked them if they would mind listening to some stories over the next few weeks and giving their feedback to help a friend of mine. They were quite willing to do that, and felt proud that someone had asked for their help/opinions. Over the next few weeks we would take ten or fifteen minutes a few times a week to listen to a story, close our eyes and visualize it, think about how it made us feel listening to this story, think about what came to our minds as we listened to the story, and share our thoughts, feelings, learning’s. Some things that I noticed:
-students began to compare real-life situations to those in the stories
-students began to see themselves, or those around them, as similar to characters in the stories
-students began to make connections to how situations were handled in the stories to how they could handle their own real-life situations
-students began to feel more trusting of being themselves within our group
-students began to help and encourage each other more than put down or compete against one another (both academically and socially-emotionally)
-students loved listening to the stories.
As struggling readers and some English language learners, to be able to hear the story and understand it that way took the pressure off of having to struggle to read it themselves. This way they had access to the story, with no embarrassment or frustration.
These stories could be used in various ways/settings:
-in a classroom setting, whole group, as part of character development/lifeskills/citizenship lessons
-in small groups or one-to-one for students facing social/emotional challenges
-integrated into grade-level Language Arts Common Core units, particularly those that have a focus on folktales/fables
-with parent groups to support/connect learning in school to home life
2nd Grade NAES school teacher
“Quest for the Golden Rule – Bark Academy, second grade anti-bullying games
Some of our students were struggling with making friends, and the program addressed this explicitly. It provided a good basis for discussion, and the kids loved it and said it was fun! If two students were not getting along, I was able to refer back to Bark Academy–when someone treats you disrespectfully, it is still in your best interest to treat the person respectfully….and ask an adult for help. We’ve seen a positive change in behavior while easily using the simulations to improve both literacy and listening skills.”