Greetings and Salutations! My name is Rebecca, and I decided to start a blog in order to connect with other teachers and/or readers - my two biggest passions! I am currently in my 5th year of teaching in Houston, TX. I was an elementary education major in college, and the program Teach for America brought me to Houston - a city I never would have chosen, but that has turned out to be an amazing area full of diversity and culture.
To get this first post started, I'd like to combine my two passions into one - my favorite book to use while teaching class culture. My favorite the past couple of years to pull out when students begin being mean to each other is My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig.
When I read this book to my students last week, there was dead silence in the room as I read every page, and all eyes were glued to the book. Every once in awhile, when I asked if students had ever had a similar experience, all hands would raise quietly, which was very powerful. A deep and emotional discussion followed, in which students realized that they had been saying things they shouldn't have said, and some shared personal stories of being treated unkindly. We talked about using our words to kindly ask others to stop doing something that's bothering us. We discussed how it is then that person's responsibility to apologize and stop what they are doing.
So far, class culture is becoming more and more positive. It started out great at the beginning of the year, but I always find that I need some refresher courses for my kiddos as the year progresses.
So what about you? Do you have a favorite book to use to promote a positive classroom environment? I'd love to hear it!