English Drops

By Teacher Claudia

BULLYING 


I tend to believe there is a biological and a psychological reason behind our every action.

As a teacher, I often see kids misbehave, get distracted or perform badly in tests, and instead of getting angry and mad at them, I work with them and help them get better, because 9 times out of 10 there is an underlying problem that needs to be fixed. Nothing more, nothing less

Nonetheless, there still is one thing I cannot, under any circumstance, tolerate, and that is bullying.


Standing on someone else’s shoulders, undermining someone’s self-esteem, taking advantage of a weaker person that has no one to be defended by. Whether big or small, physical or verbal, these are all despicable and terrible acts that can have an enormous impact on the person at the receiving end - what sounds like an innocent joke to some, can be a soul-scarring insult to others.


According to data released by the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS), which is the official data source for the Sustainable Development Goal on education:

“Almost one-third of young teens worldwide have recently experienced bullying. The new data show that bullying affects children everywhere, across all regions and countries of different income levels. They were collected from in-school surveys that track the physical and emotional health of youth. The Global School Health Survey (GSHS) focuses on children aged 13 to 17 years in low-income regions. Similarly, the Health Behavior in School-Age Children (HBSC) targets young people aged 11 to 15 years in 42 countries, primarily in Europe and North America. Bullying refers to violence between peers/students which is characterised as ‘intentional and aggressive behavior occurring repeatedly where there is a real or perceived power imbalance’.”


As you can see, the numbers, statistics and all the mumble jumble on the matter speak clearly and bullying has gotten worse over the years. But actually, it is a tale as old as time: bullying has been around for longer than some of us have been alive, the only difference now, is that people are finally starting to notice.


Some say that, instead of teaching children how to deal with bullies, we should be teaching them not to become bullies in the first place, and I fully agree. There’s just one problem: as with any other evil in this world, eradicating it will take massive amounts of effort and a lot of time, so teaching children how to face the problem in the meantime doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me.


Being in direct contact with the school world and witnessing the effects that bullying can have firsthand, I knew I needed to do something. This is why, pairing my love for children and their well-being with my experience, I wrote a short story that entertains kids while also teaching them how to deal with bullies and how to behave if they are a victim of bullying. Among the many anti-bullying strategies that most schools put in place, in the book I chose to focus on the one I believe to be the most effective to fight off the bullies, while also making the victim feel more protected: Speaking up.


According to statistics, more than half of bullied students do not tell anyone. The reason behind this silence can change from child to child, but it is a common denominator among many victims, who find themselves suffering in silence. Regardless of the reason, it is crucial to teach children (the younger they are, the better) that telling someone and saying what's going on is extremely important: whether it is a friend, a teacher or a relative, talking about it can really make a huge difference. This is exactly what my book, "Cricket Becomes Knight", tries to focus on: 


In this story, the helpless little Cricket plays the role of the bullied boy; Lion, an angry and hateful lion, is the bully; the rest of the animals in the story, on the other hand, take on the role of those friends, teachers, or relatives that a bullied victim should turn to and ask help to.

The story begins with Lion who violently confronts Cricket, with the sole purpose of imposing his force against him, scaring and threatening him. After a moment of uncertainty and fear, Cricket makes the right choice and decides to ask for help from others. In this case, the other animals of the animal kingdom.


This tale has a happy ending, but only thanks to the help Cricket received from the other animals, who not only helped him stand up to Lion (his bully), but also helped him teach Lion a lesson and made him understand that bullying is a very despicable thing to do. Apart from teaching children how to behave in the face of bullying, the story also touches upon one of the main causes of it, and how it can and should actually be a further reason to love and appreciate one another: our differences. Remember,


“No one has ever made himself great by showing how small someone else is.”


The book was completely illustrated by some of my own little students, and it is available for purchase on Amazon through the following links:


https://amzn.to/33QjVcr (ITALY)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DSX3JSL (USA)  

The book is in ENGLISH LANGUAGE even if Amazon has written Italian version


Hope that you and your children enjoy it, and learn something from it!




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TIPS PER SVILUPPARE LA CAPACITA MNEMONICHE IN INGLESE

Pubblicato il 15 dicembre 2019 alle 08.50

 

Qualche volta sottovalutiamo l’abilità del nostro piccolo pubblico dentro l’aula. Ma dobbiamo ricordare che la memoria dei bambini di piccola età funziona come una spugna, assorbendo le informazioni in maniera illimitata. I bambini sono come un canvas totalmente bianco in cui pochissime mani hanno dipinto e noi maestri della scuola materna ed elementare, insieme ai genitori, abbiamo il privilegio di essere uno dei primi a modellare le prime memorie e ricordi! Quindi abbiamo una responsabilità enorme. Ma come farlo adeguatamente? Ecco qui alcuni TIPS che quasi sempre mi hanno portato ad avere risultati positivi.

 

DIAMO UNA MELODIA AL VOCABOLARIO!!!

Imparare a memoria deve essere un’esperienza piacevole in modo che le informazioni acquisite rimangano nella nostra memoria a lungo termine. Prendiamo una melodia conosciuta come TANTI AUGURI, WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS, ECC. e usiamola per creare un CHANT, una canzone. Con certi vocaboli potreste chiedere ai bambini di inventare una canzoncina usando la loro melodia preferita. Dopo di che potrebbe diventare il MOTTO della classe. Funziona sempre ed è un modo divertente di imparare.

MODULARE LA VOCE E MIMARE

Se ci sono personaggi, oggetti, stagioni dell’anno, luoghi magici …MIMALI! TIRA FUORI LA TUA VENA TEATRALE. Un coniglio salterebbe, l’inverno sarebbe freddo e con tanta neve. E un albero? Un albero avrebbe lunghi rami e un solido tronco….USA IL TUO CORPO per mimare un bel PINO oppure un ACERO. Usa anche i versi ad esempio un gatto farebbe MEOW, per drammatizzare l’autunno potresti fare il suono del vento. Non dimenticare di modulare la voce e cambiare il tono sempre.

INIZIA DALL' ULTIMA PAROLA

Se devi memorizzare una frase come “LUCY GOES TO THE PARK WITH HER FRIENDS”, I bambini possono provare ad impararla partendo dalla fine: “with friends” dopo “with her friends” successivamente “the park with her friends” e finalmente “Lucy goes to..” Anche questo è un metodo efficace, ricreativo e spiritoso per apprendere nuovi contenuti.

LE PRIME LETTERE DI OGNI PAROLA

Quando devi mandare in memoria parole della stessa categoria come giorni della settimana, stagioni dell’anno, mesi dell’anno, ecc in INGLESE. fatte una frase con le prime lettere di ogni parola ad esempio con i giorni della settimana Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday . Andrebbe bene la frase “Susan, My Teacher, Wants Terrific Fancy Shoes”. Questo metodo funziona meglio con I bambini più grandi.

USA TUTTI I TUOI SENSI

Porta oggetti reali alla classe in modo che gli studenti siano capaci di abbracciare il concetto, immagazzinarlo e dopo riciclarlo quando sia necessario. Fagli assaporare i concetti anche usando le loro mani per imparare le caratteristiche dell’oggetto. E rotondo oppure quadrato? Bianco o nero? Grande o piccolo. Per rispondere a queste domande i aiuteranno i nostri sensi. CIBO IN INGLESE??come lo si impara in modo semplice? Proviamo a mettere in moto le nostre papille gustative e decidiamo se una STRAWBERRY è sweet or salty. In fine usando i nostri 5 sensi diventerà leggero collegare la parola al concetto.

 

Finalmente un fattore che fa dell’’apprendimento una cosa memorabile è DIVERTIRSI! Ma ricorda, il DIVERTIMENTO ha significati diversi per ogni persona quindi quando CANTARE sia il miglior metodo per un alunno, per un altro può essere una poesia, e poi per un altro ancora mimare il concetto. Di conseguenza VARIATY IS THE KEY MY DEAR TEACHERS! Il nostro cervello collega il processo d’apprendimento alle emozioni, in poche parole impariamo con più velocità quando il maestro stuzzica la nostra curiosità in modo piacevole al contempo proficuo.

                                                  “TEACHERS.....FUEL YOUR STUDENTS PASSION FOR LEARNING”

by Teacher Claudia

 

 

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