Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Peace Be With You and Begins With You

Peace One Day, which Seisen ES will celebrate on September 21st, along with International Mindedness Day, forces us to think about our individual role's as peacemakers. In grade 5, we are exploring this at length during the Peace & Conflict Unit of Inquiry. Students are not only learning about global and historical issues, but also about interpersonal conflict and how to both prevent and deal with problems that arise.

Tweens and teens, from my experience, tend to struggle most with peer relationships. Fitting in and securing meaningful friendships are of the upmost importance at this stage of life. Peer pressure and the desire to be seen in a certain light also makes adolescence extra challenging, all the while trying to figure our who you are and laying the groundwork for who you want to be. 

During my lessons with Mr. Carroll and Ms. Christine's classes, we focused heavily on deciding on "the size of the problem" (link to my chart here), and a short video was used to sum up what was learned.

We also discussed stereotypical "girl problems" and strategies to solve them. Using the resource, "When Girls Hurt Girls: A Girl's Guide with 13 Effective Ways to Solve Hurtful Friendships," by Jane Balvanz and Blair Wagner (2008), I outlined common friendship weapons that many adolescents experience, such as: cyberbullying, exclusion, gestures (eye rolling, glaring), gossip, lying, manipulation, name calling, possessiveness, silent treatment, secret sharing and rumours. The girls were given two particular tools/frameworks for solving conflicts with friends. Below is my favorite!

                  1 = Ignore                       
                2 = Walk Away
                3 = Keep it Light
                4 = Get Clear
                5 = Speak Up
                6 = Distract
                7 = Agree
                8 = Team Up
                9 = Give it Time
                10 = Take a Time Out
                11 = Try Out New Friends                      

The very last option (12) should be to ask an adult for help. Being in 5th grade, most students can solve friendship issues by themselves or with the help of their peers. As adults, it's important that we grant them the autonomy to do so without getting involved (even though we simply want to help!).

Lastly, the grade 5 students were asked to complete short skits about confronting a conflict using an AGGRESSIVE, PASSIVE, or ASSERTIVE approach. They truly enjoyed coming up with ways to demonstrate these concepts, and much laughter accompanied their efforts. Enjoy the pictures below!



I absolutely loved the enthusiasm of Mr. Carroll and Ms. Christine's students. The first month of school is off to a great start!

~Ms. Carnright

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