Posts Tagged ‘pbis’

Cross-posted from A Platform for Good.

I am the technology integration specialist in a Vermont school district with two school buildings about a mile apart from one another. One serves grades preK–2 and the other grades 3–8. I travel between both buildings on most days and have the pleasure of working with all of the adults and students in those schools. A few years ago, our district decided to become a PBIS district. PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. We’re focused on the positive, which in turn, reduces the negative behaviors.

Each of the schools has a catchphrase that all adults and students know. At our preK–2 school, students are “Safe, Kind and Responsible.” At our grades 3-8 school, students know the acronym “SMART = We will be Safe, Mindful, Accepting, Respectful, and Truthful.” There are signs, reminders, and images all over both buildings to help us remember these behavioral expectations.

ABS pbis WillistonCentralSchool1b







In my work with students, these PBIS statements lend themselves naturally to topics under the umbrella of digital citizenship. The students know the phrases well and can easily transfer the ideas to their work with technology and the Internet. When asked what it means to be SMART online, they are able to share fabulous examples of how they are incorporating digital citizenship.

To help further these practices, we are utilizing many of the materials and lessons available from Common Sense Media. These lessons are a great way to connect what we’re learning to the PBIS words in each school. Teachers also integrate the language from PBIS into their technology-based activities. For example, here’s a blog post from one of our teachersexplaining how kindergarten students are Safe, Kind, and Responsible.

Another example of PBIS at work in my school district comes from a first and second grade teacher who worked with a group of students to create movie trailers on the iPad using iMovie. They each chose a different aspect of the school to describe in the movie.Being safe, kind, and responsible naturally evolved as one of the movies.

In our other school building, I observe teachers and students interacting with many digital citizenship topics. As part of a rotation with third and fourth graders, I also observe students making the connections between those topics and making SMART choices. By the end of our 6 weeks together, each student makes a short public service announcement to teach others about one aspect of digital citizenship. Here’s a recent example produced with Tellagami on the iPad.

We also have eight teachers currently engaged in various Flat Classroom Projects. Each of our grade spans is represented: K–2, 3–4, and grades 5–8. There is a lot of technology being integrated into the work they’re doing, which includes students communicating and collaborating with other students from around North America and a few in other countries as well. The middle school students are involved in the Digitween Project, which focuses specifically on digital citizenship. They are doing research and then will create and share a project to help educate others in our school community. Along the way, they are learning about being safe, mindful, accepting, truthful, and respectful when online. This project culminates near the end of 2013, so we’ll have more to share then.

Overall, there’s growing awareness about digital citizenship in our schools through the work we’re doing with PBIS. Digital citizenship is not a one-time focused activity or lesson. It must be repeatedly addressed with our students, our faculty, and our families. We all must work together to help our students learn what it means to be a responsible digital citizen.



Read Full Post »

Our schools have adopted PBIS this year. That stands for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. You can read more about it here. This is a school-wide effort in both of our buildings, though it differs slightly from one building to the next.

In our preK-2 building, we are all about Bees. Posted everywhere in the school on bright yellow posters, students are reminded to Be Safe, Be Kind, and Be Responsible. They can earn ‘buzzies’- little fuzz balls in black, white, or gold, when they’re displaying these behaviors. There’s a honey jar for the buzzies in each classroom, which when full, gets emptied into a larger container in the front office. When that’s full, the school earns a celebration. These have ranged thus far from extra recess to pajama day.

Similarly, in our grade 3-8 school, there’s also a school-wide effort underway. In this building, students are striving to Be SMART.(S=Safe, M=Mindful, A=Accepting, R=Respectful, and T=Truthful) When they exhibit these skills and behaviors, they earn ‘Smart Cells’, those glass beads often used for games like Mancala or in vases. Again, they fill containers in the classrooms and then contribute to the ‘brain’ in the front of the school. They also earn ‘cell-abrations’ when the brain is full. They have had dance parties, extra recess, and even a gum-chewing day, with gum provided by the school!

A 1st grader illustrates the 'beehaviors' with technology.

The reason I bring this up and describe it here is that all students are so familiar with this that they can recite the behaviors to anyone and everyone. Thus, our work with students and technology has been positively impacted as well. When introducing email to a kindergarten class and a first/second grade class last week, it was easy to connect proper use of email to being safe, responsible, and kind. The kindergarten teacher blogged about her class using email as well. When talking about the internet with third graders, we generated lists of what being ‘SMART’ online looks like. Here’s an example of a list that one group of third graders compiled in a shared Google Doc.

The tone in our schools has changed this year with the influence of PBIS. There are others in the buildings gathering data and more involved in the implementation of PBIS, but so far I’ve seen very positive impacts in the area of digital citizenship as well.

Just wanted to share. Comments are always welcome.

(Glass bead image: Creative Commons/flickr By ‘tuchodi’ http://flic.kr/p/m5Xm)

Read Full Post »