As an elementary school counselor at Union Grove Elementary School in western Racine County, I first learned about Bluekids e-learning from a booth at the Wisconsin School Counselor’s Association Conference. The programs caught my eye since I was familiar with the Children’s Health Education Center because I had coordinated a number of field trips for our students to its center in Milwaukee. I was impressed with the field trip programs, so I decided to try out Bluekids.org e-learning programs.
This year will be our fourth year using the Bullyfree Basics curriculum. The curriculum is very appealing to students in this age of technology and video games. It is unique. The students like being able to have their own account, track their progress and work at their own pace. They like to be able to see their success when they have completed a section with a green check mark and can watch their progress through the program. They are very engaged in this program and eager to learn. The video segments are very well done and depict current and believable situations that the students can relate to. The interactive nature of the video questions and activities keeps them engaged. The program provides good solid definitions and gives kids the necessary vocabulary to discuss the topic of bullying.
Bullyfree Basics is flexible and can used in a number of ways. At Union Grove, we use it as part of our computer class and each student has their own account and can participate on an individual basis. I help lead the class in partnership with the computer and classroom teacher. Bullyfree Basics can be used by a classroom teacher or school counselor in the classroom using a projector or Smart Board. The entire class can view the program, complete the sections together and discuss what they learned. We also use the program as a tool to reteach students who have been referred to the office for bullying behavior. The principals have their own accounts that they can assign to students to use as part of the consequence for bullying.
~ Patti Mork, counselor, Union Grove Elementary School, guest blogger