In this week’s New Yorker Paul Bloom makes the case that empathy must yield to reason to save a suffering Read more
Contexts for Use
For Individuals and Groups, in a Variety Settings
These programs can be used with a single student , in small groups, with large groups in a regular classroom or computer lab, and by individual students during free time in classroom, library, or computer lab settings. Scroll down the list to see examples of their use in a range of ways and settings.
You can also read about how other after-school and school-based groups are using the programs.
Teachers have a systematic way to make advisory period productive, using Ripple Effects to address topics of concern to individual students, do journal writing, and complete self assessment profiles on topics like learning, temperament, sports type, assertiveness, and more.
Truants can complete topics related to their offense. For example, skipping school, learning styles, and conflict with teachers.
A counselor can match resources to students, from information on dating abuse, to referral out for depression, to use of learning styles in helping develop college prep plans. Many counselors say that the program acts as a springboard to joint problem-solving, encourages students to ask for help, normalizes things so kids know they aren’t alone, and opens the door to deeper communication.
A detention supervisor can require detained students to complete modules focused on their specific misbehavior, such as fighting, teasing, graffiti, or cheating. Each takes about 15 minutes to complete. See a detailed scenario for using it in ISS.
Health teachers and prevention advocates can tailor the program to the particular needs of students in their school and neighborhood. It meets national frameworks and standards. Among the dozens of heath topics covered are drugs, alcohol, abuse, STDs, violence, and diet, as well as skill building connected with each. Topics can be blocked to match to community standards.
Students can scroll through Ripple Effects and find words for their experience, prompting them to disclose health problems, including addiction and STDs. Nurses say they’re seeing kids who’d previously said nothing, disclose problems like abuse after using the program.
A teacher can start each period by using the structured brain/journal. Simply assign a writing exercise on a topic of the student’s choice. This reinforces critical thinking and writing on a daily basis.
Students can look up the problem that’s been bothering them, and pursue their interest independently without taking up classroom time.
Parents can see a printed graph of their child’s learning style. It helps explain why their child excels in some classes but falls behind in others, and it gives practical advice on what they can do to help improve their child’s performance.
PE and Sports Programs
Poor sportsmanship can be addressed when it happens, where it happens. For instance, a coach can sit a player down and require the lesson on impulse control be completed before the player can return to practice. Or, they can focus on the sports practice opportunity that’s available for each topic in the program.
Helpers and students seeking help can jointly explore ways to resolve conflict, and address social problems, using the interactive games and profiles.
With one program, Principals get a tool that they can implement school-wide, to reduce problem behavior, leverage the effectiveness of guidance and counseling efforts, turn detention and in-school suspension into productive time, help teachers feel more respected in their classrooms, address critical health issues that may be reducing their kids chances of success-like drug abuse, STDs, or eating disorders-without taking up class time, and help their students build the skills that research shows are more connected to success than IQ and technical expertise combined.
POs have a systematic way to turn “dead time” in weekly visits into productive training, with targeted intervention based on the student’s crime. They can easily track completion of topics through the printable progress report.
The school board can build consensus and addresses community concerns by adopting, and customizing Ripple Effects to meet local needs and district mandates, censoring out topics they don’t consider right for their community.
Social Studies Class
Ripple Effects provides interactive learning exercises and audio visual resources on topics such as appreciating diversity, resolving conflict and exercising rights, which are part of many social studies curricula.
Teacher and students can focus on the “belonging skills” in Ripple Effects, to help these students fit in and keep them from becoming marginalized.
Substance Abuse Prevention
Teachers have a wide range of options to choose from in dealing with specific drug and alcohol problems, with broad skill training in assertiveness, managing feelings, decision making, and predicting consequences. Matches to Safe and Drug Free Schools guidelines.
A vice principal can deal with two fighting students by putting one on Ripple Effects’s bully offender topic to learn empathy and one on the bully victim topic to learn assertiveness. S/he can click on students’ names to verify they’ve completed their assignment.
A teacher or outside presenter can focus on the topics related to violence prevention, and get a curriculum that matches to Safe and Drug Free Schools Principles of Effectiveness.
“Surely any topic …can be found in your program… Certainly students will be engaged, and teachers will be able to use the materials in a variety of settings and for a variety of purposes… We find your program exciting.”
Dr. Sharon J. Wieland, Ph.D., Former Curriculum Coordinator, Lodi Unified School District