Friday, February 24, 2017

Mushy Manners

I've heard a lot of talk about bad manners in our cafeteria. So I pulled together some book resources for our teachers to check out. They can read them during our morning meetings or during a rainy indoor recess.


What is your favorite book on manners?

Saving Sam!

I have an amazing intern this semester! She's really become my right hand man and is a natural for elementary. So it's no surprise that she just created a winning lesson for 3rd grade. We have been talking all year about perseverance, mindset, and goal setting. So this was a perfect lesson to review and refresh on all three topics. 
Here it is:

First, she created an awesome Power Point. It introduces perseverance with a great Bruno Mars video, that even our 3rd graders asked to watch again.


It also highlighted some famous "failures." 

Here are her talking tips: Helpful Tips for PowerPoint…. Who are those people?

Walt Disney: The man who gave us Disney World and Mickey Mouse. His first animation company went bankrupt. He was fired by a news editor because he lacked imagination. Legend has it he was turned down 302 times before he got the money to create Disney World


J.K Rowling The author of the Harry Potter series didn’t magically become wealthier than the Queen of England. Coming from poverty, she wrote the first book in the series on an old typewriter only to be turned down by more than ten publishers. A year later, a publisher named Barry Cunningham agreed to publish her book, but suggested she get another job because children’s books do not typically lead to making a lot of money.

Next we challenged them to play "Saving Sam".

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

It's NSCW 17!

 

It's National School Counselor Week! 

It's time to celebrate to advocate. I had a wonderful plan for the week, and then illness hit and our county closed. So I am celebrating some of this week from home (is there any better gift?). But here is a brief outline of my original plan:



 First, I sent out a newsletter with a daily activity or giveaway for my teachers. I also printed this wonderful infographic by the TN School Counseling Association on the back about how we became the wonderful school counselors we are today.





Monday
School Counselors think their students are soda-lightful. 
 Thanks to the Middle School Counselor for this idea. I set out her adorable sign and some soda's in work room for a treat. 

Parent Workshop- 
I hosted a parent workshop on stress/anger management. Each parent received a goodie bag for coming. The bags included hangouts, brochures, pencils for journaling, stress/fidget toys, bubbles, stickers for reward charts, etc. I also had tons of books for parents to check out. I will follow this up with a thank and you and links to more resources.  








Tuesday
I love ...
I love being a school counselor because my students rock. Why do you love having a school counselor? I put one sign outside my office and printed copies of the sign for teachers to complete with their class/grade level team. Every class that sends me a picture or shares with me will get a special treat.  

Wednesday
Reach Higher
Counselors encourage students #reachhigher! Wear your favorite college gear and ask your students what they want to be during morning meeting.  
I also created this hall display with my amazing intern, about how counselors help during each stage- elementary, middle, high school, college, and beyond. 





 







Morning Meeting Day- 
I will (or had hoped to) visit classrooms during morning meetings this month to read this wonderful book. I hoped to share with them why I love working with them and ask them what they love/are grateful for.
Thursday

 Take time to de-stress. I had bubble wrap from an old move so I created little stress reliving goodies for the teachers.


Counselors "chip" in. I have been very focused on helping my admin. understand my role this year, so I created a little "chip in" handout that explains my job. I can easily staple this to a bag of chips and bam. 

Friday
Mystery Reader

Each month I put a character ed. mystery reader book on our Canvas system, what teachers use to watch the news. I reminded teacher to  watch the Character Education mystery reader video. I asked classes to guess and vote on who they think the mystery reader is for February. If they E-mail their guess (1 per class) and I will put the correct answers in a drawing for a prize or give each class a surprise.  This month our book is One.


 Need more ideas?
Visit the Elementary School Counselor Idea Exchange Group on Facebook.


Check out Pinterest.
And....
Is there any better way to say " I love you" than with a sale? 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Student Grouping- Boys Vs. Girls



Before break, I was in the gym most of my day, which meant I got to observe a lot of my students (and during a holiday game I may or may not have thrown a ball at a few of them who love a good power struggle).

 I noticed that most of the time the teacher divided them up into boy and girls and it made me start thinking about how I group students. Then winter break hit, and let's be honest I did not think about it much more because:

Then yesterday I saw this amazing idea from Smitten With First.

As I was reading it, I thought "ugh boys vs. girls again!"

Now let me start by saying, I LOVE this game/idea and I plan on using a version of it in my own class. For example, how fun would it be to have feeling words on the board and as I am reading a story a student could throw the ball at the word of how the character is feeling? I mean the possibilities are endless. It does not surprise me that this amazing idea came from a district teacher of year. I have such high respect for Michelle Hudgeons and the amazing work she does.

Here is why I took pause: I keep pondering the idea of boys vs. girls  as grouping for games. I have a few students that identify, or I believe is starting to, identify as another gender. I bet you have students that identify as a different gender or are starting to notice that they want to.  The research and articles about transgender students are endless, important, and relative. A recent article in the NY Times stated, that "some developmental psychologists say that children as young as 2 or 3 can express a gender identity that is at odds with one defined by the genitalia." 

So I thought about what it must be like for them when I call out boys vs. girls. I think of the "male" student that feels more comfortable with the "girls" and has told me how much "he" loves "girl things and being a girl." I wonder if they feel that twitch of desire to go with the other team. I worry that I am subconsciously creating more barriers and reinforcing stereotypes. I cringe thinking that I have made a student uncomfortable. I get angered by the sheer lack of creativity it feels like I have when grouping. 

So I started making a list of ways I could divide classes in teams:

- birthday months
- clothing color
- hair color (although having done self portraits with students for years, I am still shocked when students ask me what color hair they have).
- eye color
- those who own a dog and those that don't

Not a bad start.

 I have seen many lists on how to line up students, but when you are trying to create teams with equal number of participants (or close) on each team- how can you do it without saying boys vs. girls? 

So here's my question to you: how would you group for teams that isn't boys vs. girls?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Everyone Loves Bacon! A lesson on popularity, fitting in, and being yourself.

Last month I read The Invisible Boy  with a class and the conversation turned to popularity, fitting in and being yourself. The conversation was so good we needed a follow up lesson. Here it is: 

Standards:
ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors (Domain/Standard):  
Mindsets: 1. Belief in development of whole self, including a healthy balance of mental, social/ emotional and physical well-being 3. Sense of belonging in the school environment
Behavior- Social Skills:
2. Create positive and supportive relationships with other students5. Demonstrate ethical decision-making and social responsibility6. Use effective collaboration and cooperation skills 7. Use leadership and teamwork skills to work effectively in diverse teams 8. Demonstrate advocacy skills and ability to assert self, when necessary 9. Demonstrate social maturity and behaviors appropriate to the situation and environment

Student Learning Objectives: I can create a definition of popularity. I can work in a group, with a partner, and by myself. I can explain what it means to fit it.

Materials: Everyone Loves Bacon, paper bags, markers or crayons, I Wish slips of paper, post it notes or scrap paper.

Procedure:
 As a table/ group discuss what they think is the definition of popularity. You can also have them discuss what it means to fit in. Then on a post it note or scrap papers ask them to write down their definition of popularity and/or fitting in. This will be a working definition they can change and add to  throughout class. 

Next, read and discuss Everyone


Loves Bacon.  Discuss how the books relates to popularity and fitting in. We also talked about self esteem/confidence vs. cocky and arrogant. If possible (because the class has had previous lesson) ask how it relates to The Invisible Boy. You can also discuss feeling comfortable with yourself and the pressure to fit in.

Next we played a quick game of  Quiz Quiz Trade for review.

Then, I asked students to think about the discussion they had today and the book and go back to their definition. They could add on, change, etc. and then they turned in for their exit ticket.

Next, ask students to think about a time they might have hidden something about themselves because they wanted to fit in. I asked them to think of things they have been scared to share for fear of fitting in.  
Each student then got to decorate their paper bags with things we know about them, that they are comfortable sharing, that anyone might know about them that isn’t private. I had a bag as an example.  
Then ask students fill out the I Wish slips; I wish my teacher knew.... I wish my class knew..... I wish my parents knew.....and I wish.....,  These slips went inside of their bags, because they are often hidden and take a lot of courage to share. If time allows, students may share their answers.  
Lastly I invite students to leave their bags with me if they want me to know something about them that is on the inside. I took them home over the weekend and read and wrote notes back to the students. 
A student with Down's shared she wished her class knew how scared she got in crowds. 
Plan for Evaluation: How will each of the following be collected? 
Process Data: number of classes taught, number of students in each class
Perception Data:  Number of students able to create a definition of popularity/fitting in. Number of students able to answer QQT game questions.
Outcome Data:  Number of student self referrals about concerns about fitting in or popularity. Number of student self referrals for peer relationships (including bullying and friendship).

Follow Up:  Teacher will be given a copy of Lady Pancake and French Toast for follow up in morning meeting.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

A Peak At Nov's Lessons

Here's what I am doing in Nov. What are you doing?

K- Problem and Solving

We did this FREEBIE color sheet of different situations together to discuss tattle vs. telling. Heads up this is a tough sheet for them so we went slowly. You could also do a big/small problem sort.

Next, we discussed how we can solve small problems by watching Kelso.  I also found this great Big Deal/Little Deal Prezi online.
After that we went back to our color sheet and spun a Kelso wheel I created online to figure out solutions would work. We acted out our problems and solutions. If time allowed we colored our own solution wheels.


I'm clearly no artist. 
In first grade, we are talking about anger management.
First, we read Grumpy Gloria. After reading, we folded long construction paper over to make a book. On the first page we did a "Grumpy Me" cover.



Then on the first page we drew something that makes you grumpy.  
After that we read How To Dinosaur's Say I'm Mad and practiced the two strategies in the book. First we counted to 10 and then we did Belly Breathing on GoNoodle.
After that we added another page to our book by drawing us belly breathing and the back cover was us happy.


3rd Grade- We are talking about coping skills.
First, we read and discussed Silly Billy.  Before reading we made predictions and observations about the book and then checked in as we read to see if they were coming true. We took a brain break to practice our own ways of relaxing by doing Chillax on GoNoodle.
Then we made guesses as to what coping skills were and then I introduce coping skill's using Counselor Keri's Interactive Notebook. Next, we identified the coping skills seen in the story and then used the notebook to pick out and color 4 of our own coping skills.  45 minutes flew by!

5th Grade- We are problem solvers.
First we read and discussed one of my new favorite books What Do You Do With A Problem?  After reading we discussed ways we could solve your own problem using a problem solving tip chart I created with our school mascot. We also discussed what a silver lining is.

Afterwards I gave each student a small sheet of paper and asked them to write down or a real problem they had had this year at school. If they couldn't think of one they could make one up. I gave them a heads up that someone else was reading it, so if it was too personal they could write that down and give it to me and make up another problem. After they were written we threw all our problems into a snowball and everyone grabbed a new paper. Next, they had to find the silver lining in that problem and then if possible come up with one solution.
You can also use this silver lining FREEBIE.

Here is a great silver lining activity to go along with the lesson. I also highly recommend the book It's Tough To Lose Your Balloon.
Also, here is a "silver lining" idiom study.






Friday, October 14, 2016

What book should I buy?

I hear this question all the time! What books should I buy?
Well there isn't an easy answer, because the answer is different for everyone.

First, look at your data! Do a stakeholder survey of topics that are most relevant to them.  I use Google Drive to create an easy Google Form that I can email to parents and teachers. I can also put it online for students. Also, check out your referrals. What are you getting the most referrals for? Next,  check your current inventory, do you have books on those topics? If not, start there! If bullying is not a top issue in your school, but study skills are then you know what books will be getting the most use. So as much as I love the Weird Series for bullying, I would start putting my funds towards books like Annie's Plan.

What is the focus of your school? Where are you heading? I have tons of books on friendship, but I noticed this year I needed more books on handling stress and more titles geared towards our PBIS focus.

Look at your scope and sequence. When I plan out my year of classroom guidance lessons I always partner it with a book. This helps me gauge what topics I might need, but also helps me focus on what books I really want to use.

What do others love? Some titles are must haves like Mr. Peabody's Apples or What If Everybody Did That?. Check out what other counselors are using all the time.

Here are some of my favorite titles:

























Here are some authors you can't go wrong with:




Jarrett Krosoczka



Todd Parr

Corey Rosen Schwartz

Mo Willems



Need more ideas? Check out my Good Reads page here: https://www.goodreads.com/PawsitiveSchoolCounseling