Monday, March 25, 2013

My Fav New Books

Tonight I got to hang out with two great ladies! I needed it and I had so much fun spending the night with coffee, chocolate, and books. It was fun to explore Barnes and Noble and catch up on cute books. Here are my two favorites:

First is "Flora The Flamingo." This word-less book has the most beautiful, artistic illustrations. As Shep pointed out it, it would make a wonderful animated short film. It's fun, sweet, and made me smile ear to ear.

Next I found "Stuck." This is a sweet story about a boy who get's his kite stuck in a tree and decides the best way to get it out is to throw things into the tree to shake it out. Of course each thing he throws in just gets stuck. I think this could be a fun story to discuss problem solving and if at first you don't succeed...throw a cat in a tree  (jk!)

Vote For Brooklyn!

Vote here to make Brooklyn Nashville Lifestyles Magazine's Reader Choice Pup:
Just click on the red "cast your vote" link and type in #15!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Counseling the Counselor Prt 2

This weekend/week (yes it's only Monday) has been incredibly rough for me personally (and for my sweet, cherished pups.)
Thanks to DL Henry for this picture.

 In the middle of what was already a trying time one of our families lost their home and three beloved dogs to a fire. I was devastated for them, and immediately thought to myself "I can't handle this!" Not because I had too much on my plate, but it was hitting so close (too close) to home. I was heartbroken for the family and my heart ached so much for the 1st grader that I didn't know if I could talk to her without crying. I called our social worker and said "help!" Before she could make it in today my precious student came to see me. I made it through five pages of "The 10th Good Thing About Barney" before I felt the tears streaming down my face.

I felt awful, I felt unprofessional, I felt as though I was being hurtful not helpful. I debated going home, but wanted to stay for her. We made flowers together.  Three, one for each dog lost, and we decorate the petals with her favorite memories of each dog. One of the dogs was pregnant at the time and she shared in one way she was happy they passed away because it meant they didn't have to give up the puppies and now they could all be together forever. I could barely say a word.  I was just guilt ridden. Our librarian told me at lunch she was glad I stayed, that I was what the student needed, that it was ok to be honest and real with her, to show her I care.  So today I ask counselors the discuss the following:

1) Is it ok to show that much emotion to your students? Is it ok for you to cry with them?
2) If it's not, is it ok to refer out?
3) How do you balance your personal and professional lives?

If you live in TN you need to read this:

Update: A special thanks to everyone who supported me this past week, because of your action, Rep. Gilmore stated that she is withdrawing HB 621, the ill-conceived bill that would have arbitrarily demonized pit bulls. I love you guys so much for helping us protect our babies, our rights, and help bury ignorance.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Techy and I Know It Prt. 2

I may or may not have an iPad in my possession. Ok I do and I downloaded 15 free apps today alone. Here are some of my favorites:

Dusty D. Dawg Has Feelings Too

This is an adorable story of a cute puppy and his many feelings. I love that many of the situations in the story are not "dog specific." For example he has friends that moves away or get's scolded. For parents you are even able to customize the story with the child's name.
I want to go into my K classes tomorrow just so I can show them this one. This has also reignited my desire to write a children's book about dogs. This one is especially meaningful for me this week since my foster Seven moved to a new foster home. Brooklyn has been pouting and moaning and won't leave the window. I think sometimes we forget that animals an grieve too.

Price: Free


Prejudice and judgements are unjust!

This post is rather personal, so sorry. Readers know I have a beloved Pitty mix, Brooklyn, the light of my life. Well today bills have been introduced in the Tennessee House and Senate that would regulate the ownership of and automatically label “pit bulls” as vicious dogs at the state level.  

My head can never quite grasp this concept, it's as ignorant as saying "that you can catch AIDS from a toilet seat"  and is completely irrational as any other legislation we have seen that promotes inequality. We look back at segregation and see our mistakes, but it took an entire movement to see this. Well it's time for a movement in TN! If you are so inclined (and I hope you are) please consider writing to our legislators. I am drafting a letter as we speak and will post it below when complete. 

Read more:

Read more here:

For more Facts and Stats on please visit:

For me the most interesting parts are the financial hardship this will bring to every resident, not just Pit owners. For the 12 states that have passed BSL legislation it costs about $250,000 per county annually to enforce. There have been 0 counties that have reduced dog bites after introducing these bills. That means our counties could potentially be wasting $250,000 a year! Why not put that money into education, hire more teachers, get more assistants, get better school lunches? Put that money where it matters!

Visit for a Fiscal Cost Calculator. 

Thanks for listening, considering, and writing.

Friday, March 8, 2013

"I'm Bored!"

How many times have you heard that...over summer break, when it's raining and the kids can't go outside to recess, or when they can't use their iPod/iPad!

Brooklyn gets bored and tends to bring me a ball or toy with her sad "play, play" eyes. She's great about entertaining herself, but my students not so much.
I'm Bored Lesson In A Nutshell

Thursday, March 7, 2013

PBIS World

An amazing school psychologist shared this resource with me and I really love it. I have put it in numerous e-mails, newsletters, and notes to my teachers. I can't encourage them to use it enough. If your school uses  Positive Behavior Intervention Support then make sure your staff bookmarks this site.

Here's how it works:

Body Language Video

As you have probably read I think the dog safety lesson is truly one of the most important of the year. So many of my kids have dogs in their homes and so I think it's important to discuss how we treat them respect. Many of my kids struggle with social skills, including reading body language and tone. I love this video because it combines two important lessons: the importance/message of body language and safety.

What I took away from this video: I often see pictures my friends post (and probably I even have a few) where I thought the dogs looked ok, but really they look tense. I didn't notice it until I watched this video, but now I see the subtle hints.

Please share with anyone you know that has a doggie!

Sassy Pants

Just a random entry of the day, but if I ever get to present at a conference you will probably see me in these:

True. Story.

Growls and Grrr's

The other day my foster pup Seven tried to take away a ball from Brooklyn. They ended up growling at each other in an endless game of tug of war. Seven won, but only because Brooklyn fell asleep mid growl. This happens often and it always make me giggle to myself, because it's like watching two angry people yell at each other, get louder and louder without listening to the other person, and both ending up exhausted and defeated. I see this happen every day with my non furry friends. We get angry at kids for getting angry and not controlling it, we get angry at co-workers and instead of talking we avoid  or vent to another, we get angry at the people we love the most and we growl.

This lesson was for my first graders, and it was on what to do when you get angry.

First, we discussed what makes us angry and how we feel when we get angry.

Tucker Turtle Takes Time to Tuck and Think

Then, we discussed the Tucker Turtle Method, and how to tuck like a turtle when we get made. This program is from Vanderbilt and although it is very basic and simple (perfect for student with Autism) I love it for 1st grade for that reason.  We talk about places you can tuck at school and home. Sometimes they kids like to tuck in their shirts, but we also discuss how your shell can be your room, a special cool down spot in the room, etc.

Next, we practice the deep breathing. If you haven't seen this video yet you have to share it with your students. My kids watched it many times, the second time singing along and practicing the breath.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Prezi's- You Can Be Techy Too!

This week was the TN School Counseling and Administrators Institute, a wonderful conference I look forward to every year.
I learned lots, left with many ideas I can't wait to share, but my favorite breakout session was "I'm Techy And I Know It" hosted by the amazing Greene County team.

Here is why I loved this break out:

1) I actually have more tech knowledge than I thought or give myself credit for. For example, I was one of few people in the room who blogged (yay! and thanks for reading) and also one of the few people with a LiveBinder.

2) I went home and immediately used the info given. I updated my Pinterest site to match my website and brand. Visit it here:   and visit Nashville Pittie's page here:

3) It was practical, informative, and inspiring. While I don't have an iPad (yet) I left with many many ideas that I can do.

For example, do you know about Prezi's? I love it! It's like PowerPoint on crack (sorry but there is simply no other way to describe it's awesomeness.) I have created a few since Tuesday just for practice. I also love that you can download them as a PDF and search and share for other Prezi's (you know I love to beg, borrow, and steal!)
Do you have a Prezi to share? Share Share!! Here are mine thus far:

Middle School Transition (for a parent workshop I am hosting)
*note I am still building this one!

Pittie Please:

The Prezi that started it all:

Keep checking back as I update with more ideas I learned and implemented!