Monday, January 27, 2014

New Year, New School

There is nothing quite like changing schools mid year! Yep, I moved. It's been overwhelming and I am still wrapping my head around it all, but like all good counselors I am just going with it.

So here are pictures of my new office, my lesson plans from my first week, my favorite new classrooms in my new school, and more.

My new office (it's 1/4 the size of my old office) and new classroom (I share with art!):

My dog bowls for crayons and my Target pencil holders.

Since I share the room with art, there is a special objectives section on the dry erase board. This way I can write our objectives on my days and it's easy to clear for the art teachers.
My office. I used a dog treat jar for candy. 

One of my favorite posters a freebie from "Cool People Care"
I am using the same behavior plan from my last school. Read about it here.

My desk. I cleaned it up for you guys.
Dogs dogs everywhere.
Inspiration board.

Awesome poster from
A clip board for each grade (1-3 and 3-5 at the reflection center).
Stop and make better choices!

Our "reflection space." As part of our behavior plan this is where students go and think about their choices.

For my first week of lessons we did a basic get to know you. Here's how it worked.

1) I filled a bag of things "about me." It was fun things like candy, a picture of the dogs, a receipt, a cat toy, etc. For the younger graders I told the students what the items meant and the older grades had to guess what each item represented. For example; the receipt was from Barnes and Noble which represented how much I love to read, the candy bar was actually made in England where I was born, and the cat toy was actually a bow. A lot of students thought the bow meant I liked presents, so it was one of the hardest ones. My favorite guess however was a student who thought it represented my personal motto to "be present." How awesome was that guess!

2) I ended with the receipt which naturally lead into me reading a book. In the lower grade (K-2) we read "I Like Myself" (if you don't have this ask your librarian for "I Like Me") , in 3rd grade we read "My Brave Year of Firsts", and in 4th and 5th grade if we had time we read "Name That Dog." All books are available at

3) This is where my lesson differed every day. I just changed it based on how the class was acting (behavior), time (the older students asked me a million questions about me so I ran out of time), and student achievement ("Name That Dog" and it's lesson were hard for a lot.)
So here's what I did.

 K- the student drew me a picture all about themselves. 
1st-  the students drew for me what made them happy.

2nd- the students drew me a picture all about themselves. Some classes did the 3rd grade lesson.

3rd- After reading a "Brave Year of Firsts" we made goals for the new year. I encouraged their goals to be firsts. What had they never done that they wanted to do this year?

4th-5th- We either did an activity about New Years Resolutions or we created fun nicknames. After reading "Name That Dog" I asked the students to create a nickname for themselves. The nickname had to rhyme or start with the same letter of their name. For example I was Lovely Laura or Racin Jason. It was very tricky so we practiced as we read the book. 
*Many classes didn't finish their resolutions so I took them home to read and wrote the students little notes back and I will give them out at our next lesson to "check in" and finish.

One of my favorite new rooms. The speech teacher at my new school is so sweet. I snuck into her room and took a few pictures, because I love what she has going on.

The students "exit ticket."

The tickets are laminated for easy cleaning and they have velcro so the students can stick and go.

Personal token boards for each student.

How many days till summer?

 I love that each rule has a little picture with it, great for visual students.

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