Thursday, May 29, 2014

TRIVIA: What do my 11 year old dog and my 95 year old Grandmother have in common?

ANSWER: Neither of them likes to be woken up from a nap, and they WILL growl at you if you do! ****

The difference? Gran can verbally tell me what she doesn't like, but Beau has to use his body language.  9 times out of 10, the dog attempts communication before a reaction. Are you aware of the signs? You can prevent unwanted behavior! PLEASE read the article and SHARE to your friends and family; paying attention to these simple signs and following proper supervision around children can prevent bites and making a tough decision regarding your pets.

(**** Please note I only wish I was this funny. Hilarity stolen from EAST CAN).

I actually had a call from a parent this year asking if I could counsel her child, because family members had started to point out how mean she was being towards the dog (i.e. shoving his head through the railings on the stairs and pulling his tail.) She wondered if she was depressed or angry about something and could I get it out of her? After a lengthy talk I gently asked what she was doing to protect the dog. "Oh he's small" was the response. So after a deep sigh I reminded the mom that big or small a dog didn't deserve to be hurt or mistreated. Also, if she thought it was ok to do to her dog, what would her daughter do if she went to a friends house and pulled the tail of a 70 lb. dog? I literally sent home 5 workbooks for the family to do together about proper dog safety thanks to the AKC.This is why I am passionate about dog safety education being in our schools!

Read more about important dog safety here!

New Blog Alert

Check out this fun new blog by local Knoxville counselor Miss Mimi!

It reminds me another one of my favorite blog Love, Teach. Both are funny, witty, and make you laugh. We all of those moments in education that just make us stop and giggle and Mimi's blog is full of those amusing times. It's a fun read on a Saturday morning with a cup of coffee.

I've already added her to my Feedly and counseling friends you should follow her too!
Read about more of my favorite blogs here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Field Day Fun

It's the end of the year- which means days filled with fun, balloon tosses, tug of war competitions, and snow cones.

This year I was able to collaborate with our PAC (Personal Accountability Coach) teacher (who is a behavior goddess) and we came up with some good lesson ideas on being a good sport.

So here is my list on resources/lesson ideas on sportsmanship!

Online Resources:

Howard B Wigglebottom Learns Winning Isn't Everything.
Howard B Wigglebottom- If you haven't checked out the Howard B Wigglebottom website you should bookmark it immediately. The younger students love him and the website is full of animated books, songs, lesson ideas, coloring pages, and more. After watching "Howard B  Wigglebottom Learns About Sportsmanship" she asked them great questions like: "How are you like Howard?" "What actions made Howard a bad sport?" "Do you know anyone like Howard? Describe them without using names."
Follow up ideas: Have the students create a comic strip about Howard. You could have them draw two comics, one representing bad behavior and one representing good behavior. For younger grades, start the comic for them and have them fill in the blanks. Get a layout for a comic here.

BookFlix- Book Flix has two stories you can watch/read. "Miss Nelson Has A Field Day" and "This is the Way We Play" by Scholastic News. Follow up ideas: Use these stories introduce the expectations for field day and discuss social skills involved in playing. Create a word web of actions that good sports demonstrate and then bad sports.

Book/Printable Resources:

"Ready, Set, Swim" by Marcus Pfister. What young student doesn't love Rainbow Fish? This is the story of how Rainbow Fish and his friends decide to create their very own sports day and run into so problems.  Follow up ideas: Discuss problem solving ideas for when friends get upset and act like enemies. Discuss words to use when playing games, acts of kindness to show on field day, and adjectives that describe good sports. Then using one of the discussion topics have students design their own Rainbow Fish. You can write the adjectives in his one of his fins or perhaps a problem solving idea. You can get a free outlines of Rainbow fish here, here, and here.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

It's that time of year…can we persevere?

I don't know whose more anxious for school to be over, the kids or this worn out counselor.
Most of my students can't understand why they have to "learn" post TCAP (and some days I don't blame them).  To tackle the senior-itis blues we are discussing perseverance in 2nd and 3rd grade.

Not long ago I blogged about two great books and art activities on this topic. Our school didn't have either book, but they did have "Leonardo The Terrible Monster" by Mo Willems. I ADORE this book.

So here's what we did:

Before we read:
1) Asked/discussed what the students knew about perseverance. We created a working definition and I asked them to look for examples of perseverance in the book based on their definition.

2) Before we even read I asked the students what they could tell about the story just based on the title. Several thought it meant he was always getting in trouble, that he was really scary, and some accurately guessed that he was terrible at being the monster.

After we read:
1) Asked the students to brainstorm personal things they want to get better at or that requires them to show perseverance. I asked them not only for academic examples, but also for social, emotional, and extra curricular examples.
Explaining our presentation of monsters: "Leonardo the Terrible Monster" by Mo Willems is the story of a monster who is terrible at being monster. He tries and tries, and doesn't give up! In the end he learns while he might be a terrible monster, he is a very successful friend. We aren't always perfect at what we try, but these student's are ready to persevere. Each perseverance monster represents hw we can be successful if we try our personal best.  

2) Made name tags from this free printable on TPT by Erin from Creating and Teaching. Yay!

3) Each student shared their monster and we tried to guess what they represented.
This student was working on her archery skills. 

This student wanted to improve on his friendship skills.  So his monster is introducing himself to a new friend and asking if they can be friends =)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Treat Yo Self

It's my birthday (and also the last day of testing which is a birthday treat all in itself)! I must admit I am terrible about surfing the web and day dreaming about all the things I would by for myself from a custom dog necklace to office supplies for next year.

My amazing friend Chandra Verbic, owner of C Jayne Teach, must have known I am on a decorating/organizing kick because she just introduced a new line of teacher supplies for next year. Here are just a few reasons why it's amazing:

1) It's cheerful. Even on those awful, terrible, no good, very bad days just looking at her mugs, planners, and notepads will cheer you up. It's impossible to be grouchy around these colors.

2) I am a firm believer in a good morning for our students. As I am asked to tackle behavior more and more I almost always start by looking at a students schedule and morning routine. What are the procedures for morning arrival? Are they arriving to classroom with simple, organized directions for starting the day or do they walk into a free for all? So when she sent me this picture of her new morning tray, I literarily lit up. What a fun way to organize papers, but also help students get in smooth routine for a good morning. I LOVE IT.

3) Customer input is really valued. I love that Chandra really listens to her customers and uses their input as she designs new items. Her "Teacher Anchor" was already top notch, but she has made some wonderful updates based on what teachers think.