Friday, March 31, 2017

It's a friendship easter egg hunt!

Do you ever see easter eggs on sale after the holidays for pennies? I do, but then I also buy them =)
They've been sitting in a closet for a while and my amazing intern finally got some use of of them.

In each easter egg we put a scenario or quality of a good or bad friend. Students had to go around the room and find the eggs. Then open the egg, read the scenario, and sort them into a basket at the front of the room.

*Tip: we had about 40 eggs. So we told each student to find one and then help a friend find an egg so that everyone had a chance.

Don't Be A Bossy Bear

Today we did a lesson in being bossy!

First we read this book, which I love because my dog is Boss and I often call him Bossy Bear.

When reading this story we stopped at the "oh" page. I used to always fear not reading an entire book, but through a lot of encouragement through my librarian friends I have embraced the idea of not reading the entire book.

So after stopping on this page we discussed what he might be thinking. If the author had added a thought bubble, what would it say? You could give students a page or paper with a thought bubble and have them write it down if you want.

Here are some other books you might like to use:

Follow up videos:

Here is a very bossy frog that the students can follow along to:

This is a very cute video with a very bossy sister bear:

Practical practice:
Follow it up with giving a direction for example- passing the crayons, and have students act it out in a bossy or non bossy way!

What would you do to address bossiness?

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.

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.  

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.  

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.

 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. 

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.
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?