Wednesday, August 29, 2012

7 Habits Yard Signs

I have mentioned before that my school is implementing Stephen Covey's 7 habits this year. I am so excited about this because I can truly already see a difference in out students' behavior. Even our bus drivers have commented that our children are better behaved than past years.

You can imagine my excitement when these yard signs from Vistaprint arrived in the mail today! There is one for each habit, and they are so bright and cute!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Introducing counseling services to your staff

Every year I try to come up with a creative and effective way to introduce my counseling program to my teachers.  This can be kind of difficult, because teachers are bombarded with meetings, trainings, staff development, curriculum changes, and more at the beginning of the school year.  So, it is not always best for me to stand up during a staff meeting and take up time explaining my program.

Therefore, I borrowed this wonderful idea from Marissa at Elementary School Counseling blog.  I created a "Menu of Services" that includes the groups I run, topics I cover in guidance, clubs I supervise, etc. I feel like this Menu will promote my program better than a staff meeting speech, because teachers can hold on to it and pull it out when they have a student or class who needs my services. I also plan on having some on hand for Back to School Night to hand out to parents.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What is a School Counselor? 1st classroom lesson

This lesson was perfect. The students got really into it and I think they really understand my job better. I think it is really important to talk to kids about what a school counselor does every single year, even if they think they already know, because it reminds them they can come talk to you if they are having a problem.

I gathered some easy to find toys and supplies that represented different aspects of school counseling and put them all into a book-bag.  For the younger students, I only used about half of the objects to keep it simple. I pulled out each object and explained how it represented my job and then passed them around so every student could touch them. With the older kids, I had them close their eyes and pull something out of the bag. Then, I had the class guess what the object had to do with school counseling. I was a little surprised how well the older kids did. They were able to guess what everything represented.

Big heart - for caring about and loving all students
Hug Me Monkey - Helping students feel better when they are having a hard time at home, school, or with friends
Goofy glasses - I help students look at things in a different way, or from a different perspective
Magnifying glass - to look for the clues to help you solve your problems
Megaphone - to cheer you on and support you
Headphones - for listening to students
Big Eraser - for helping students when they are having a hard time with their academics
Angry Bird - I help students learn ways to calm down when they are angry or upset
Lock - represents confidentiality

Does anyone else do this activity? If so , what objects do you use? If not, how do you introduce your role to the students?

I borrowed the idea for some of these objects from one of the counseling  blogs I read, and now I can't find the post. Please leave a comment or email me if you know where it came from so I can give credit. Thanks

Saturday, August 18, 2012

First Week Back

Ready it not, here school comes.... Kids don't start until Monday, and I think I'm actually ready. I shared some pictures of my new classroom earlier in the summer, but it is much more completed now.  I have a counseling space in the back of the room with 4 bean bag chairs, a rug, lamps, and a round table for lunch groups.  For my classes, I am using tables, rather than desks, to create a more open and inviting atmosphere.  On my bulletin boards I have a tree with the 7 Habits, Monster Manners, and inpriational quotes from Second Grade Shinanigans and Sweet Blessings. I labeled each spot at the table with a 7 habits name plate and a number from Teachers Pay Teachers since I will be having students from every classroom using the tables. Students will receive an assigned seat using a number which will hopefully help with classroom management.  I have also included some pictures of bulletin boards a created around the school. I borrowed the ideas for these boards from here and here.

Back to school vistaprint order

By now, you probably all know how wonderful Vistaprint is.  I bought a Groupon deal earlier in the summer for $17 and I was able to buy $70 worth of stuff from Vistaprint with it!  Vistaprint is an amazing thing.  I would caution you to only buy stuff that is on sale though, because they run fabulous sales.  Sometimes you can search for Vistaprint promotional codes to get even better deals. Here is what I got, all for only $46. (I went over $70 dollars; that's why I paid extra.)

250 business cards that I can hand out to teachers, parents, volunteers, and community members. The best part is I made the back to look like an appointment card for students.  I plan on giving these appointment cards to teachers with the student's name, day, and time I can meet with them and the teacher will just send them to my office.

250 career cafe invitations on business cards. Last year, I used post card invitations, but they are much more expensive.

2 holders for the business cards so they can sit on my desk and be easily accessible.

2 polo shirts

2 tshirts

Treat others the way you want to be treated poster

Personalized note pad

What stuff do you buy from Vistaprint?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Back to School Shopping for the Office

Dear Dollar Tree,
Thank you so much for selling teacher resources in your store. It is so wonderful to be able to buy posters, charts, borders, accents, school supplies, toys, stress balls, storage containers, and more for only 1$! Teachers and counselors are extremely dedicated and spend much of their personal money on their classrooms and students. Thank you for making it affordable!
A counselor who likes a good deal

Here are a couple pictures of some things I've bought so far...

Isn't that blue storage tote cute??
I am going to use the duct tape for lettering on canvases or bulletin boards.
I give each student an eraser during my "Everyone Makes Mistakes" lesson.
The hearts and stars will either be used as bulletin board accents or small post-it notes.
The hand clappers are my favorite. I use them as "zero-noise" signals.  When the hand claps, the class grows quiet and is ready to listen.

The buttons are going to come in very handy because 3 out of 4 walls of my classroom are magnetic.
You can't really see it from the picture but the orange foam squares are actually foam punch outs that are in the shape of different arrows that I plan on using for my bulletin board.
I got 5 storage containers with lids to use for supply storage.
The paper bags are for all of the puppets my kiddos will make this year, and the basketball and soccer ball are stress balls for students who need help focusing in class or calming down.

These items did not come from the Dollar Tree; they are actually from Toys R Us.
The game, Blunders, looks like a fun one to use for teaching manners in my social skills small group.
The wand is going to be my "talking stick" for large and small groups.  Whoever is holding the "talking stick" is the only person who should be talking.
The 2 moody faces are stress balls, and the other game is "Girl Talk" which should be a fun getting to know you game to use with girls in small groups.

What stuff have you bought this summer to get ready for the school year??