Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fortune Cookie Inspiration

I had a very relaxing snow day today! After many hours of searching Pinterest for creative counseling ideas, I came across this cute idea of making paper fortune cookies for my counseling office.  This is a very simple way to provide uplifting messages to my struggling students.  I personally believe that kids can not hear enough positive affirmations and self esteem boosters.  I plan on keeping this container on my desk and letting students pick out a fortune cookie to take with them after a counseling session.  These are super easy to make.  All you need are cupcake liners, inspirational messages, double sided tape and a container to put them in!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness - "Try It Maybe"

My friend sent me a picture of this awesome bulletin board she created at the high school she works at. I know most of my readers work at the elementary level, but I think you will love this board! The board encourages students to write random acts of kindness on hearts and tape them up, so it can serve as an idea board for anyone passing by! It is sure to capture the students' attention with the title that is based off of the popular song, "Call Me Maybe" by Carly and Rae Jepsen.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Can You Earn 100 Compliments?

In the Elementary School world, we have the 100th day coming up, as well as Valentine's Day. Both tend to be big celebrations at our school, so I created this Bulletin Board outside my classroom door (that's right everyone, I actually have my very own classroom this year!).

The purpose of this bulletin board is to help with the classroom management of my classroom guidance lessons. The goal is for all of my classes together to earn 100 compliments before Valentine's Day. Classes can earn as many compliments as they can during each classroom lesson.  They earn compliments for being good listeners, staying on task, and participating.  At the end of each lesson, I draw a heart for each compliment they received and write their teachers name in the heart.  Then, whichever class has the most compliments on the board, after we reach 100, will get to spend their next counseling lesson outside as extra recess time!  So far, this incentive seems to be working very well.  If a class starts getting too talkative, I usually hear a classmate say, "Shhh! we have to earn a compliment!"

Feel free to leave a comment, sharing some of your classroom management strategies.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fair vs. Unfair with Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. day is a wonderful time for counselors to talk with their classes about many important topics such as fairness, equality, peace, and justice. I found these wonderful lesson ideas from Pinterest for my 4th and 5th grade classes! First, I showed this Youtube video clip, "MLK - The King and his Dream." It is only 3 mins and 22 seconds long, and it is a wonderful summary of Martin Luther King Jr. and his valuable work.

Then, I used this wonderful (FREE) activity from Elementary Matters on Teachers Pay Teachers. I divided my room into 3 sections: Fair, Neutral, and Unfair. Then, I read each scenario out and the students moved to the section of the room that best matched their opinion of the statment. Some examples include, "Children who get their work done on time get to play games," "Drivers who drive too fast get speeding tickets," or "Children who raise their hand get called on to answer questions." The students have to think is that fair? unfair? or they aren't sure. Then, I allow 2 people from each group to peacefully debate their opinions, and we discuss the importance of seeking first to understand, then be understand (Habit 4).

This lesson is a fun and interactive way to teach the 7 habits, as well as, to discuss the monumental work of Martin Luther King Jr. Does anyone else have an idea for teaching about Martin Luther King Jr. or fairness? If so, please comment!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

School Counseling Linky Party 2013

Marissa Rex at Elementary School Counseling Blog is hosting a wonderful linky party for school counselors. I have slowed down with my posting over the last couple months, and I am participating in this party as a way of energizing me into writing more this year!!

To be honest, I don't really have any blog features on my blog, because I only know how to use the bare basics of Blogger. I would love to learn more about creating headings and different features! I guess my best feature is my classroom guidance posts.  I hope readers can come to my blog for many new and creative ideas.

My favorite blog post of 2012 is "Teaching Friendship with Real Life Animal Stories." This is a set of lessons I used in my 2nd grade counseling classes. At this age, kids LOVE animals, and they need to learn how to be good friends, so I combined these 2 concepts into a very fun unit!  The best part of these lessons was the kids got just as excited about them as I did!

My most popular blog post of 2012 was "A Smart Girl's Guide to Starting Middle School."  This was a girl's small group that I created using the American Girl book and adding activities that helped my 5th grade girls prepare for middle school.  Weekly topics included: Fresh Start: A New Mindset, A New School: Navigating Your Way Around, Subjects and Study Skills, Friends and Peer Pressure, and Bringing it all Together.  This group was a huge success, and I know my girls entered middle school better prepared and with more confidence after completing these lessons!

I have found some of my best resources from reading school counseling blogs! There are so many out there that I read daily!! Thank you to all those counselors that share your amazing ideas and continue to energize me through your posts!  If I had to pick my top 5, I'd say they are (in no particular order):

Elementary School Counseling
School Counselor Blog
Creative Elementary School Counselor
Scrapbook of a School Counselor
Savvy School Counselor

There are so many other great blogs that I religiously follow, I really feel bad only listing 5!

Happy New Year to everyone!