Friday, August 31, 2012

Printables to add to your counselor planner

Based on the number of emails and views on a previous post on creating your own counselor planner, I have more printables to share that you may want to add to your notebook.

-To do list:  I LIVE by a to do list and this is a great item to jot down reminders and things that need to be taken care of.  I found this free printable on Pinterest...
Printable to do list  Click here to print.

-It's not a counselor planner unless it has a calendar.  The Creative Mama blog has posted printable 2013 monthly calendars.  I LOVE these!  Click here to download/print your 2013 calendars.  I really like how they have cool colors and add a little spice to my planner.  I did print my new calendars on yellow paper (by mistake, forgot I left yellow paper in the printer) but really like the contrast between the colors.  So if you want just a little more flare, print on colored paper.  

-I like to keep track of students, classes, calls, etc that I make each week.  I created this simple template to keep track of these things.  Click here to download/print.

I also added schedules and my districts school calendar to my planner.  I will say that I couldn't be more pleased to make my counselor planner truly mine.

Do you have other suggestions on things to add to your counselor planner, please share!
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Monday, August 27, 2012

(Updated) Counselor Office Re-do plans

So in my previous post before we began summer break, I had lots of plans to update my counselor space. I have a small counselor space, but it's mine and my students counselor space so I made the best of it!  I cleaned some before I left for the summer and found that I needed to clean even more when I came back!  After saying goodbye to a few things, I said hello to some new things.  So the best way to do my office redo reveal is through pictures!

My office before:
Office before

During the cleaning process

Printer (before)
Cleaning up and going through things became quite a task

This became a great tool to have!

After Pics:
At the suggestion of a reader, I added at rug ($25 from Walmart)

This surprise (a new cabinet) was waiting for me!
New All-in-One printer!
Cabinet space, bins from Target $7.99

Flowers on the table are flower pens

Added wall storage (Staples $20 for 3)
Cleaned file cabinet area
Air freshener (wall plug-ins aren't allowed) $9 from Pier 1 Imports.  This will last the entire school year, great investment.

Found these cool laptop post-it note holders ($4 for pack of 3) Staples.

Pinterest idea for wall art

I am very pleased with my office re-do and have received compliments from staff and can't wait to hear the reactions from the students.  Did you spruce up your office for the new school year?

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Friday, August 24, 2012

My 1st attempt at a bulletin board

I'll admit that I wouldn't consider myself much of a fan of doing bulletin boards.  My high school level teaching experience just didn't really require me to do so.  By moving to the elementary level it was just a matter of time before bulletin boards would catch up to me.  So here's my 1st attempt at a bulletin board.  I don't actually have a physical bulletin board to decorate, but there's a nice (empty) wall space next to my office that I just made into a bulletin board type wall space.  My school offered to get a bulletin board installed for me but I passed up the offer.  I wasn't quite sure how this bulletin board would turn out and once you get a bulletin board installed, I'd have to keep/maintain it.  If this doesn't work out, it can easily be "converted" back to an empty wall again.

Thanks to the tips and ideas from fellow counselors on various blogs and Pinterest I had the courage to create a bulletin board.  My inspiration was from a bulletin board I saw on Pinterest.  Here's my finished product:

Counselor bulletin board
So here's what I did to re-create the "Whoo can help you with" bulletin board:

-I typed the list of reasons to see the counselor in Word and printed them on Avery clear address labels.  To download the label template click here.

-I used my school dye cutter to cut out pictures of leaves using construction paper and to spell out "whoo can help you with..." letters.  I like to laminate the construction paper before using the dye cutter (just easier for the shapes/letters to already be cut and laminated that way, but do what works for you).

Dye cutter blocks (I used a maple leaf)

Dye cutter

Leaves, cut and labeled.  There are some blank ones too

I had some of my crafty students draw a tree from brown butcher paper from my school.  Another crafty student drew the cute little owl in the tree.  I liked the idea of students having a little input in the bulletin board because it shows a them a little ownership in the project (plus students are ALWAYS willing to help).

Student created tree & owl
I had a teacher friend write "Your JYJ Counselors" on a yellow sentence strip (I don't have teacher handwriting by a long shot) and I added pictures of myself and the counselor intern under the tree.

Picture of myself & counselor intern Dhruti

The trick to getting things to stick on (without falling off) concrete cinder blocks is...a hot glue gun!  It's also easy to peel off and doesn't damage the walls.  Thanks to some teacher friends that let me in on this little secret.

See how easy the glue peels off

I'm pleased with my bulletin board attempt and think that it's a great way for students, staff and parents to know what we do and that we are here to help!  I don't feel as intimidated about the whole bulletin board process, so I plan to try more in the future.  What cool or neat bulletin board ideas have you done or plan to do?

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tips on supervising an intern

Last year was my first time hosting a counselor intern and it was a great experience for both myself and the intern.  We were a great team!  I'll be supervising a new intern this school year from NC State University and now have a better idea of ways to supervise an intern.  Here are a few tips that worked well with me:

-Invite your intern to the school to see the building, meet the staff and if permitting meet the students before the internship starts.

-If possible get the contact information (email, phone number) of your intern.  My intern this year and I planned over the summer on things that we wanted to do. 

-Ask your intern what are their counseling strengths/weaknesses and areas that they would like to focus on.

-Allow your intern to take on or share leadership positions (when they're comfortable with that)

-Be open and honest and give feedback on their progress (give clear suggestions on how to improve).

-Don't treat them as "the intern".  When I student taught and interned, my supervisors treated me just like one of them.   Meet in a non school (lunch or coffee) setting to get to know each other so you'll have a better idea of what kind of person you'll be working with for the school year. 

-Learn from your intern!  Interns have fresh ideas from school and can add creatively to the school counseling program.  While they're learning from us, we are learning from them!

Now you get the opportunity to share your school counselor experience with an intern.  I think back on my internship experiences as both a student teacher and a counselor intern and will say that I learned so much more than any text book could have ever prepared me for from being in a school interacting with students and other staff. 

Will you be supervising an intern this year? Pin It

Monday, August 20, 2012

My counselor must have's

You may be new to counseling or be a veteran counselor but there are just some things that we insist on having and without them we may feel completely lost in our counselor world.  Here are a few counselor things that I just can't see to function without:

-A counselor bag: I use my bags for everything: when I do my monthly classroom visits, go to meetings, have a bunch of stuff to carry.  I try to pack my bag the day before I go to the class so that way everything's already in place, all I have to do is pick up my bag and go!  I got these Thirty-one bags from a co-worker a few years ago who was selling them and even got a free one after a order mix up (the counselor intern uses the 2nd bag).  I love the pockets and compartments, they have been lifesavers for me.  Blogger buddy Danielle from The School Counselor Blog sells Thirty-One bags.  To order a bag from Danielle click here

Counselor bags from Thirty-One

-A door sign:  We're always on the go and sometimes students, parents or staff are looking for us. I'll have a post on making an easy door sign coming soon.

-Games:  Students love playing games and not to mention it's another way to re-live childhood memories for me (I loved board games as a child).  Games that are very popular with my students are Uno, Jenga, Checkers, Mancala & Perfection.

Game bin (bin from Ikea)

-Arts/Crafts Materials:  What counselor can't function without a good supply of paper, glue, markers, crayons and other craft goodies?  I try to keep all of my counselor craft supplies in a bin so that it's easier for students to find.
Crayons, colored pencils & markers separated into plastic bags

Arts & crafts supplies in a bin (purchased from Target)

Arts & crafts bin

-3M Hooks:  Who knew that these hooks would be a counselor staple?  I use them all the time to store and organize things in my office.  If you already have hooks, 3M now sells just the replacement mounting tape so you can reuse your hooks over and over again.

-Books:  are great for so many things: class visits, small groups, for students and parents to check out.  I have a multitude of books of counselor books and am constantly adding to my collection.  I would suggest that if keep a list of the books that you have so that you're aware of what you already have.  I also recommend that you make a counselor book wish list to keep of books that you would like to have in the future.

Keeping an inventory of my counselor books

-Kimochis:  My favorite cute feelings friends.  My students LOVE these and they are great conversation starters on how students are feeling.  Many students have "multiple feelings" with these fun toys.  I have several sets and also have a mini set for parents to check out and use at home (they are machine washable just in case you're wondering).

Mini Kimochis

-iPad & iPad VGA Adapter:  This falls on my counselor tech list, but this combo is great to have.  You can do so much with an iPad in your school counselor program!  The VGA adapter is the perfect addition to take your iPad to another level by connecting to a LCD projector, SMART or Promethan boards.

iPad & VGA adapter

Depending on your school you may be able to make a counselor wish list for parents to donate items to you. At my school teachers get tons of supply donations from parents and they give me extras (tissues, wipes, ziplock bags, school supplies, hand sanitizer) so that's another way to get supplies.

What are your counselor must haves? Pin It

Friday, August 17, 2012

Counselor Tech Shout Out: Dropbox

This month's counselor tech shout out is:

Dropbox Link

This is one of my "staple" tech tools.  Dropbox is online storage that allows you to save your files, pictures, videos and music to a cloud storage.  You can easily share your files and folders with others and transferring files from your USB memory stick to Dropbox is pretty simple (just copy and paste the files from the memory stick to Dropbox).  Files can be accessed from any computer (or device like the iPad, iPod touch, Andriod) that has an wi-fi/internet connection.  When I do classroom visits during the school year, I just log onto Dropbox and pull up my lesson.  There was no need to carry (and worry about losing) a memory stick.  Dropbox will truly simplify your life!

If you have a counselor tech tool that you would like to share, please feel free to contact me  so that it may be featured in an upcoming post. Pin It

Monday, August 13, 2012

Decorate your door

What's the first thing people see before they enter into the school counselor's office?  The door! As we gear up to head back to school (where did the summer go),  I thought of a free and quick way to update my office door.  Here's my door before:

Door before

The door had "counselor" on it and I actually liked the scrapbook paper that I used for the letters, but since I'm working on an office redo, the door can also go on my "to be updated" list.

Here's what I did to update my door:
-I got (free) paint samples in my school colors (blue & gold) from a home improvement store.
Paint samples

-Laminated and cut out the paint samples

Laminated paint samples, before cutting
-I used my school's letter dye cutter to spell out the words "JYJ Counselor". It's also helpful if you write the letter that you plan to cut on the back (before you cut) so you won't forget any letters (I get sidetracked/distracted sometimes and this helps me).
Blocks of letters to use on dye cutter machine

Letter dye cutter

-I taped my new letters on my door and we're in business!  Here's the finished product:  I decided to mix the letters up a bit, but I am very pleased with the "new door". 

Updated door

Total cost = $0

Do any of you plan on updating your office door, please share your ideas.  I love hearing your ideas!  Stay tuned, I'll have updates on my office "redo" soon.
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Monday, August 6, 2012

Creating a personalized counselor notebook

One of my (many) do list plans for the summer was to create a counselor's notebook that was truly for me.  In years past I've always used several notebooks and calendars and keeping up with 2-3 extra items became quite a task.  I wanted to combine all those things that I used separately into 1 notebook.  I saw several ideas on Pinterest from educators on making a personal notebook and they looked pretty do-able.  So here's what I did to create my perfect counselor notebook:

Things used:

Mead 5 Star Flex, 3 subject notebook, Staples $9.49.

Avery tabs (5 w/cute designs), Staples $3.99

Monthly Calendar click here for free printables

My daily counselor notes template (I created this myself)

Notebook paper for jotting down notes, etc.
After I put my new counselor notebook together, I used my label maker to make labels for each of my tabs.

Label maker
Labels for tabs

Finished product, I added clear labels with my name on front.

I'm so excited that I have an "Andrea" counselor notebook of things that I used daily and hope that it will keep me (more) on track for this school year. 

 Have you created or found the "perfect" school counselor planner/notebook?
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