Sunday, December 30, 2012

School Counseling Linky Party 2013


Marissa from Elementary School Counseling is hosting a school counselor linky party to highlight counselor blogs and best posts, features of 2012.  This is my first linky party and I'm excited to share and see what other counselor bloggers have to share also.  Thanks Marissa for putting this together.

JYJ Shout Out:  giving a shout out to great (counselor) tech tools and awesome school counselor blogs.

I actually have 2 favorite posts....

Thanks to Danielle from the School Counselor Blog for the inspiration, I really enjoyed being able to add a tech spin to minute meetings using the iPad which allowed me to meet with all my 1st-5th grade students without a lot of paperwork but lots of data!

I LOVE to read and being able share my enjoyment of reading with students in a small group setting is wonderful.  I look forward to meeting with my book clubs each week and so do the students.

Top 10 iPad Counselor Apps:  Who knew that sharing a few apps that I found useful would connect me to so many counselors.  Stay tuned, I have more to share in 2013!

In no particular order,  but since I'm only limited to 5 please know that I read lots of counselor blogs.  Thanks to so many of you awesome counselors who take time to blog and share with us!


Here's how to join the party:
-Create a blog post titled "School Counseling Linky Party 2013"
-Place the Linky Party logo (above) in your post.
-Answer the questions above
-Submit your blog post link to Marissa's Blog at Elementary School Counseling.  Be sure to link to the actual post, not your homepage.

I look forward to reading more from the "party".  Thanks again for putting this together Marissa!

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Break

Wishing you and your families a safe and wonderful holiday season.  Please take this time off from your busy counselor lives to relax and rejuvenate (I certainly will).  I'm excited about the time off and welcoming in 2013.   I'll be back with more posts in January.  Happy Holidays! Pin It

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Parent Resources to Deal with Tragic Events

After last week's tragic events in CT, I'm sure many of you have been answering questions from students, parents and staff about ways to cope and handle the worries and anxiety that we've all faced. Most of the questions I've received have been from parents concerned about how to talk with their child about it.  Here are some parent resources that I've shared with parents at JYJ:

-CNN report:  Should you talk to your kids about Newtown?
-Talking with Kids About the News
-Talking to Kids About Violence (from
-Telling my Child About the Massacre in Newtown
-5 Helpful Resources for Talking to Kids About Tragedies 
-Should Children be Allowed to Watch TV News Reports?
-In a Crisis, Parents Must Be There, Be Aware for Their Children

Some other fantastic counselors (School Counselor Blog & Counseling by Heart) have provided some very helpful resources on how to work with worries and concerns also.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

2012 Blog Reflection

As 2012 comes to a close, I sit back and think about how me deciding to write about what happens in my little counselor world has allowed me to connect with so many wonderful school counselors from all over.  I can't thank you enough for taking time to read the jyjcounselor blog, your kind emails, your suggestions and sharing your best practices with me.

Here are my favorite posts of 2012:

-Character Education Night Event: 

Student made sign for our school wide character ed night

This was my first time working on the committee and it was certainly worth all the planning and hard work.  The event was very successful!

-Minute Mtgs with a Tech Spin: 

This made a huge impact on establishing rapport with students and it incorporates my favorite counselor must iPad!

-Creating a Counselor's Notebook:

Counselor notebook

Who doesn't love a personalized, fully functional notebook?  This notebook has kept me much more organized this year.

-ASCA 2012 Recap:

It was my first time attending the conference and I had a blast.  I'm planning to be in Philly, will you (early bird registration ends 12/31/12)?

-Starting a Counselor Led Book Club:

I LOVE to read and really enjoy having 2 book clubs.

-Character Ed Books Spotlight:

This has been a great way to showcase books that are related to character education.  The display is working, I'm now constantly having to restock the shelves on the display because the students are steadily checking them out!

-iPad Apps for School Counselors:

By far my most popular post! As I've said before I love using my iPad as a school counselor.  It has been a great addition to my program.

Stay tuned, I have more to share in 2013!

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Monday, December 10, 2012

"One" Lesson & bulletin board

Thanks to Vanessa from the Savvy School Counselor Blog for sharing her lesson & bulletin board idea on the book One by Kathryn Otoshi which was my guide and inspiration for this activity.

During my class visits with 5th grade, we talked about how "one" person can truly make a difference.  The difference can be in a positive or negative way, but it's amazing how just one person can make "game change".  I had a slide (created using Active Inspire for the Promethan board) that showed pictures of people who made a difference.  I had pictures of the 5th grade teachers and some pretty famous people that have made a difference in our society.

Screen shot of people that make a difference (I included the 5th grade teachers, because they certainly do make a difference)

We then watched the video of Kathryn Otoshi reading the book One with some students acting out the story (the students really enjoyed the video clip).  After the video we had more discussion on how being the "one" takes courage but we all are capable of also being the "one" to make a difference.

I then asked the students to think about one person who has made a difference in their lives.  As they thought, I explained how they would have an opportunity to put those thoughts onto paper...I handed out large index cards to each student where they were to write about who the "one" that made a difference in their lives.  I made a sample of what kinds of things to write on their index card.

Sample I did

As students finished, I gave them a label that I created (using Avery clear labels) that said "Sometimes it takes just ONE", which is taken from last line in the book.  The labels were in the colors mentioned in the book (blue, orange, green, yellow, purple, red).  I also had an individual picture of each student to include on their index card for a personal touch.

I used last years school photos (check with someone at your school about getting the disk/file of the fall school pictures), copy and pasted the pictures into a Word document, cut the photos out and separated them by class into plastic bags.  To make sure I didn't forget anyone, I checked off names from the class roll.  For new students, I took their pictures using my iPad, inserted into Word and printed.  I cut & separated by class the student's pictures before my class visits to save time and so that the students could add them on their cards (gives them ownership) during the lesson.

Student pictures printed, cut out and separated by class.

As we finished up the lesson, I told the students that again that it only takes one person to make a difference and that we are all unique and that's what makes it even better.  I closed with a video clip from about being yourself, which ties into being able to stand up (know thyself) and be the "one" who can make a difference.  The students LOVED this song (it's very catchy).

I put up the index cards that the students wrote with their sharing of how so many people make a difference in their lives on a bulletin board at the front entrance at the school.  Students wrote about parents, teachers, friends, coaches, etc. that made an impact in their lives.  Reading their thoughtful and caring words, shows that "sometimes it takes just one!"

Finished bulletin board
Do you have a way to recognize people that have made a difference in students' lives?  I'd love to hear! Pin It

Friday, December 7, 2012

JYJ Counselor Shout Out...Elementary School Counseling

This month's counselor blog/website shout out is:

Elementary School Counseling, written by the awesome Marissa out of Ohio has been one of my go to school counselor website/blogs for quite some time.  Plus who can't love a website, with such a cute blue puppet friend! Need bulletin board ideas, class lessons, group activities, this is your one-stop-shop counselor resource place to visit!

Love this guy!
One cool thing I love about Marissa's website is that she is NOT camera shy (I can't say the same about myself) and does lots of school counselor how-to videos.  She even did a video on how to incorporate your role as the school counselor into how you dress (great tips and I'm not much a fashion rule follower, so that was right up my alley).

I will warn you, you'll spend quite some time looking through this very helpful and resourceful counselor website.  
Add this to your must read counselor blog list and you will certainly not regret it.  Thanks Marissa for sharing your (wonderful) ideas with us!

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

ASCA Early Bird Registration Ends 12/31

Just a reminder that early bird registration for the 2013 ASCA conference (June 30th-July 3rd) in Philadelphia, PA ends on Monday, December 31st. You can still register after the 31st, but you know I'm all about saving some money (the fee will increase after 12/31/12)! Click here to register online.

 Last year was my first time attending the conference and I had a blast!  It's was so amazing to meet so many school counselors from all over.  There were some great sessions that I'm still using the handouts/resources from.  In fact if you're curious to see what types of ASCA conference sessions will be offered, they are already listed (scroll down to breakout sessions).  

If you'll be in Philly, please join us at the school counselor blogger meet and greet hosted by myself and blog buddy Danielle from the School Counselor Blog. Stay tuned, more details to come! 

Danielle & I also will be presenting "Get Your Blog On" together and again with our Smackdown team:  Dr. Erin Mason, Dr. Russ Sabella & Julia Taylor for Web 2.0 Smackdown (Part II). 
Smackdown team: Erin Mason, Julia Taylor, Russ Sabella, me, Danielle Schultz

So if you haven't thought of it, I highly recommend attending the ASCA conference, you won't regret it!  So who's planning on attending the conference this year?
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Monday, December 3, 2012

Lesson on telling the truth

We all know the saying "honesty is the best policy" so this "policy" continues on in a recent class visit with my 1st grade friends.  I began with an open question to the class: "why should people tell the truth?"  I got all kinds of interesting (& sometimes funny) responses.  We then discussed potential consequences of what happens when people don't tell the truth (again, various types of responses). I wrote all the students' responses on the Promethan board to recap during the lesson.

Writing student responses down
After our discussion, we played a game called 2 truths and an untruth (to make this more interactive, I used the Promethan board).  This game has 3 statements, 2 are true and 1 is untrue.  The students take turns identifying which statements are true. They move the check mark picture to the true statement and the "X" to the untrue statement.  They LOVED this game!  I created this game using Active Inspire (Promethan board software).  If you school doesn't have interactive white boards, you can use PowerPoint, but your student will have to move the check mark or X from your laptop.

Screenshot of 2 truths & 1 untruth

Screenshot of game statements, these statements were about me...the untrue statement is I don't like pepperoni pizza!

Students playing 2 truths & 1 untruth with Ms. D (counselor intern)

After our game, I read an update of the book "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" and read a fun, updated version called "The Wolf Who Cried Boy".  This book has the same message about being honest and it's so much fun to read and share with the class. Students see what happens to the wolf when he constantly does not tell the truth. I really enjoy doing this lesson!

I LOVE reading this story!

What types of lessons or books do you use about telling the truth/being honest?  Please share!

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