Monday, February 25, 2013

Easily Store and Organize Your Bulletin Boards

At the start of this school year, I went out on a whim and put up my 1st bulletin board.  As I shared in my previous post, coming from a high school setting, I wasn't much of a fan of doing bulletin boards but since I started this year I'm hooked!   In fact I've changed out bulletin boards quite a bit this year.  So what shall I do to store all my bulletin boards for the year?  Well I've found an easy way that has helped me organize and store them.  Here's what I did:

-I bought zip file bags at the teacher supply store ($1.99 each).  I like these because they are large and have handles (that are in different colors).

Zip file bags

-I store pieces of my bulletin boards in each bag.  In some cases you could store more than one bulletin board in a bag.

Bulletin board materials stored in the zip file bag.

-If the bulletin board has several items, I store them separately in plastic baggies to place in the zip file bag.  

-I also add a picture of the completed bulletin board to the front of the zip bag.  I took/printed a picture of each bulletin board with my iPad.  I do this just in case I need to remember how I set up the bulletin board/border, background color, etc. for the next time I decide to put it up.

Picture to remind me what bulletin board is in the bag

2 bulletin boards can fit in one bag

I store the zip file bags in my storage closet, you could also hang them on hooks (I don't have a lot of space so it's option #1, for me.)

How do you store your bulletin boards?





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Monday, February 18, 2013

More Counselor Led Book Club Suggestions


Thank you to the many wonderful counselors who gave suggestions on more books that would be great to have for your counselor led book club. From your suggestions, I was able to order several sets for my 4th & 5th grade book clubs (I hope to order the rest in the next couple of months).   I am able to purchase sets of 12 books for my book club through a grant through my school's PTA (they are wonderful).  Here are some more book suggestions:

-Wonder (deals with a child having a disability) *I ordered this book
















-Mockingbird (deals with a student having Aspergers)
















-There's a Boy in the Girls Bathroom (deals with social skills/behavior) *I ordered this book



-Gifted Hands (deals with achievement despite difficult circumstances, poverty, broken home)















-The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (deals with self discovery)



-The Girls (deals with cliques) *I ordered this book


















-Eagle Song (deals with family changes, diversity)


















-Locomotion (deals with broken family, foster care) *I ordered this book
















-Peace Locomotion (Part II of Locomotion, deals with broken family, foster care) *I ordered this book


















-On My Honor (deals with following rules, loss of a friend) *I ordered this book



-Izzy's Place (deals with family changes)


















-The One and Only Ivan (deals with friendship)

















Do you have any more books to add to the list?  I'd love to hear them.






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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February's Black History Month!


February is an exciting month, not only is it National School Counseling week during this month, but is the month to celebrate the accomplishments and history of African-Americans.   Here are some of the things that I'm doing during the month:

-I made a  black history month book display in the media center.  I used  Kente cloth printed fabric (that a parent let me borrow) and lots of books to showcase books with African American writers, illustrators and/or characters (the librarian helped me with the books, she's fabulous).



-I made a PowerPoint of black history month facts to be shown each day in February on our school news.  The facts also rotate throughout the day on the classroom televisions.  Here are a couple of samples of what I created:

Gabby Douglas

President Obama

-I also will focus on diversity & acceptance of others in my monthly class visit lessons.  Click here for book ideas and lessons.


-We'll have a lunch celebration for the staff celebrating Black History Month (soul food menu).

And don't forget about my African-American inventors from A-Z bulletin board, I shared with you earlier.

What plans to you have to celebrate black history month in your school?



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Monday, February 11, 2013

JYJ Gives Back Night (Planning a School-Wide Service Night Part III)


I've given you tips on how to run a school-wide character ed event at your school (in part I and part II) and now it's time to share how our 2013 JYJ Gives Back School-Wide Event went (this is part III).  Also I want to mention that JYJ actually gives back ALL year through community service.  Each grade level is given money that has to be specifically used for a community service project for the school year. 

Here's who & how we helped out this year:


TV Screenshot of station locations (created by the fantastic technology teachers at my school)

-Wake county SPCA:  made dog chew toys out of old t-shirts

Making dog chew toys for SPCA

-Mayview Nursing Home:  made (early) Valentine's Day cards

Valentine's day cards

-Tammy Lynn Center: (for developmentally delayed children & adults): made musical instruments out of cardboard tubes

-UNC-Children's Hospital: notes and care packages for patients.  We also collected money school-wide to purchase 2 wagons to donate to the hospital (they use wagons to transport children through the hospital instead of gurneys or wheelchairs).  Some people were so moved by our efforts that 3 parents offered to donate another 3 wagons to the hospital on our behalf at our event (what a great way to show JYJ Gives Back)!  We had a station where students could sign the wagons.

Wagons "before"

Signed Wagon

-Ronald McDonald House:  notes and care packages for patients

Making care packages

-Raleigh Rescue Mission (local homeless shelter):  made & packed meals

Making sandwiches for the Raleigh Rescue Mission
-Backpack Buddies: packed meals for our PTA sponsored program

Food donations!

-USO: notes and care packages to the soldiers

USO station
-Refugee mission collection: separated winter coats, gloves, socks, scarfs and hats to donate to refugee families and children in the area.


-Several classes were really into the "giving back" and went above and beyond collecting items, helping set up and even running service stations at the event.  We had so many donations, which is why our event was such a success and so very meaningful!

We had an outstanding turnout from students and parents, by having Spanish performances (in full costume) throughout the evening (JYJ is a magnet Spanish immersion school) so each grade level had a group to perform throughout the event in various locations in the school (this also doubled our attendance and donations from last year).

3rd grade performance

Kindergarten performance

The wonderful technology teachers at my school put together this fantastic video of our very successful event!  Take a look (and yes, both myself & the counselor intern made a cameo appearance, we're the very last ones on the video):

video



Does your school have a school-wide service night event?  If you do, I'd love to hear how you run yours, please share!





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Thursday, February 7, 2013

School Counselor On Air: What I Wish I Knew Wednesday



As our week of celebrating National School Counselor Week continues, I had the pleasure of joining blog buddy Danielle Schultz from the School Counselor Blog for What I Wish I Knew Wednesday for the  School Counselor On Air Series.  During our hour chat, we talked about things we both wished we had known starting out as interns and as 1st year school counselors.  Being a new school counselor there's so much to take in, well actually being a counselor period can be a lot to take in as well.  To see our chat, see the video below.




I had a blast participating in this hangout.  Thank you so much Danielle for having me on!

What do you wish that you knew that you as a beginning school counselor?



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Monday, February 4, 2013

National School Counseling Week Link Party!


Fabulous school counselors our week of celebration is here (although I think we should be celebrated each and every day)!  I've been thinking  how to celebrate National School Counselor Week at my school for a quite a while.  I can honestly say that at my school, we (counselor intern & I) are constantly reminded how much parents, staff and students appreciate what we do as counselors (we do A LOT!)

So here's how we'll be celebrating National School Counseling Week at JYJ:

-My school district had a morning celebration (click here to see the write up on it) for all the school counselors.  I was able to see blog buddy Vanessa from Savvy School Counselor!  What a treat it was to see her.

Vanessa & I at our district school counselor celebration
-I made this great banner from Vistaprint to hang outside of my office to celebrate and to let everyone know that it's National School Counselor Week. On a side note I got a sweet deal on this banner months ago on a Black Friday sale, for only (are you ready for this) 99 cents!

Celebration banner
Yours truly!
Counselor intern Dhruti

-I put daily announcements on our live morning television school news show on things that school counselors do and how we are here to help all students.  I even plan to be interviewed during the show on Wednesday (this is really a stretch for me, I'm more of a behind the scenes person).

-To include staff, I made a little note to everyone (I used Avery business cards) that said "being your JYJ counselors is worth at least 100 GRAND, celebrating National School Counselor Week from Andrea & Dhruti". I attached a mini 100 Grand candy bar to the note.  To get more ideas check out Pinterest and look under teacher appreciation.




-I ordered "I heart school counseling" t-shirts (from Vistaprint) for myself and the counselor intern to wear on Wednesday (the same day that we'll be on the school news).
T-shirt to celebrate School Counselor week
-Don't forget about the School Counseling On-Air Google + Hangouts during the entire week.  Some fantastic school counselor and bloggers will be hosting.  I plan to be there "hanging out"!




I'm very excited about our week to celebrate our fantastic profession!  What are your plans for school counseling week?

Please share by joining in on the National School Counseling Week Link Party hosted by blog buddy Danielle Schultz from the School Counselor Blog.


To participate in the National School Counseling Week Link Party:


  • Create a post titled "National School Counseling Week Link Party!"
  • Write a post about one of the following:
    • how you plan to celebrate National School Counseling Week at Your School
    • your favorite ideas, lessons, resources, etc. related to NSCW
    • a collection of things you have done to celebrate NSCW in the past
  • Place the National School Counseling Week Link Party Logo (above) in your post. 
  • Submit your blog post using the Inlinkz tool in Danielle's original post. Make sure you link to the actual post URL not just your blog URL.
  • CELEBRATE by sharing what you are doing and applauding on what others are doing! :)
  • If you are not a blogger, but have an idea to share, please comment in the comment section!


Happy National School Counselor Week!

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