Monday, October 27, 2014

Introducing the School Counselor Lesson

Whew, this school year has been quite busy and it's been a little obvious in my blogging absence.  I finally have some time to share how I introduced myself & the counselor intern at the start of the school year.  This year we used the book Mrs. Joyce Gives the Best High Fives by Erainna Winnett which is a fantastic book on introducing the school and describing what the school counselor does.

Reading the book Mrs. Joyce Gives the Best High Fives

As our activity, since Mrs. Joyce gives great high fives and we told the students that they could give us long lasting high fives.  Here's what we did:

-We used cut colored construction and gave everyone a sheet where they were to trace their hand (we did assist a bit with tracing the hands).

-The students then cut out our handprints (we had to help some with this too).

-After the hand prints were cut out, I let them decorate their hands with crayons or makers (we saw lots of creative decorations).

-After we had handprints from all of our classes (we did this lesson with 1st grade).  We made a "wreath" on high fives, which I put near our office, which reminds them of where the counselor's room is.

I loved this intro and love hearing the students say "that's my high-five"!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

The Power of Self-D Review & Giveaway

What counselor isn't a fan of biblio-counseling, meaning that we use books as a resource to work with students whether it be individually, with a small group or even with class visits.  I had the pleasure of receiving a copy of The Power of Self-D, Willie Bohanon & Friends Learn the Power of Self-Determination by Kip "Mr. J" Jones, which is an excellent character education book on overcoming facing challenges, peer pressure and making good choices.

I would use this book for my older students (4th-5th graders) and it would also be excellent for middle school students because it is totally relatable for "tweens".  Our story deals with Willie Bohanan raised in a single-parent home with several siblings who struggles with choosing academics over being "cool" with his friends and strives to be the first in his family to go to college.  I especially like how the (relatable to tweens) acronym SWAG (Self-Determination, Working Hard, Ambition, Guidance) shows them steps and tools they can use to be successful.  This is great addition to my counselor library.

Thanks to Mr. J, I have an extra copy to give away, please enter below to win:

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Make Use of Your State's Conference

After participating in the #ASCA14 Google hangout with fellow school counselors a few months ago, I thought about other ways that school counselors could get a "conference experience" even if they aren't able to attend the national conference ((I was #notatasca14 this year).  Attending your state level conference is a fantastic way to get fresh ideas, be among peers and network.  As Matthew M. from CO explained to me "our state conference is like a mini-ASCA" perfectly stated Matthew.

I got to see BOTH Erin Mason & Julia V. Taylor at the Virginia School Counselor Association Conference.
I didn't attend an ASCA conference until my 4th year as a counselor, but I had attended my state's conference since my very 1st year.  My state conference has been a great chance for me to meet other school counselors all over my state, which certainly helps since I as well as most elementary school counselors work solo at their schools.  Here's a list of all state conference dates from the ASCA website. Attending your state's conference is another fantastic way to get other great ideas.

Will you be attending your state's conference?

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