Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tracker - Sniffing out the Many Careers in our Community

I wanted to get students involved in learning about the many different careers in our community so I came up with Tracker.  Tracker is our newest addition to our Guidance Department.

Tracker is actually a small case with a zipper pocket to carry small things!

Tracker loves to learn about different careers! Each week Tracker  goes home with a different student on a field trip to their parents' work and learns about the different jobs. He is interested in the many things they do and what fields of study he will need to think about in order to do these jobs. When Tracker returns from his field trip, the student presents a report with a poster including pictures of all the things Tracker got to learn about.  I videotape their presentation and then show it on our morning news show for the entire school to see.
Permission Slip

To take Tracker home for a week, students have their parents sign a permission slip stating they will take him to work to do some on the job training and will take pictures of Tracker doing those things such as driving a forklift at Lowes or flying a Fighter Bomber for the Air Force.


Once the student returns the permission slip, Tracker is loaded up with directions and a report form to complete before returning a week later.

Report Form

Finally, I made a huge display to share all of Tracker's Adventures.  Usually there are 5 posters hanging at a time. Each of the flowers below the posters represent the 5 Schools of Study: 1) Arts and Humanities, 2) Business Management and Information Systems, 3) Engineering, Manufacturing, and Industrial Technologies, 4) Health Science and Human Services, and 5) Public Services.  On the flower petals, I write the name of the job that Tracker has visited under each School of Study along with the name of the student who took him home for that field trip.  So when I change the posters out, the student and the job are still being recognized all year long!

Tracker has been to many places such as Atlanta Bread Co, American Red Cross, McEntire Air Force Base, Gamestop, and South Carolina Law Enforcement!

Stay Tuned & Come Back... I will be posting one of Tracker's video's soon!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Goal Setting with Stop Motion Technology

*Proud Parent Alert* Please Vote for my daughter's short film! Voting ends April 26.
Ok Creative Counselor friends, my daughter needs your help! She has been selected for the top 10 in the S.C. Young Filmmakers contest. If she gets the most votes, she can win $500 which she wants to use to help her buy a Mac Book to make more films and help her with her future career.

  1. open video below IN YouTube by clicking the YouTube symbol at the bottom right underneath the video
  2. watch it of course because it really is awesome
  3. like her video by clicking the thumbs up button ON the YouTube site only. (For your vote to count, you have to "LIKE" the video on the YouTube page) 
Last but not least, please *SHARE*! Every vote counts! Thank you for helping her!!!
I plan on using this short video for an intro to Goal Setting.  But it also can be used to show students how to make stop motion videos to show what they have learned as a final project. Kids love making videos!  There is a free ap in the iTunes store that my 10 year old son uses all the time called Stop Motion Studio

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Has anyone noticed 5th graders can be soooo mean? I have and so I decided to do this month's classroom guidance lesson on Filling Our Buckets! I created a How to Fill Your Bucket video based on the book Have You Filled Your Bucket Today?

After watching the How to Fill Your Bucket video, we had a great discussion on examples of Bucket Filling and Bucket Dipping.  We also talked about putting a lid on our bucket to protect it when people are trying to dip from it.  When putting a lid on our bucket we can ignore, walk away, hang out with other friends, etc.

Then we made our own invisible buckets out of clear cups and chenille sticks.  I gave each student 50 compliments that they could cut and use to fill each others' buckets. 

 The kids absolutely LOVED it! And reading the compliments definitely filled our buckets!

Have you filled your bucket today?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Being Successful using the 7 Habits: Being Proactive

I have started a small group with some second graders who have been identified as needing extra support to be successful in second grade.  They have various issues causing them to struggle, but I thought I would try using a small group format focusing each week on a different leadership habit. This week we focused on Habit 1 - Being Proactive.

 We started with a discussion on what does it mean to be proactive.  The students were able to tell me "Being in charge of yourself" and give me examples of what I would see if they were being proactive.  I then placed a hula hoop in the center of the room.  Inside the center of the hula hoop I placed a sheet of paper with "Things I can control" written on it.  On the outside I placed a sheet with "Things I cannot control" written on it.  The students then had to decide if what I said was something they could control or not control.  As I called out situations they would jump in the hula hoop or out.  Some things that we focused on were school rules, their behavior, their feelings, their attitude, their friends, their reactions to friends, etc. Each time, the students had to tell me how or why they could control or not control the situation.

Next, I read my favorite story to the students, Alexander's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  We discussed whether Alexander was being proactive or reactive throughout the book.  Afterward we talked about ways Alexander could be proactive and use his heart messages (AKA "I messages").

Students took turns practicing using Heart messages to be proactive about different school situations.

Finally we made a Heart person to remember our heart messages help us to be proactive instead of reactive when we are having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Worry Warriors

According to Guatemalan legend, worry dolls have the ability to remove worries from sleeping children. Children tell one worry to each doll when they go to bed at night and place the dolls under their pillow. In the morning the dolls have taken their worries away.  With that same premise in mind, my Stress Relief group makes Worry Warriors.   
To make these cute little guys, I save up medicine bottles, remove the label and allow the students to decorate as they please.  We use googly eyes, sharpies, pom poms, chenille sticks, ribbon, glitter, etc. You get the picture. Once their Worry Warrior is complete, we glue it to an upside down sticky note pad. Whenever the students have a problem that they are worried about, they take off a sticky note from the bottom, write down their worry, fold it up, and give it to the Worry Warrior to worry about.
The children really enjoyed making these and when I saw one of my students over the weekend, she came up to tell me she had already given her Worry Warrior a worry and it worked!

Fantastic Foil Forget-Me-Nots

Here's a simple activity that I do with my grief groups.  During one of our meetings, we focus on a favorite memory.  To save this memory forever, I have the students draw a picture of the memory on the back (non-shiny side) of the aluminum foil with a dull pencil.  It's best to use thick foil and a dull pencil so the foil does not tear. This creates a 3-D effect on the opposite, shiny side of the foil. The student then flips over the picture and colors in the picture with sharpies to make a vibrant, colorful, 3-D picture.  I wrapped the foil around an old thank you card, but any kind of cardboard to make it sturdy will do.  Finally we used Popsicle sticks to frame the picture.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

SCSCA Presentation: Cool Tools for Counseling in Schools

Click here to view the presentation
As School Counselors, we are always trying to find ways to reach our students.  My favorite way is engaging students through technology.  So this weekend I presented at the South Carolina School Counselors Conference on Cool Tools for Counseling in Schools. I know I have shared some of these with you on this blog before, but I thought I would share my presentation and some new sites that I have discovered.  You are welcome to download a copy of my notes and links through this Google Doc.
Below are the Cool Tools shared at the conference:

  1. Glogster
    1. Glogster is a free online learning tool that can be used for many purposes.  It allows you to create a digital, interactive poster.  Glogster allows you or students to be creative, engaging and excites learners.  Since it is on the internet, you create a free teacher account and it can be saved on Glogster and shown anywhere.  We have created glogs as part of classroom guidance lessons and parent newsletters.  But it can also be used as an activity for small groups to share what they have learned.
  2. Mp3 Cutter
    1. With free services provided by the "Mp3 cut" website, the mp3 cutting process has become much more simple, fast, and convenient. You will face no difficulties. First, press the "Upload mp3" button, choose the desired file and wait till it is uploaded and ready for processing. As soon as the file is available for editing, (it depends on the speed of your Internet connection) the track will become pink slightly below the indicated button and the play button will become red. Now you can crop mp3. You have two sliders, which indicate the beginning and the end of the song fragment. Got it? Then, press the “Cut mp3 and Download” button. The download will start immediately. Save the file and use it in any of your presentations. Don’t forget the copyright rules of no more than 10% or 30 seconds maximum length.
  3. Pinterest
    1. Pinterest is a content sharing service that allows members to “pin” images, videos, and other objects to a pinboard.  Imagine the old cork board that we used to pin up pictures, notes, or memories.  This is a digital version that allows you to save lots of ideas and organize them into multiple cork boards. I save tons of ideas and then when it is time to develop a lesson, I have a bank if visual ideas that I can quickly see and remember. Click here to see an example.
  1. Edmodo
    1. Edmodo provides a safe and easy way for you to connect and collaborate, share content, post polls, calendars, etc.  It looks and acts like Facebook, but is much more secure.  To access any content on Edmodo, a group has to be created and an assigned pin number is used for others to join the group.  We have used Edmodo to create groups for the counselors in our district.  It offers a way to request and share information.  We have also used Edmodo to create small groups for students to participate in discussion about the current topic.  The neat thing about Edmodo is that when a student joins, a parent can also have access to see what their child is posting.  Edmodo allows you to share files stored in a library, share a calendar with assignments due, or create quizzes and polls.
  2. Blogger
    1. A Blog is a personal web site where anyone can write about anything.  They can write as frequently or infrequently as they choose, add pictures, videos, links, and comments.  There are many good School Counselors’ blogs and they share lots of ideas for counseling, lessons, programs and activities. Click here to see my blog.  See a list of other school counselors blogs below.  
  3. Smart Notebook Express
    1. SMART Notebook is a collaborative learning software that not everyone has.  It is not a free resource, until now.  With Smart Notebook Express, you are able to view, save, and interact with SMART Notebook files online, at no charge.
  4. Tagxedo
    1. Tagxedo turns words into a visually stunning word cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text. With Tagxedo you can make your word clouds into different shapes, using different colors and save them as a picture to use later.  See example to the right that we created at the conference using examples of “How does your body feel when you are angry?”
  5. Storybird
    1. Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read, and print. Read them like books, play them like games, and send them like greeting cards. They’re a fun way for students to share what they have learned. Click here to see a Storybird.

  1. Prezi
    1. Prezi is a cloud based presentation software and storytelling tool for exploring and sharing ideas on a virtual canvas. Prezi is distinguished by its zooming features, which enables users to zoom in and out of their presentation media. Prezi allows you to insert images, videos, and hyperlinks to websites. Take your Powerpoint to the next level! Click here to see an example (this presentation).
  2. Ipad
    1. iPads have lots of free apps that can be used in the educational setting.  As a matter of fact, you can view this Prezi with an app called a Prezi viewer.  Two great apps are Doceri and Nearpod.  Doceri essentially turns your ipad into a remote desktop that can control what is projected on the screen.  By scanning a QR code, Doceri allows you to control your desktop from the freedom of your portable iPad.
    2. Another great app is Nearpod.  By creating a Nearpod account, you can present lessons from your iPad and students can join the presentation with their iPad to see the presentation as you control what is seen on their screen.  It is interactive and allows students to interact with on screen assignments and share their answers with others. To see a video of the demostration from the conference presentation, click here.
    3. See list below for more great apps that can be used by counselors.
  3. YouTube
    1. Youtube has many videos that can teach, motivate, or reinforce lessons.  Be careful that you watch the videos all the way through before sharing with children.  Some may be edited and replaced with inappropriate material. Here is a link to the Youtube video shown at the presentation of the Momma and baby squirrel.

School Counselor Blogs:

iPad Apps:
Nearpod - allows teacher to control student’s iPads, very interactive & engaging
Prezi - zooming presentations
Doceri - control your desktop from your iPad
Socrative Teacher - students can answer quizzes from their iPad
TeacherKit - allows you to create groups/classes, pics of students, keep attendance
Noteshelf (not free) - great for keeping notes organized
iMovie (not free) - great for students to teach/share with others
Stop Go! -young childrens’ timer
Spin the Bottle - Great for selecting students sitting in a group circle
Stick Pick (not free) - for picking students
Sock Puppets - great for younger kids to make puppet plays
Moody Monster - great for younger kids to understand feelings
Fluid - helps students calm down and relax
Scribble Press - create a digital book
Educreations - interactive whiteboard for the iPad
Word Salad - create word clouds on the iPad