Friday, March 30, 2018

How Do You Want to be Remembered?

If I could go back in time and give myself a pep talk, I would remind my younger self that I need to look at the bigger picture. Kids are so caught up in impressing their peers and seem to forget that their reputation they set now can stick with them for a long time. So I decided it was time to talk to my 5th graders about the reputation they are creating for themselves and to make a decision, is this "Hoo" they want to be remembered as?

I started off with a pre-assessment question, "How do you want to be remembered?" Students love to share about their dreams of a future job, but few think about their reputation! Next I asked if they know who the Grinch is and showed them a video clip of the movie that is coming out in December of this year. We then related the Grinch's actions and how they created his reputation of being mean. Students were able to recollect from the original animation that the Grinch was able to repair his reputation. 

Next we played the "Hush" game.  Students wore a reputation word on a lanyard turned around on their back. Their classmates told them clues for them to guess. The only rule: The person giving the clue had a “Hush” word that they were NOT allowed to use when giving a definition or hint. They had  a blast playing. Once they knew their Reputation card, we played a second game, "Hoo" am I? In this game, i read scenarios in which a reputation was described. The students decided if their reputation card was the one being described. If so, they would come to the front of the classroom. If more than one student came to the front, the class would vote on which one they thought it was and explain why.

I made sure to bring up our online reputations as well. We wrapped up the lesson with why give a hoot? It was especially important as my 5th graders were getting ready to transition to the middle school. 

To finish the lesson, my post assessment added a goal element. Students had to write how they were going to achieve their reputation. 

If you would like to purchase this How Do You Want to be Remembered? Lesson Plan, Power Point, Reputation cards, and Assessments, you can find it on my TPT Store. Click here.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Finding a Just Right Job

November is National Career Development Month, so there’s no better time than November (and December) to use the book, How Santa Got His Job to teach little ones about exploring their career interests! I like this book because I can point out that Santa had several jobs before he found his “Just Right Job.” I like to make this point because research says we will have multiple jobs in our lifetime.

After I read the book to the students, I ask the students what interests did Santa discover he had in each of his jobs? Why did he like that job? 

On the Power Point, students can select the picture that represents one of Santa’s jobs, then the interest he discovered is shown. Afterward, we discuss that the most important thing about picking a job is it should be a job that you like, that suits you, and your interests, personality, and abilities.

Next, I help the kids think of careers that go with different interests. I tell them, “Santa had some elves that decided they would rather have another career besides making toys. Let’s see if you can guess what their career “s-ELF-fie” looks like!” 

On the Power Point I have an Elf and once the students matches the career to their interests, the Career “s-Elf-ie” appears.  

Finally, to find out what students are considering, I have them Elf themself and draw their own “Career s-Elf-ie”! The kids loved doing this lesson. It’s fun to think about what we will be when we grow up!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Don't Let Little Things Bug You!

This week I had the most fun teaching my first graders how to use a Bug and a Wish statement when someone or something is "bugging" them. First I read them the story A Bug and A Wish by Karen Scheuer.

It's a really cute book. When Tyler is teased by the other boys, his good friend, Danae, encourages him to give the boys A Bug and a Wish. When Tyler finds a ladybug and a dandelion seed, he is convinced that this is what Danae means. As his friend helps him learn the true meaning of her advice, Tyler soon discovers the solution to his problem. You can buy it at all the major book selling sites for a very reasonable price.

We practiced as a class how to say Bug and Wish statements and then chose which statement would help the situation.

After practicing several thought provoking buggy situations, I allowed individual students who were comfortable making Bug and Wish statements to come to the front and select a bug to hear a buggy situation. After reading them the situation, they would tell their class a Bug and a Wish statement that would work to help solve the problem.

Next I had the students break into groups of three. I have cards with bug body parts on them. The students have to find the other students with the matching body part. Once they had found their group of three, I had them show me by standing quietly with the bug antennas up (Pointer fingers pointing up on top of their head.) Then I gave each group a picture and asked the groups to look at the picture and decide what may be happening. What buggy feelings does the child have? Come up with a Bug and a Wish statement for the child with buggy feelings. 

When the groups were ready to share, I clicked on the board and a bug body part appeared. As the bug body appeared, I had the group with the matching bug body part share their situation and their Bug and Wish statement. By the end, we had built a butterfly! 

Finally, students were able to color a bookmark to remember how to use their Bug and Wish statements whenever something or someone is bugging them!

If you are interested  in this lesson, I sell a ready to go, no planning necessary packet on Teachers Pay Teachers. You can purchase Solving Conflicts with A Bug and a Wish here.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Be a Mon"star" Student - Use Your Whole Body to Listen

This past week I had the best time teaching my firsties! We were learning about how to use your whole body to listen. It is not easy to listen with all the stimulation these kids experience. We started with a short discussion about listening such as, "How can the speaker/teacher tell you are listening?" (Funny side note - when I used the word speaker, one of my students thought I was talking about the microphone speaker!)
We watched a Sesame Street video called The Biscotti Kid. Discussion about how the Cookie Monster finally earned his cookie belt led to discussion of each body part and what we can do with it to help us focus on listening. I had a cute monster slideshow. As we discussed each body part, we reviewed with hand movements to help remember: Goggle eyes, finger in front of mouth, hands by open ears, hands by side, body calm and facing front, feet on floor, pat your brain, make a heart with two hands.

At the end of the slideshow, to asses for understanding, I asked them rhyming riddles to build our Mon"star" listening student. Here's an example of some of the riddles.
1. I keep this part facing front. It’s not time to do a stunt. Nor do I practice my karate. I stay calm with my?
2. I keep these on the person in sight. When listening, I know this is right. It shows that I am very wise to always listen with my?
3. I use this part to communicate. But when I am listening, I have to wait. I wouldn’t want the conversation to go south. I am talking about using my?

As they answered the riddle, I would click on the slide and the body part would appear. The kids loved it! We ended the lesson with the students drawing their own Mon"star" student. Here are some examples of their drawings:

I also sell this lesson. Be a Mon"star" Student Using Whole Body Listening. If you are interested in purchasing this lesson,
You can find it here on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Real Treasure is the School Counselor!

I'm always looking for a fun way to present my role as a school counselor to the students. This year I went with a pirate theme. I know, that probably does not surprise you if you have read my other posts on this Blog. So this year I made a Virtual Treasure Hunt for the students. To explain my role, I would read a riddle, the students would choose the picture on the map. I would select that picture and it would lead to the next clue. At the end, the students learn that their school counselor is the real treasure! Then we reviewed a pirate labeled with all the parts and discussed how I help. Finally, students got to play a game called Cannon Ball Catch. I would start by tossing the ball (our cannon ball) to a student. They would catch it and tell me something special about them and then gently toss it to another student. With my 5th graders, I made it a tad bit harder. I told them they had to come up with something I don't know about them already. Since I have been with them for the past 3 years, I am amazed how many times I had to say, "I knew that already!"

I also sell this lesson. School Counselor Virtual Treasure Hunt: Introducing the Role Guidance Orientation. If you are interested in purchasing this lesson,you can find it here on Teachers Pay Teachers.