Sunday, May 11, 2014

Here's a quick and inexpensive way to say "Thank You." I purchased these frames at the Dollar Tree.  Added a decorative paper on the inside, a monogram letter, bow and a pad of sticky notes with a personal message on top.  Could be used for so many days of the year - End of School Teacher Appreciation, Beginning of School with your phone extension on it, Gift for a friend to put in kitchen and write shopping list on, etc.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Renewing National Board Certification

The following blog entry is about what I learned as I renewed my National Boards and passed the first time in 2013.

2013 was the first year that School Counselors could renew their National Board Certification.  I was in the group who received National Board Certification the first year it was open.  8 years later, it was time to start the writing all over again.  So here are the things I learned:

Top 5 things to do before you even start:

  1. Don't procrastinate! Renewing is stressful enough.  If you have not even reached the 8 year mark in your certification, you can still be planning ahead.  Make sure you are continuing your education by taking workshops and then implementing what you learned. 
  2. Document the workshops and classes you have taken.  Really, I mean it!  We are getting older now and memory of ALL those professional development workshops and classes are sparse.  Have a file devoted to just this.
  3. Take pictures, save examples of how you have implemented what you have learned.  Even a video here or there is good to have on hand when it is time to start the process.
  4. Share with colleagues!  Offer to do workshops. Ask for examples of things created by others or examples of student learning due to a colleague using this information you have imparted.  It can show how you have impacted learning among your colleagues and other professional groups.
  5. If you have won awards or received emails of gratitude, put them or at least a copy of them away in a special file! You will be thankful that you saved them and know exactly where they are.

Where to begin?

Start with the some great resources:

This is where I started my journey...

It's brief!

Profile of Professional Growth

This is the book with all the directions!  Print it out, highlight key words.  Make sure to answer all the prompts.  Definitely read it all the way to the end.  There are suggestions on how to how to video and where to put your camera when recording.  

This is obvious why you need it!  

NBCrenewal Yahoo Group Discussion Board

I can't tell you how helpful this discussion board is!  You need to experience it for yourself.  Even if you don't think you have questions, some of the discussions are good food for thought.  Here you have fellow colleagues going through the process; as well as, those who have already been through the process and stayed on to help the new ones.

In a nutshell, this is what you are required to submit:

Component 1 is where you are explaining to the reader what 4 areas you have focused your professional growth in. You will write about 4 different professional growth areas or experiences.  When writing about professional growth experiences, you will write 3 pages of commentary and provide 2 pages of samples for each professional growth experience.

Component 2 is where you show how you have applied one of your PGEs in the classroom. Submit 4 pages of commentary. Submit a 10 minute video that has been created no earlier than September 1 of your eighth year.

In Component 3, you will pick a second PGE to highlight. Write 4 pages of commentary.
For evidence you may submit a 6 minute video OR 8 pages of sample learner work.

This component does not necessarily have to be with a class. It can highlight your work with colleagues, parents, etc. as long as you can show an impact on student learning indirectly. The video in this component could have been recorded at any time since you achieved certification.

The Reflection is your time to discuss how you have continued your professional growth, the patterns that have emerged and your plans for the future.  It can only be 3 pages.

Here's a little rubric that I used, mainly because I can be OCD at times.  This is not required, but it helped me see that I was meeting all the requirements.

Tracking the Requirements Rubric

Lights, Camera, Action: Take Two!

I hope this blog entry helped clarify the requirements of National Board Renewal.  For more in depth information explaining the prompts, editing, and electronic distribution, you are welcome to view a power point - Lights, Camera, Action: Take Two! that I created for a workshop I presented in January of this year.

Feel free to ask questions, I will do my best to answer them.  I am also available to do workshops for large groups. 

See my "about me" page for contact information to discuss fees for speaking engagements.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tracker - Sniffing out the Many Careers in our Community

Scroll to bottom if you would like a copy of the Tracker program.

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!

Here is one of Tracker's video's:

UPDATE: I have had several people email me and request this program. So I took the time to put together a package that can be immediately implemented or customized for your school including a Power Point Introduction for students. 

Available for purchase
Available for purchase

Personalize with your school's mascot
Or use the pre-made ready to go form

The Tracker program is available for $3.00 in my TPT store: Creative Counseling Resources

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Goal Setting with Stop Motion Technology

*Proud Parent Alert* Please Vote for my daughter's short film! Voting ends Saturday, 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. She is currently in second place. Please take just a minute to vote


  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. Imagine students showing a random act of kindness or a conflict resolution scene or how to stop bullying using legos, their favorite toys to play with! I plan on uploading them to YouTube, create a QR code that can be scanned to take someone directly to the link, and then have business cards (home-made on my printer) to have ready to hand out.  If someone is in need of help, they can scan the business card and watch a lego short video on the topic.  It could be a great conversation starter and great way for the kids making the videos to practice important social skills!

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!