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.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Chalk One Up for Tiny Working Spaces

So this year I was given the opportunity to embrace a tiny office. At first I was not happy that I was losing my big, beautiful classroom with windows and moving to a small 10' x 12' office. Now I realize that isn't the tiniest, but it was a quarter of the size that I am used to and it has no windows! But I had to move past the fact that I had to downsize and needed to embrace tiny working. I still wanted to have small groups, but I no longer have a table with chairs to sit at or a walk-in closet to store all my supplies. Instead I was given 6 cabinets :( I have always been a fan of the Tiny Living Movement so I thought to myself, "This is your opportunity to go tiny." And so I did. If you are interested in seeing my big classroom that I moved from, click here.
Below are the pictures of the transformation to my Tiny Working Office.

I needed to make my office a place that students would enjoy visiting. So I started with making this sterile room into a visually inviting room. I bought chalk-paper contact paper from Walmart and covered the doors on my cabinets. Then I hand drew all the posters with chalk markers. 

Next, I was gifted a file cabinet that has to be older than my first born. It was rusty and dented. No problem! I covered it with the same chalk-board contact paper and added some spray painted 8 x 10 frames from the Dollar Tree. For fun I labeled each of my drawers with a little reminder to Smile, Laugh, Inspire , and Relax.

For my bulletin board, I plan on adding pictures that I take throughout the year to my board.

Finally, the overhead fluorescent lighting was just too much. So I added garden lighting to soften the look.

To take care of my storage and seating for small group challenges, I purchased lots of dual use items. Notice the stools. The lids come off to reveal all the supplies needed for small groups. Decorative cloth boxes fill the bookshelves to hold more supplies. So far, I have been able to hold groups as large as 6 so I think I will be ok!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

I.B. Caught Showing Learner Profile Attributes!

This year we are updating our Student Recognition Program. On the end of year survey last year, we received a request to recognize more students. Since we are an IB candidate school, we decided to highlight more students who use the IB Learner Profiles. I was able to use Google Forms to create a form for each month's emphasis. Teacher's submit 2-3 names each month. In the younger grades, the teacher usually selects the students, but in the older grades, the classes usually vote.

Each month those students selected get to go on the news show to receive their certificate and shake the Principal's hand. Since we are going to be recognizing more students than we have in the past, we are going to have to recognize K-2 students on Tuesdays and 3-5 students on Thursdays.

 In addition to the big monthly recognition, I have created "Caught" cards for all of our staff to catch students exhibiting our IB Learner Profile traits. If a student receives a "caught" card, they can enter it into the monthly drawing to attend a snow cone party.

I am really excited about this added recognition because it will give students who may not normally get recognized an opportunity to shine! But this will be a HUGE undertaking in my school. We have 700 students and I want to make enough cards for each child to get recognized at least once during the year for each Learner Profile. That's right folks! And if you are doing the math...10 Learner Profile cards for each student...that's 7000 cards to print and cut!!! Needless to say, I have enlisted the help of some awesome parent volunteers:)

If you like this idea and do not want to do the work of creating your own cards, you can purchase a set of my I.B Caught Using Learner Profile Attributes Cards here for $5.00

Monday, August 21, 2017

Surviving being a New Student

It's a new year and I have over 50 new students to my school! That's not including the Kindergartners. I wanted to welcome my students and help them remember who I am and what I do. I love to give students something to keep, but with so many new students, I had to go cheap. So I created New Student Survival Kits.

They are a perfect little gift that you can give your new students when meeting them for the first time. I printed a list of items that i was going to place in the Survival Kit. I made sure to include a description of why I put that item in the kit.

I placed the list in a zip-lock bag along with the items. The best part of this...I was able to purchase all items including the bags for $14 at the Dollar Tree to make 50 bags.

My kids enjoyed these so much, I decided to put them on my TPT site. If you are interested in printing these, you can purchase my New Student Survival Kit here for $2. There are 4 Kit Lists to the page. Enjoy meeting new students, talking to them about your role as a school counselor and how you can help!!!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Escape Room Excitement

This year for our Back to School School Counseling Program overview for the teachers, I created a Virtual Escape Room. I had three goals behind this fun...
1) I needed to review our program with the teachers,
2) I wanted them to learn where to find answers to their burning questions about the school-wide programs we run, and
3) I wanted it to be fun and not just another thing to do instead of being in their classroom getting ready for their new students.

 So I created a Google form with 10 questions about our program. I gave them this back story... “Evil villains have taken over your school. All you superheroes have been exiled to the Principal's office. As a superhero, you know that you have super speed and super strength, but that will not be enough to help you escape the challenging puzzles in the evil villains' plot! You have 15 minutes to free yourselves by answering 10 riddles to save the day. Can you escape before the tardy bell rings? Once you have submitted your answers, select “view your score.” For every answer you get correct, there will be a letter to put in the final secret code to escape. If you do not get all the answers correct, e“x”it out of the score report and select “edit your response.” Resubmit with the correct answers to find out the letters needed to escape.” They had to look for the answers on the Google Team Drive. Once they were through, they had to look at their score. Each question with a correct answer gave them a letter to fill in and complete the final clue to escape.

The teachers were very competitive. We gave the first team of teachers to finish a bucket of school supplies. They learned a lot about our program  too!

Since this was such a hit, I have decided to use it with my students. Of course, I will edit the questions, but I can use this for ANY lesson as a pre or post assessment. 

I also placed this fun activity on my TPT.  If you are interested in purchasing the the Superhero Virtual Escape Room, you can find it here! I also added 12 superhero template power point slides to teach the lesson first before trying to escape the Virtual Escape Room. Remember, it is completely editable so it can be used by any teacher for any subject :)

Monday, July 31, 2017

Are You Ready for the New Year?

The beginning of the year is always an exciting time. I think of all the lessons I want to present and try to have them ready for the upcoming year. If you would like to get a jump start on getting your lessons together, I post my ready made lessons on Teacher's Pay Teachers.

Check out my Introducing the Role of a School Counselor, Study Skills, RRW, and Test Taking Strategies Lessons. Need BRTI or Peer Mediation Resources? I have some ready made and ready for use. Need a way to recognize students? Try my Brag Tags especially made for School Counselors.

Now is the time to plan your year and save some money at the same time! August 1st and 2nd, I will have my lessons and programs on sale on the TPT site. Click on the Back to Sale Pic below to view my products and save, save, save!

 TPT Sale!