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!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Put it in the Piggie

Here's a little motivation I came up with for my younger students. We are always looking for ways to reward the desirable behaviors in Behavior RTI. Since some children are very tangible and like to earn money, I made a Piggy Bank to collect reward points/coins. This is how it works... a student who has an undesirable behavior has a goal to replace it with a desirable behavior. Say Little Johnnie, who doesn't like to do school work, will complete his work 80% of the time. The teacher will break his day into manageable chunks of time or  tasks and give him a paper coin for each time frame he has completed his work. He can then put the coin in the piggy bank! He can save those coins for a reward of his choice at the agreed upon time. When it's time to cash in, he can dump the coins out and start over.

So how did I create my piggy bank? First I printed a picture of a pig and glued it to card stock. (I guess I could have printed to the card stock, that would have been one less step.) Then I drew a coin slot and cut it out. Next, I used a plastic sheet protector to catch the coins. I cut out a square big enough to cover the slot on the back of the piggy. I placed the pig on top of the sheet protector with my slot centered over the cut out square. Sent all of it through the laminator. When I cut out the pig, I made sure to cut the top of the sheet protector so that it would open up and of course I had to cut the lamination over the slot so there would be an opening. Basically it's like a plastic pouch on the back of the pig.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Reacting to "Reel" Rejection

Here's a fun activity that I did with my friendship group. We were talking about being rejected by our friends, how we feel when that happens, and what can you do. Changing our mindset can help us when dealing with these difficult times. After our discussion, we made a "reel."

Before the group, I used notecards to write places and activities at our school where they may be interacting with friends. For example, "On the playground playing kickball" or "At lunch eating." I allowed the students to pick a situation to draw on a sheet of paper with a dashed line across the middle. The top portion of the paper has a student asking if they can join and the others saying "no". Then the students picked a way to handle the rejection. Again I took notecards and wrote different reactions such as "I can find someone else to hang out with" or "I can survive this, it happens to everyone." On the bottom portion of the paper, they drew the same scenario with the student handling the rejection with the comment they picked.

As students finished their stories, I taped them together, added another sheet in between each story with "The Next Week..." By the time we were done, we had our Handling Rejection Reel. To show our reel, I made a "flat screen tv" from a black folder. I cut out a square from the front of the folder and a notch from the folded portion for the paper to slide through. As the scene came up, I had the students narrate their story and positive way to handle rejection. The kids loved it!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

WOW! I'm honored!

Wow! I was honored to receive the PSSCA Elementary School Counselor of the Year award at our most recent conference in January, 2017. I have been a school counselor for 23, going on 24 years. Being recognized for all the things that I do is a great achievement, but it's the students' smiles and hugs that are the biggest reward. Every day I go to school to make a difference. I never know what my day will be like, but at the end of the day, I know that my students are different because I am there to help and support them. I believe there is no better job than to be a school counselor. I look forward to representing South Carolina as the nominee for ASCA's National School Counselor of the Year.