There is a point in every school counselor’s life when everything begins to pile up. It’s at this very moment that we realize our creative lesson planning has taken a back seat.
I was trying to think what I needed most during these times. READY TO USE LESSONS! I needed a place where I could go that would have everything I needed in one place. And not just a creative, cutesy lesson, but one that built on our ASCA mindsets and behaviors AND also hit all my students’ social-emotional goals.
Well that’s exactly what I’ve decided to offer you! You see I may not be in the school every day any more, but every day I do hear how much my lessons made a difference and how much my kiddos miss me. So, if I can’t use them, someone should! Continue reading →
I originally started this blog for school counselors. As I evolved and fell more and more in love with play therapy, I extended my knowledge to include play therapy activities and ideas for school counselor and clinical counselor use. Then, I hit my 3rd year as a counselor and I started feeling the burnout. I was tired all the time, I was dragging my student worries home. I would think about my students all night, often dreaming about what I “should have done.” That’s when I decided to focus a third of the blog to counselor self-care. Continue reading →
I did this lesson back in March to conclude our month of practicing curiosity. But, this lesson would be a great May lesson, as well.
This lesson incorporates a review of character skills from December on (mine was obvious only a 3 month review, but you could easily review as many months as you want), as well as recognizing things that we’ve had to LEARN how to do.
I’m almost jealous of all the people who can use this lesson in May as opposed to March. What a great review of all the new things you’ve learned over the course of a year!
I cannot take credit for actually preparing these mini sand trays that are now in my possession. One of my very dear colleagues used these sand trays and many of the miniatures for her research project for grad school. When she was finished, she so generously donated them to me for my play room.
I can speak first hand about their making because I am also proud to say that this dear colleague is one of my best friends and so I was there (watching) with her the whole time.
Our 4th new character skill was curiosity. This one was especially hard to teach because so many students were taught that curiosity would get them into trouble. I had to reframe their thinking into remembering that curiosity leads us to learn new things. All learning starts when we are first curious about something.
I taught grades K-6 a variation on the same lesson and I have them all . . . yes I know it’s a lot . . . outlined below. I have labeled them by grade level, so feel free to skip down to the one that most interests you.
We’ve all heard the saying, “Seeing the world through rose colored glasses.” Little do we know, children are looking at their world through all sorts of different colored lenses.
During a lesson with my 2nd graders, we discussed how certain feelings will make us see things differently. They will make us look at the world, the problem, the situation, and our friends differently. The lesson helped us recognize these lenses and how we can fix our lenses to see things clearly.
Before starting this blog in 2012, I was a first year school counselor, a grad student, member of a professional dance team, and a side artist. I had little time and quickly became frustrated with the lack of resources I was finding out there for busy school counselors like myself. I started the blog in hopes of helping others around me with similar issues. Continue reading →
I got a little bit ahead of myself when I posted my zest article . . . I went ahead and assumed that my optimism lesson wasn’t that good because I never had any student work to prove that it went well . . . and then I discovered a sneaky little pile of paper that proved me wrong!
There tucked safely away, was a month’s worth of optimism lessons. Just sitting there optimistically awaiting their finding. So after reviewing what I actually taught and looking at the work samples, I was surprised to see just how awesome the lesson actually was! Cue “Everything is Awesome” song in your head . . . . and scene . . . Continue reading →
Back in December, I switched my character skills to some that might have more learning potential than our original 6 traits that we practiced in the past. You may remember my post about this. We began with Grit, moved into Optimism, and then on to Zest. Continue reading →
I apologize for the throughly lame title to this post . . . but I honestly couldn’t think of a cute, witty title . . . Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, I promise this will be worth the read!
Last year, I started writing up monthly newsletters for the parents. I wanted to promote my program, so they knew what their child was learning during “Character Education.” During my first year of counseling (as the first counselor at the school), I kept battling parents who were truly angry when they heard their child came to see me or that I went into the classroom to teach a lesson. They figured if their child saw the counselor then there was one of two problems:
1. Their child was spilling all the family secrets
2. Something was wrong with their child and he would come talk to me
and inadvertently, even though he was only 4, he would spill all the family secrets. Continue reading →