How to Explain Red Ribbon Week to Our Little Guys

I struggle each year with a creative way to explain Red Ribbon Week to my younger preschool and elementary-aged students. I don’t think this community of children need to hear the repeated “Don’t Do Drugs” mantra. It just doesn’t make much sense to them. In fact, I didn’t even buy red ribbons for my students this year. 

GASP! I know. What a terrible, terrible counselor. But I’ll be honest. I wanted a more meaningful activity. One that they might actually remember and keep as a momento. Not a red ribbon that will be splattered with ketchup and mud in 4 minutes, fall off before lunch, and find stuck to the bottom of someone’s shoe on their way out to carpool. 

How To Explain RRW to Young Students

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How to Build Mini Sand Trays for Your (School) Counseling Room

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.

Setting Up Mini Sand Trays

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Preschool Animal Hunt

Beginning this year I started working with our preschool students . . . we are talking 3 and 4 year olds. There is nothing more in this world that makes me more confused about having kids than working with preschoolers.

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The Importance of Play in Elementary Schools

I was recently published in the International Journal of Play Therapy for my research done during my graduate work at the University of Saint Thomas. I focused my research on the effectiveness of using play activities during small group lessons to help improve appropriate classroom behaviors. I wish I could freely share my research here, but I think the IJPT wouldn’t appreciate that much. Please take some time to look for it though. The article title is Examining the Use of Play Activities to Increase Appropriate Classroom Behaviors. Below I have given you excerpts from the unedited version of my manuscript, including all the research I did on people who previously utilized play in schools. Continue reading →

Let the Music Move You

Music Therapy is one branch of counseling used all around the world. In fact, there is an entire website dedicated to music therapy. The website states:

Music therapy interventions can be designed to:

  • Promote Wellness
  • Manage Stress
  • Alleviate Pain
  • Express Feelings
  • Enhance Memory
  • Improve Communication
  • Promote Physical Rehabilitation

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Fresh Start

We started our 2013-2014 school year last week and some things have changed!

There were many things I wanted to change about my program throughout last year. Instead of getting overwhelmed, I jotted down all my “enhances” (we shall call them that instead) and decided I’d started these enhances this year. Continue reading →

The New Bear at School

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I know I have mentioned this many times before, but a big skill we’ve been working on in 1st grade is building healthy friendships. More importantly, understanding that what we do and how we act can effect our friendships. Children say what’s on their minds and they act with impulse, they are resilient to the consequences of their actions, which is actually a quality for which we should commend them. Yet, when your behaviors, actions, words are hurtful to others, children must begin to recognize how this effects the relationships they are building or breaking. Continue reading →