Sunday, November 3, 2013

Resources from Maryland State Counselor Association MSCA

Below are some resources that were shared at the Maryland State Counselor Association graduate seminar.

I wanted to share resources from the Maryland State Counselor Assoication Graduate Seminar that was held on October 26th.  This is wonderful resource that gives you lessons along with other resources at every grade level in each domain.

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Student Leaders

Every school year I have a student leadership council made up of fifth grade students.  Teachers recommend students that they feel will make good leaders.  The student leaders serve as Safety Patrols and help with various community service projects.  Prior to the beginning of the school year I host a student leadership day in which students participate in team building activities and learn about the qualities of a good leader. The event is held from 9 until 3 and I provide lunch for all of the students.  

Teambuilding Games:
Taste of the Rainbow
Students had to use the assistance of their teammates to place skittles on the right color paper.

Cotton Hockey
Students had to use straws in order to get cotton balls into a bowl.

Build a Playground
Students were given masking tape, straws, play doh, yarn, pipe cleaners, and paper clips to build a playground.  Students had fifteen minutes to complete this task.  Below are the completed projects.

Leaders are like superheroes:  Students developed a superhero with qualities that would make a good leader. 

New Students

I work in a very transient school that in any given school year we have at least 100 new students entering throughout the entire school year.  How in the world do you build relationships with all of the students you might ask? If you are in a similar situation, below are some helpful tips for building relationships.

1. In August prior to the start of the school year I have a new student orientation.  All of the parents and students that enroll in June, July, and early August are invited to attend.  The program lasts an hour and consists of a description of our PBIS program, important information about policies regarding attendance and discipline, and an overview of the school counseling program.  We conclude the orientation with a tour of the school.  On average about 20 families come to this event. 

2. I identify all of the new stduents in grades 1st to 5th and during the month of September I have a lunch bunch with the students by grade level.   During that time I read the students the book called the New Kid on the Block and the students create a profile about themselves that is displayed on a bulletin board.  I take all of the new students pictures and that is displayed on the bulletin board along side their profile.

3.  The secretary informs me whenever a new student enrolls and within the first week I try to formally introduce myself to the student and have a lunch bunch with the student.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Vision Boards

After returning from the ASCA conference I decided to try out my vision board guidance lesson with fifth grade.  I spent time over the summer cutting out lots of pictures so that I can have pictures precut to save time during the lesson.  I cut out pictures of pets, houses, cars, families, people and careers, travel destinations, words of affirmation, and letters.  This lesson took two thrity minute class periods to complete.
Day One:
I went into the classroom an dhad students distinguish between goals and wishes.  I then did visual imagery with the students in which they closed their eyes and imagined what life would be like at the age of 30.  I had students focus on friends, family, life goals, and career.  The students had to then find pictures that related to their future vision.
Day Two:
Students glued down there pictures and then wrote about their vision board.  I learned a lot about the students through the vision board.  I used the vision board to help them determine the magnet school choice for middle school based on teh vision board.  Some studenst illustrated pictures and wrote about things that concerned me and I was able to have a personal conversation with the students to address the issues.  Looking back on this lesson, I only wish that I had started doing vision boads with students sooner.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Liberty and Learning for All

I just came back from the ASCA conference and I am feeling so energized! 

Top ten things that I loved, learned, or inspired me this year.

10. I need to get a business card. I was talking with a district supervisor from Richmond, Virginia and he asked a lot of questions about my program. He asked me for my business card and I did not have one. I later learned that I can get business cards from my county for free.
9. I need to do the treasure hunt every year at the exhibit hall. This was my first year doing the treasure hunt and I won a gift card to North Face. Thanks to for sponsoring that gift.
8. I went to a session on integrated curriculum and I learned additional ways to integrate the counseling curriculum with other subjects. This will be especially important with the common core.
7. Every year I have a student that touches him/herself inappropriately or other people. I found this book that I think will be a great resource to help these students.
6. I went to the create a vision for your kids session and created my own vision board. I am going to have my 5th graders create vision boards and relate it to their goals. If you can physically see what you want then you are more likely to achieve that goal.
5. In the solution focused approach to anger management I learned a lot about myself as I did a psychoanalyst using a walk in the woods. You forget how beneficial this can be as you get to know or understand a student.
4. This is the first year that more than 2 people including myself attended the conference. It was nice to connect and get to know my colleagues.
3. Chef Jeff's story was such an inspiration and made you realize that dreams can come true. He made me look at how I talk to kids about careers. The question should be what is your American dream and how are you going to go about making the dream a reality.  He also talked about who you aspire to be,finding role models, and learning about how they became successful and modeling yourself after them.
2. There is so much technology that can be used with kids or to help make life easier.
Book Crawler Lite- you can categorize your books by scanning the bar code
Create Comix- you can have students create their own comic books
Live Binder-instead of having lots of binders and no place for storage create your own online binder with this site - has relaxing music, landscapes, and colors to help relax
1. This is my third conference and I always travel alone. This year my former intern Charlee went with me and we had a great time at the conference. I enjoy working with interns because you can learn so much from them. Interns are eager to learn and soak up everything like a sponge and share all of this new learning with you. She describes me as a travel guide and companion in one. I describe her as a wealth of new knowledge and energy! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Passionate School Counselor

When I started thinking about creating a blog I thought about the roles of a school counselor.  I wrote down all of the roles and responsibilities that are associated with my job.  After I created my list I began to create the name for my blog....Passionate School Counselor.  So what exactly does that mean?
Preventive - School Counselors go into classrooms to do guidance lessons in order to be preventive and teach social skills, problem solving skills, and many other topics.
Academic- School Counselors help students by running academic skills groups, help with transitions into kindergarten and middle school, test taking strategies, and how to be a better student.
Support- School Counselors support and partner with Pupil Personal Workers, Teachers, Social Workers.
Individual- School Counselors meet with students for academic goal setting, personal/social issues.
Organized- When I think about the organization that it takes to run groups, schedule classroom guidance lessons, career day, and the list goes on, I could not go without mentioning organized.
Nurture and Develop- Children need us to help them to develop into positive and respectful citizens.
Advocate- School Counselors advocate for all students.
Team Player- In order to make the best educational decisions for students everyone in the school must work together.
Educate- School Counselors not only educate students, but teachers and the community.