Friday, November 20, 2009

Children's Grief Awareness Day

Children's Grief Awareness Day is a day to raise awareness about grief and loss issues, learn ways to help others who are grieving, and show support to individuals who have lost a loved one. Grief and loss are issues that impact each person at some point their life.

In the Pittsburgh area, a great resource for grief and loss support is The Highmark Caring Place.  The Highmark Caring Place is a center for children, adolescents, and their families to recieve support for grief and loss issues.  The Highmark Caring Place has Caring Teams at schools all over the state of Pennsylvania that raise funds.

As part of our school's Caring Team, I hosted a "Wear Blue Day" where students and staff were instructed to wear blue to show their support. Students and staff could also pay a dollar to wear jeans. Another way I raised awareness and money for The Highmark Caring Place was hosting a Pittsburgh Steelers Raffle.  I sold tickets to students and staff for 25 cents a ticket or two dollars for an arm's length.  The Steelers Raffle worked great in Steelers Country! We raised over $400 for The Highmark Caring Place through the raffle tickets and jeans passes alone!

Check out The Highmark Caring Place website for resources and information about grief and loss.

How do you celebrate Children's Grief Awareness Day? Comment below, email metweet, or share on the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page!

Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources.  Contact Danielle via email, follow her on twitter, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Visit FableVision for Free Clip Art (and lots of other cool stuff too!)

If you haven't checked out FableVision yet, I recommend that you check it out!  FableVision has great resources for educators and great activities for students.  You can get Free ClipArt, Free Posters, and Play Free Interactive Games. Peter Reynold's materials are inspirational and fun!

Other great FableVision sites to check out:  (P.S. They have great free and interactive resources too!)

U Can Do! - "An ability focused website helping all people develop a 'can-do attitude' and approach to life...no matter what the obsticals."

North Star - a site dedicated to teachers, families, students, life-long learners, and those brave enough to follow their dreams.

SuperThinkers - FableVision teamed up with Verizon to create this interactive site filled with activities for kids. Featuring The Peetnik Mysteries, created by Peter H. Reynolds. This site can be viewed in English and Spanish!


Where do you get free clip art? Comment below, email metweet, or share on the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page!

Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources.  Contact Danielle via email, follow her on twitter, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Social Skills Through Social Stories

I wanted to share a great link about teaching social skills utilizing social stories.  A member of the Yahoo Elementary School Counselor Listserv shared this with the group. Click here to go to the link.  It is a great resource for providing students with social stories about different situations.  It has everything from starting at a new school to how to sit on the rug in kindergarten.

What social story resources do you use? Comment below, email metweet, or share on the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page!

Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources.  Contact Danielle via email, follow her on twitter, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.

Friday, November 6, 2009

"The Paperbag Princess": Literacy Day


For Literacy Day, I read The Paperbag Princess, by Robert Munsch, to 5th and 6th graders.  The Paperbag Princess is a story about a princess who's castle is burnt down by a fire-breathing dragon.  The dragon also takes the prince. The princess, Elizabeth, is infuriated.  She goes on a mission to save the prince.  She out-smarts the dragon and saves the prince.   The Paperbag Princess shows a strong female character, which is very different than typical fairytales involving female royalty.  The Paperbag Princess teaches many important lessons, including, respect, attributes of a strong character, and gives the message that it is what is on the inside that counts!


What is your favorite book? Comment below, email metweet, or share on the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page!

Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources.  Contact Danielle via email, follow her on twitter, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rumors and Toothpaste


The Secret Olivia Told MeI read, The Secret that Olivia Told Me, by N. Joy, to fourth and fifth grade students to begin a dialogue about rumors.  We talked about how a rumor is something that is spread from one person to another.  A rumor can start out as something true, but people add information to it that makes it get bigger and bigger.  We talked about what students should do if they hear a rumor.  One student suggested that she would say, "I'm not interested," if someone tried to tell her a rumor.  Other students suggested that they could tell an adult, tell the person spreading the rumor that it is not kind, or tell the person that the rumor is about so that they can get help from an adult.

To give students a visual reminder about rumors, I used toothpaste.  I had students volunteer to squeeze toothpaste out onto a paper plate until the tube was empty.  I asked the students what the toothpaste was meant to represent.  A student commented, "The toothpaste gets bigger and bigger just like a rumor."


Each time the toothpaste was squeezed out, it represented someone spreading a rumor.  When the tube was empty, I asked for another volunteer to put all of the toothpaste back in the tube.  Students wanted to try to put the toothpaste back in, but we discussed how it would be impossible to get all of the toothpaste back in. One student shared, "the toothpaste is just like a rumor. Once [a rumor] is out you can't put it back in." 

What books or lessons do you use to teach students about rumors and gossip? Comment below, email metweet, or share on the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page!

Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources.  Contact Danielle via email, follow her on twitter, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.



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