Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Study Tips for the School Guidance and Counseling Praxis

I took the School Guidance and Counseling Praxis in January of 2009. The School Guidance and Counseling Praxis is a two-hour exam that consists of four content areas: Counseling and Guidance, Consulting, Coordinating, and Professional Issues. The exam questions are all multiple-choice. Approximately one-third of the exam is a listening exercise involving counselor and client interactions.

To begin preparation for the School Guidance and Counseling Praxis, I recommend checking out the School Guidance and Counseling Praxis section on the ETS website. There are free test preparation materials including test at a glance material.

There are many resources available you can purchase to study for the School Guidance and Counseling Praxis. There is a School Guidance and Counseling Praxis Study Guide eBook available for purchase through ETS that my colleagues and I found to be helpful. Their are many advantages of purchasing the School Guidance and Counseling Praxis Study Guide eBook. The main advantage of the School Guidance and Counseling Praxis Study Guide eBook is that it was developed by the company that created the test, which is an advantage because the questions and audio portions are representative of actual exam. Once you purchase the School Guidance and Counseling Praxis Study Guide eBook you can download it immediately, which means you can start using it immediately instead of waiting for delivery. It is important to note that the eBook requires Windows 2000, XP, Vista or 7 and Windows Media Player. If using a Mac, the eBook requires Parallels Desktop for Mac or a PC emulator, such as VirtualPC.  (This was a disadvantage for me because I am a Mac user).

Another resource that I would highly recommend is the book Encyclopedia of Counseling by Howard Rosenthal. Although Encyclopedia of Counseling by Howard Rosenthal is not geared specifically to School Counselors, it has a wealth of information on counseling topics. Encyclopedia of Counseling by Howard Rosenthal is also a great investment for individuals planning on taking the National Counselor Examination (NCE).

School Guidance and Counseling Praxis score requirements for your state are available on ASCA's website.

What resources have you used to study for the School Guidance and Counseling Praxis?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, December 21, 2009

Resources for Working with Children of Incarcerated Parents

I have received many inquiries about my work with children of incarcerated parents.

Parental Incarceration impacts millions of U.S. Children. According to the Family and Corrections Network, 7 million, or one in 10, U.S. children have a parent under some form of criminal justice supervision - in jail, prison, on probation, or on parole.

There are unique problems and stressors created by parental incarceration. Children often face a form of imprisonment of their own when a parent is taken away. Children of incarcerated parents are often difficult to identify because of the shame and social stigma associated with incarceration.

In spring of 2009 I ran groups for children of incarcerated parents. There are some really great resources available for learning about children of incarcerated parents. Many of the resources can be used in individual and group counseling.

A website to start learning about children of incarcerated parents is The National Research Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated (NRCCFI). I was trained by Ann Adalist-Estrin, the directer of the The National Research Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated (NRCCFI). The NRCCFI website has fact sheets, links to resources, and training opportunities. I also recommend checking out the Bill of Rights for Children of Incarcerated Parents from San Francisco Children of Incarcerated Parents.

A great book for counselors and educators to learn about issues associated with children of incarcerated parents is All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated by Nell Bernstein. All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated includes personal interviews with children and families. All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated gives a voice to issues associated with incarceration. All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated is a must read for anyone working with children.


I use the book My Daddy Is in Jail: Story, Discussion Guide, and Small Group Activities for Grades K-5 in individual and group sessions with students. I keep my copy of My Daddy Is in Jail on display in my office. I often have students disclose they have a parent or family member in jail after seeing My Daddy Is in Jail on my shelf. Students really enjoy the book. One of the students I worked with particularly enjoyed drawing pictures and talking about them using prompts from the book. 


I also keep a copy of Visiting Day by Jacqueline Woodson on display. Visiting Day is about a little girl who goes to visit her dad in jail.


What do you want to know about working with children of incarcerated parents? Do you have any favorite resources that you use for working with children of incarcerated parents? 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.



Great Websites for School Counselors: Three of School Counselor Blog's Favorites

I have shared these links in the sidebar on my blog, but I wanted to give readers more information about why these sites are so great!

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is the national organization for school counselors. The site provides resources to members, articles, and information about the ASCA National Model. ASCA also has a blog, podcasts, and a social networking site called ASCA Scene. If you need more information the roles of a school counselor are, ASCA is the site for you! A lot of the features on this site are for members only. I highly recommend becoming a member of ASCA. To find out more about the benefits of joining the American School Counseling Association, click here.

Are you an elementary school counselor? Do you have questions about school counseling? Do you need ideas for a lesson or topic? Would you really appreciate some advice on a situation? If you answered yes to any of those questions, The Elementary School Counselors Yahoo Group ListServ is for you! The Elementary School Counselors Yahoo Group ListServ allows members to ask questions and get answers fast. I frequently use the  The Elementary School Counselors Yahoo Group ListServ to get ideas for lessons or find out about new resources. To join, follow the The Elementary School Counselors Yahoo Group ListServ link and click join this group. You will need a Yahoo Account to access The Elementary School Counselors Yahoo Group ListServ

Teaching Tolerance is a great website to get ideas, lesson plans, and resources. Educators can sign up for a free magazine and free classroom kits via mail.  You can also sign up for  free e-news from Teaching Tolerance. One of my favorite features of the Teaching Tolerance website is the searchable database of classroom activities. You can search by grade level or topic. Teaching Tolerance has received national attention for their Mix It Up program. Mix It Up encourages students to "mix it up" at lunch and sit with people the would not normally sit with. Mix It Up helps schools create a culture of tolerance and acceptance.  You can download free kits with lessons to use for Mix It Up Day.


What are your favorite websites to get school counseling resources? 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.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

What is School Counselor Blog About?

Wordle: schoolcounselorblogSchool Counselor Blog is a place to share ideas and resources!

What would you like to see on this blog? Do you have any resources or ideas you would like to share?  I want to hear your ideas! 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.

Really Good Stuff Website Review

When I find cool websites and free resources, I like to share them on the School Counselor Blog.

I came across the website, Really Good Stuff, today. They have lots of great supplies for educators. They also have some really GREAT free resources on their website.  There are free downloadable activity and study guides, fun and games, resource articles, question and answers, and a newsletter. There is also the teacher's weblounge where you can read blogs by educators!

If you find a great website, 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, December 8, 2009

Creating Peace


Before Thanksgiving, I started a position as a school counselor for grades 4-8 .  I am excited to work with the students, faculty, staff, and parents! I have lots of ideas and I can't wait to put my ideas into action! One of my main goals is to establish an environment of respect and peace with the grades I serve.

I am starting an Anger Management and Friendship Skill group for fourth grade boys.  I purchased the book Seeing Red: An Anger Management and Peacemaking Curriculum for Kids by Jennifer Simmonds. The book seems like a great resource. It has interactive activities at the end of each session.  A member of the Yahoo Elementary School Counselor Listerv recommended the book.  I will give updates about using the curriculum with my students.

I am also looking forward to facilitating classroom lessons using The Peacemakers Violence Prevention Program created by Jeremy P. Shapiro. All of the counselors in my district facilitate the Peacemakers lessons to 6th grade.

What curricula do you use to promote peace? 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.

The ABC's of Bullying


The ABCs of Bullying: Addressing, Blocking and Curbing School Aggression
Free, online course that examines the causes and effects of bullying, prevention techniques and programs, screening, treatment options, and legal/ethical issues surrounding bullying. Offered by CSAP’s Prevention Pathways.

What free bullying 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.
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