Showing posts from September, 2010

Resources for RESPECT Lessons

A reader asked me where she could get lessons on RESPECT for middle school. Q: My hat off to you!  As a counselor we many hats, and you seems to be wearing many more than that.  I appreciate reading the blogs which I’ve signed up to receive from you.  I would like to know if you have any articles or activities dealing with “RESPECT” and “Personal Self”?  If you do, I hope you would share them with me.  Do you have an archive of your counselor’s blogs?   I’m a counselor in the middle school and I love it! A: There are many different websites and books I use to find lessons. Below, I have written about a new resource I have use to find lessons on respect (and much more!) and other resources I have used in the past. Also, see the bottom of the School Counselor Blog website for an archive of all of my previous posts! Safe and Caring Schools I recently got the Safe and Caring Schools series from Free Spirit Publishing for my school. The series is great and the other counselor and I

How Can I "Chill Out" When I'm Feeling Upset?

As part of the anger management groups I facilitate,  I brainstorm with students ways they can "chill out" if they are feeling upset. Students have great ideas of what they can do when they are feeling upset. I wanted to find a more permanent way to share students' ideas. After making my Where's the Counselor? dial I used the extra scrapbook paper to display students suggestions for ways to "chill out" on the wall of my office.  The best part about this easy to make display is that if students come up with more suggestions I can easily add them to my wall. To make this display, I printed the question "How can I 'Chill Out' when I'm feeling upset?" and the words on computer paper. Using a paper cutter , I cut the words out. I then cut Diecuts With A View 8 by 8 Grade School Stack scrapbook paper for behind the computer paper words, leaving enough room for a border. I laminated all the words and the question.  I used removable foa

Creating a Portable Sand Tray

School Counselor Blog's first guest post! Creating a Portable Sand Tray by Shelly Blair, M.Ed., NCC   One of the students' favorite (and mine too!) activities to choose to play with is the sand tray.  There really isn’t a “wrong” way to use the sand tray.  Some children use objects in the sand to tell a story, some simply play with the sand because it is soothing to them, some do not say anything but the themes in their play tell the whole story.  It really is powerful to watch! When I was in graduate school, I used a wooden sand tray. However, when I looked into getting one of my own, I realized they are very expensive!  If you are like me and you have to travel between schools, or you are just starting out and and do not have the money to buy an expensive wooden sand tray, I have a great solution! Make Your Own Sand Tray I simply bought a clear plastic container (mine is approximately 8-10 inches deep) from Walmart which cost around five dollars. I got one with a lo

Where's the School Counselor?

My days are spent running around the school, which makes it difficult when students, teachers, administrators, or other school staff are trying to find me.  I was trying to think of a creative way to let everyone know where I am, when I saw a template for a mood dial in Family Fun Magazine . Sometimes I get ideas from unexpected places! I was inspired to craft a dial of my own - a Where's the Counselor? dial! To make the Where's the Counselor? dial I followed the directions for the mood dial in  Family Fun Magazine . I used Diecuts With A View 8 by 8 Grade School Stack , school themed patterned scrabook paper, to make my backgrounds. I used  Diecuts With A View 8 Inch by 8 Inch Textured Jewels Cardstock Stack , matching scrapbook cardstock for the circles and the dial. For the wording above the dial, I printed out words on computer paper and glued them to the same Diecuts With A View 8 Inch by 8 Inch Textured Jewels Cardstock Stack paper as the circles and the dial.  To a

M.A., M.Ed., or M.S.? - Which Should You Pursue?

A reader asked me about graduate school and which degree is the best for school counselors. Q: I came across your School Counselor Blog yesterday while researching information on graduate school programs for school counseling. I would like to say how awesome your blog is and how much I loved reading through all of your information. As I am only in the beginning stages of looking at grad schools, reading your blog really helped validate my decision of pursuing a master's degree to be a school counselor. Also, I had a question that I hope you can help me out with. Through reading pages and pages of information on different schools and what degrees are offered, I noticed that there are at least three different types of counseling degrees: M.A., M.ED., and M.S. ED. I have read the basic differences on each of these, but is any one of these degrees better than others? (Most specifically when applying for jobs). Thank you very much! I look forward to reading more on your blog. :-

Products School Counselors can utilize from Smilemakers!

I recently discovered Smilemakers , a company owned by Staples. Smilemakers slogan is "Stickers, toys, and prizes from Smilemakers help you make kids smile!" Smilemakers has some great products school counselors can utilize. Below,  I outline the products I purchased and how I plan to use them. I also give suggestions of other products from Smilemakers school counselors may find useful. Conversation Cubes I purchased conversation cubes from Smilemakers to use in my group counseling sessions. I like to do an ice breaker before each session to help students get to know each other and feel comfortable. The conversation cubes are great for this because students can roll the cube and answer the question. The conversation cubes are a big time saver for me! Before I purchased the conversation cubes,  I used a paper box template to for my icebreaker questions. The paper box served its purpose, but I found I needed to keep making them over and over again because they go