Sunday, February 28, 2010

Where can I get great counseling resources?

A reader asked me if I could recommend some places to find and purchase counseling resources.

Q: "I am going to order [one of the books] you suggested Seeing Red: An Anger Management and Peacemaking Curriculum.  Sounds like Marco Products is a great place to buy supplies - or is there another place you'd suggest?"

A: I would recommend Amazon for purchasing resources. I have an Amazon store of books I recommend. You can  visit it at: http://astore.amazon.com/school014-20. I have found that Amazon tends to be cheaper than a lot of other retailers for counseling resourcesAmazon has free shipping on most orders of $25 or more.

Another place to purchase great books and resources is Free Spirit Publishing. I have always been very pleased with the resources from Free Spirit PublishingFree Spirit Publishing has free material downloads from time to time, such as book chapters or facilitator guides.

Check out my blog entry about one of my FAVORITE books I use for classroom guidance, Goodbye Bully Machine. I created a bulletin board using Goodbye Bully Machine as the theme. Free Spirit Publishing offers a free facilitator's guide download for Goodbye Bully Machine!

Free Spirit Publishing has a Free Spirit facebook page where they offer ideas and give information about free resources and downloads.  I actually won the book Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change from Free Spirit Publishing during a Free Spirit facebook page contest. You can also follow follow Free Spirit on Twitter!

Hope this gives you some ideas about where to find great counseling resources!

Where do you find quality 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.




Free RESPECT Lessons

I was looking for ideas for a lesson on RESPECT for 7th grade. I just came across some cool ideas on the National Education Association (NEA) website. NEA featured RESPECT lessons from Education World.  Check them out!




Where do you find respect lessons? 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, February 26, 2010

Free Clip Art for Educators from Discovery Education

I have another snow day today! I am working on my counseling website for school. I was trying to find some free clip art that I could use on my website. I love the free clip art from FableVision! You can use free clip art from FableVisionon your website if you display the copyright information.

Today, when I was searching for free clip art, I found Discovery Education's clip art galleryDiscovery Education has free clip art that you can use for educational purposes. Discovery Education has a wide range of clip art including specific subjects, weather, students, teachers, and animations. Make sure you read the terms of use and display the copyright information when you use it.

Where do you find 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.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Anger Management Group Update

Seeing Red: An Anger Management and Peacemaking Curriculum for KidsThis week my fourth grade anger management group for boys had its fourth session using Seeing Red: An Anger Management and Peacemaking Curriculum for Kids. I restarted the group because I shuffled around some students. One student I am now meeting with individually and another student joined the group. My group consists of four fourth grade boys. I only have the students for a half an hour. The lessons are created to last 45 minutes, but since I only have four students, we usually get through everything.

I really enjoy Seeing Red: An Anger Management and Peacemaking Curriculum for Kids. It is a great guide. It is very interactive and has really fun activities. The students really enjoy the activities that we do.

This week's topic was great. It was called "Warning: I'm Getting Mad!" This lesson seemed to be extremely relevant for the students. The activities I facilitated from Seeing Red: An Anger Management and Peacemaking Curriculum for Kids this week included a using a card deck to share something with the group, using "warning cards" to explain warning signs of getting angry, and using Play-Doh to create a visual of a positive coping skill.

For the card deck share, each student picked a numbered card from 2-9 and shared something that corresponded to the list in Seeing Red: An Anger Management and Peacemaking Curriculum for Kids. One student picked the number 4, so he shared "what he did be4 dinner." It was a cool way to get students who might not usually share to share something. It gives students choices of what to share instead of just asking one open ended question. I will definitely use the card deck share in other groups.

The "warning cards" are a handout in Seeing Red: An Anger Management and Peacemaking Curriculum for Kids. I cut out the "warning cards" and arranged them so students could see them. Each student took a turn selecting "warning cards" that represent how they know when they are angry. Some of the "warning cards" included "feeling hot," "head pounding," "want to get away," and "want to hurt someone." This was also a great way to get students to share. Students were able to realize that there are signs they can recognize when they are getting angry.

The last activity that I facilitated from Seeing Red: An Anger Management and Peacemaking Curriculum for Kids this week was using Play-Doh to create positive ways to cope with anger. The students really enjoyed this. I gave them each their own mini Play-Doh from a party pack to keep in my office. I will give it to them to take home at end of the group. The students created pencils out of Play-Doh because they can "write down how they are feeling." The students also created video game controllers out of Play-Doh as a positive coping strategy for home. One student stated that just squeezing the Play-Doh would make him feel not as angry.

I have really enjoyed using Seeing Red: An Anger Management and Peacemaking Curriculum for Kids. I was trying to see if Jennifer Simmonds had any other books because I enjoy this one so much. It is very engaging and fun. The students really enjoy it because it is fun and interactive!


What resources do you use for groups about anger? 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.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Black History Month Door Decorating Contest: "The Secret Olivia Told Me"

Our school is having a door decorating contest in honor of Black History Month.  I am excited to participate! I think the contest is a great idea to raise awareness and to build excitement about Black History Month.

 I was throwing around a couple different ideas for my door decoration, but I then had an "ah-ha" moment. I happened to glance at my shelf and The Secret Olivia Told Me, a book about rumors, inspired me.

 The Secret Olivia Told Me received a Coretta Scott King Book Award in 2008 for the amazing illustrations by Nancy Devard.  The Coretta Scott King Book Award is given to works that promote and honor the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., including messages of peace, nonviolent social change, and brotherhood.

One of the art teachers at my school helped me make my door decoration by drawing me the silhouette featured on the front of The Secret Olivia Told Me. I covered the door in white roll paper. I then cut construction paper into fourths to make the bricks. I used red roll paper to make the balloon.

The door turned out better than I expected. I am excited for students to see it. I am planning to read The Secret Olivia Told Me to students in fifth and sixth grade this coming week and do my "Rumors and Toothpaste" lesson with them.


What door decorations have you done? 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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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Great "Bully Free" Resources

I received The Bully-Free Classroom book around the holiday break. It is such a great resource! It has everything you could imagine in it about bullying and how to combat bullying your school. There are helpful lists and activities.

The best part about the current edition of The Bully-Free Classroom  is that a CD-ROM comes with it! It has reproducible handouts, activities, customizable awards and certificates. The The Bully-Free Classroom CD-ROM makes using the materials from the book so convenient! It is so much easier to use the The Bully-Free Classroom book CD-ROM and print than to use the book to make copies. The Bully-Free Classroom book has materials that are great to use as a supplement to or in conjunction with my "Peacemakers" lessons.

I also got the book Bully-Free Bulletin Boards, Posters, and Banners. It has great ideas and images of bulletin boards. Bully-Free Bulletin Boards, Posters, and Banners even includes templates that you can use.  It really takes the work out of thinking up ideas for bulletin boards. Bully-Free Bulletin Boards, Posters, and Banners includes ideas specifically for elementary and ideas specifically for middle school.

I will be writing more about The Bully-Free Classroom book and Bully-Free Bulletin Boards, Posters, and Banner in the coming weeks. I plan on profiling how I am using the The Bully-Free Classroom book and will provide pictures of the bulletin boards I create using Bully-Free Bulletin Boards, Posters, and Banners.


What Bully Free resources have you used? 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, February 2, 2010

Response to Instruction and Intervention (RtII) Training (Pennsylvania)

This is a continuation of the post I wrote on Monday about how I spent my time this week. I decided to write about this because of I got a request from one of my district's curriculum coordinators asking me to document my time so that she can advocate for more counselors.


So, this is how I spent my day on Tuesday:


I went to day-long training on Response to Instruction and Intervention (RtII).  It was a very informative training. I learned a lot about RtII.  To learn more about RtII you can visit the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Networks site.


While at the training, I realized how much our school could benefit from a Positive School Wide Behavior Support Plan. I would love to focus more on positive behavior at my school. I think focusing on positive behavior would help students who are displaying positive behavior to be reinforced. I think a lot of the time students who are displaying negative behavior get reinforced and get attention. Any attention, even negative, is attention nonetheless. If students were rewarded for positive behavior, students might start displaying more positive behavior in order to be reinforced. 


Does your School Use RtII? 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.

Character... "it's what you do when no one is looking..."


I informed all of the fifth grade teachers that I would like to facilitate guidance lessons in their classrooms. I asked the teachers what their main concerns or problems were so that I could facilitate a lesson based on their needs.

The first request I received was for a lesson on responsibility and good character. I utilized the responsibility lesson I found on the Character Counts website.  Character Counts has lots of free lessons and activities for download.

Although the lesson says that it is for students ages six to nine, I tailored the lesson for the fifth graders I was working with.  The lesson includes words and definitions. I printed the words in orange and the definitions in white. I cut out the words and definitions so that the students could choose them out of a cloth bucket. Once each student picked a word or definition out of the bucket, I instructed the students to read their word or definition. When they finished reading, I instructed them to find their partner with word or definition that matched their own. The students gathered on the carpet once they found their match.

After everyone found their partner, I had each group share their word and definition. We talked about how they could use each aspect of responsibility such as self-reliance, punctuality, perseverance, character, and self-control in school. Some comments from students were:

For self-reliance, "if we don't do our homework it is our fault."
For punctuality, "we need to be on time and go to school so that we do not miss learning new things."
For  perseverance, "if you try something and you don't get it the first time you have to try again."
For character, "it's what you do when no one is looking... you still have to be good and respectful."
For self-control, "when you are angry at someone, instead of punching someone, you could walk away or ignore them."



Where do you find character education lessons? 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, February 1, 2010

How did you spend your day?

Wow. That is all I can say. I cannot believe it is February already. What happened to January?!?! Where does the time go? I guess that is the million dollar question.

I have been SOOO busy lately. I am sure most other school counselors out there can agree that we are in the busiest time of the year. And oh, yeah, it's state testing crunch time! So needless to say I have not been blogging lately, but I am trying to get back into the swing of things.

Which brings me to the email I got today...
I got an email from one of our district curriculum coordinators today asking me to document how I spent my time for a few days. She is working on a grant and will use the data to advocate for more counseling positions. The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) recommends one counselor to every 250 students. I am currently serving about 400 students in fourth through eighth grade. I was more than happy to document my time! Anything to get more counselors! I am going to do it every day this week and see what I come up with.

Here is how I spent my time today:

Arrive at 7:15am
7:15am – 7:30am check email
7:30am – 7:50 am – give a tour to a new 8th grade student, talked to him about applications that are available for the district's technical school and math/science academy.
7:50am – 8:30am – began to organize applications for the technical school and math/science academy.
8:30am – 9:00am – facilitated an anger management group for boys in fourth grade.
9:30am – 10:00am – spoke with a presenter from the YWCA about the programs she will facilitate this week (the planning and organization took countless hours, but the "body rights" will be presented to each class in the entire school).
10:00am– 10:45am – facilitated a classroom lesson about responsibility in 5th grade (about 25 students).
10:45am – 11:45am – scheduled Truancy Elimination Plan meetings, filled out home visit forms, made lots of copies.
11:45am - 12:00pm – met with a parent who stopped in.
12:00am - 12:15pm – followed up with a student regarding a bullying incident.
12:15am - 12:35pm – met with one of our school based therapists from an outside agency regarding a student.
12:35pm – 1:10pm – met with a group of students (6) over lunch and talk about goals for an positive academic and peacemaking group they want to start.
1:10pm – 1:50pm - organized applications for the technical school and math/science academy to determine who needs to give me information or an essay.
1:50pm – 2:05pm – walked around to all of the 8th grade classes to collect information I need and to remind students what is due and when it is due (THURSDAY!! ahhhh!).
2:05pm – 2:30pm – met with a student who is being cyber-bullied. Informed the School Resource Officer in the building about the incident, informed the principal and assisted in determining a course of action.
2:30pm – 2:35pm – called the mother of the student being cyber-bullied and discussed the incident with her. Also spoke to her about programs being offered at the YMCA and how her child could benefit.
2:35pm – 3:15pm - continued to organized applications for the technical school and math/science academy. Emailed the nurse for copies of immunization records. Emailed people back.

Other things I did throughout the day... (though I am not sure when, where, or how I fit these in...)
Checked email multiple times
Talked to teachers in passing about what students they want me to meet with or scheduling concerns.
Received referrals from teachers for students to meet with.
Met with other professionals in the building for consultation briefly in the hall.
Talked to students who popped their head in my door.

Well, there you have it.

How did you spend your 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.
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