Sunday, March 14, 2010

"Work" the Runway

Our district is hosting a career week in May.  I am so excited to participate!

At my previous job, one of my colleagues and I were planning on having a career fashion show to make learning the PA Career and Work Standards more meaningful for students. The purpose of the event was to teach 8th graders appropriate dress for interviews and work. I told one of my current co-workers about the idea and she thought it was great.  She suggested that we model the event after the Black Entertainment Television (BET) show Rip the Runway.

We presented the idea to the career committee for our district and they loved it. We are going to do the event district wide. All of the students in 8th grade will be able to participate. Not only will students be showcasing proper work attire, but the event will showcase student talent. We will have have student performances of singing, dancing, step, and drill. I think it would be really cool to have a section of students to dress up like their dream career. My boss, the assistant superintendent, will be the emcee! I am excited that this idea took off. There is a lot of planning to do for May!

So that all students have something to wear for the event, I am hosting a career clothing drive at my school. I am collecting business-appropriate attire for donation.  I am hoping to collect enough attire that all 8th graders will have a professional outfit to wear to an interview. I will be accepting men’s and women’s suits, ties, blouses, dress shoes, skirts, shirts, pants, nylons and belts.  The clothing drive is a great way to support students while doing some spring cleaning! ;)

What creative methods do you use to teach students about career? 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.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Where can I find lessons on test-taking strategies for "testing season"?

I received an email from a reader looking for lessons about test-taking strategies.

Q: I came across your blog a few weeks ago and I am just loving it! As a school counselor myself, it is so wonderful to hear from other counselors across the U.S. Thank you for sharing your ideas and thoughts with us!


Here in Texas, we are starting the "Testing Season," if you will, and I am really looking for some new and creative ideas on lessons for my 3rd, 4th and 5th graders on test-taking strategies and taking initiative. I was wondering if you had any ideas or suggestions on something that has really worked for you. I really want to liven things up a bit and get away from the "same old" lessons.


Thank you for your time and again, for sharing a bit of yourself with us! Keep sharing! 

A: Thank you so much for your question!

"Testing Season" is fast approaching here in Pennsylvania too!

Scholastic has a great section on their website on Standardized Test Preparation.  There is an article about the stress of standardized tests. The Scholastic article gives some suggestions for test preparation and advice from kids.  There is also a section called Make Test Review Fun. The Make Test Review Fun offers some great ideas including websites that have free PowerPoint games: Parade of Games in PowerPoint and PowerPoint Games.

There are lots of great books out there that you can use to teach about test taking strategies.  My personal favorite is Horray for Diffendoofer Day! by Dr. Seuss. There is a great website that offers ideas for lessons to do with the book.  

Some other books that I would recommend are Tyler Tames the Testing Tiger and Testing Miss Malarkey.  

The American School Counseling Association website also has information on test taking strategies in the resource center, including test taking bingo.

I hope these resources give you ideas for great test-taking lessons.

Does anyone else have ideas for great test-taking 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, March 8, 2010

Where can I find respect lessons?

A reader asked me for suggestions on where to find lessons on respect.
Q: Where can I find respect lessons? 

A: I get a lot of ideas for respect lessons from www.tolerance.org, the Teaching Tolerance website. You can look up a specific topic, chose a grade level, and chose a subject for your lesson.


A book I use for older kids, that you could use also use for younger kids if you altered the lessons slightly is, The Freedom Writers Diary Teacher's Guide.

What respect lessons do you facilitate with students? 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.






Saturday, March 6, 2010

Paper-Based Career Interest Inventories for Elementary School, Middle School, and High School Students

A reader asked me about paper-based career interest inventories.

Q: My students have limited access to the computer lab.  Do you know of any free pencil and paper career interest inventories?

A: In Pennsylvania, we have some great career resources available through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEEA).  There is a part of PHEAA's website specifically for counselors.

There are two different resources on PHEAA's website that provide a paper-based career interest inventory for elementary age students.  Exercise Your Mind is an activity book geared towards younger elementary students. Exercise Your Mind has three different activities targeting student's interests in relation to career: "Are You a Good Student?,""What are Your Values?" and "Your Learning Style."

It's My Life: Career Guide for Middle School Students is a workbook geared towards 5th though 8th graders.  It's My Life: Career Guide for Middle School Students has career interest exploration activities including, "Exploring Careers," "Careers that Relate to School Subjects," and "Career Clusters."

I would recommend doing a search for career standards on your state's Department of Education page.  You may be able to find specific lessons or resources that correspond with your state's standards. The Pennsylvania Department of Education Career Standards page provides great career information and resources.

The reader who asked this question is from Arizona. There are some great resources on the School Counselor section on the Arizona Department of Education website. The school counselor section features a Student Career and Educational Guide that includes a career interest inventory for elementary students.

I hope these resources for paper-based career interest inventories work for you and your students!

Where do you find paper-based career interest inventories to use with students? 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fun and Interactive Career Interest Inventories for Elementary Students


A reader asked me about career inventories for elementary students.

Q: Are you aware of any resources for career interest inventories for elementary students?

A: Absolutely! My favorite career interest inventory for elementary students is called Paws in JoblandPaws in Jobland is a free, web-based program created by Bridges Transitions, Inc.  I have used Paws in Jobland with 3rd and 4th grade students. Both groups of students really enjoyed using Paws in Jobland.

A little dog named "Paws" gives students a tour through "Jobland." Students can explore careers with "Paws" by completing the "Job Finder" career interest inventory, exploring "Jobland," or using the "ABC Search." Students can also take a "Quiz" about the jobs in "Jobland."

"Job Finder," a 26-question career interest inventory.  "Job Finder" highlights areas of "Jobland" that correspond with the student's results from the career interest inventory. Students can then click on areas to learn more about the career area. Each area shows students jobs that are related to the career area.  For example, the "Hospitality and Tourism" area profiles "athlete, cook, hotel housekeeper, travel agent," and others.

Paws in Jobland is a fun and interactive career interest inventory!

Check out the Paws in Jobland overview page for more information, including lesson plans for grades K-2, lesson plans for grades 3-5, and a promotional poster to advertise Paws in Jobland in your school.

I hope the students you work with enjoy Paws in Jobland as much as mine have!

***Updated***

Another great resource for career interest inventories is Virginia Career View.

In the K-5 Section of Virginia Career View there is an interactive game called Career Town! I used the Career Town game with some 5th grade students last year and they loved it. Career Town has three levels with different games to learn about jobs on each level. 

The Career Town has an educators guide for each "level' of the game. The educators guide has ideas of how you can utilize the game to meet standards and includes ideas for extension activities. 

What interactive career interest inventories do you use with students? 

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. Connect with Danielle via emailTwitterPinterestLinkedInGoogle+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.



Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How can I build leadership skills in students and create social interest?

A reader asked me if I had any ideas or resources for building leadership skills. 

Q:  I asked [a teacher] if she had some thoughts on what would be helpful to her kids. The first thing that came to her mind was helping kids build leadership skills... or becoming comfortable with not being followers of what the cool group is doing,  but to able to stand up on their own and building/becoming comfortable with who they are. I am not sure where I would go for ideas... Do you have any ideas of a session that might work?
 
A: I would do an activity that builds on students strengths. I would do some activities that focus on the questions "What are you good at?" "What do you like?" "What are some of the goals you have?" "How are you going to accomplish those goals?" There are specific American School Counseling Association (ASCA) National Standards in the personal/social, academic, and career domains that those questions are related to. You can learn more about the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) National Model on the ASCA website.
 
Another idea is to have the students be in charge of something... like a special project.  The project could be related to school improvement, community improvement, or something that will help someone else. It could be as simple as having "jobs" in the classroom or cleaning up the school grounds. I have a strong Adlerian influence in my counseling. I try to build social interest in students. Building social interest makes students feel connected, gives students a sense of purpose, and it's empowering!
A book I would recommend for students to create a special project is The Giving Book. If you have a budget it would be cool if you could get multiple copies of The Giving Book so the students could have their own copy.  The Giving Book is a workbook where students can fill in the blanks. If you do not have enough money in your budget to order multiple books, you could buy one and copy and use the book as a guide.

I hope this blog entry gives you some ideas of how you can build leadership skills and social interest in students!

What lessons or resources do you use to foster social interest in students? 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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