When life gives you lemons... buy pipe cleaners!

School has been rough this year.

Let me rephrase that...

School has been VERY rough this year.

I usually try to keep my blog positive, however I do not want to give the impression that I never have a bad day and that I never get stressed out.  I get stressed out A LOT! I also have my fair share of bad days!

am fortunate that I have an amazing school counselor with whom I share a building. We support each other on days that are horrible, wonderful, and everything in between. I am also fortunate to have a supportive family and husband who will listen to me vent.

To get myself out of a negative funk, I try to focus on things that make me feel positive and productive. Filling my day with student meetings, groups, and lessons leaves less time for "other duties as assigned."

That is how I got the idea for this post...

The other day I was so frustrated with things that were beyond my control. I was having a difficult time being positive.

I decided that I was going to buy pipe cleaners.

Yes, pipe cleaners.

I wanted to facilitate my Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer lesson with 5th grade this year, but I wanted the students to have some kind of a visual take-away or craft as a reminder for the lesson this year.

I found this adorable Rudolph craft from Family Fun Magazine on Pinterest. I had idea of how I could modify it into a craft to use in a Rudolph lesson about bullying, diversity, and being yourself.

I will have students create their own unique reindeer using brightly colored pipe cleaners for antlers and glitter pom poms for noses. I ordered all of the supplies I would need using my school budget on eSchool mall through Staples. My favorite part about the items you use for this craft is that all of the items are things I will use over and over again in crafts with kids.

After ordering the supplies, I became excited and re-energized thinking of the lesson I would facilitate with students.  I knew that if I ordered all the materials and planned for the lesson I would be able to make it happen.

I am so excited that I will be doing this lesson in 5th grade this week. Hopefully, I will get some time this weekend to make a prototype to share with you! I wanted to get this out now in case anyone wanted to do this craft with students this coming week.

For full instructions on how to do the Rudolph craft pictured in this post, visit Family Fun Magazine - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Hand Print.

Even if I am having a horrible day, changing my focus to something like a fun project or my work with students helps me become positive again.  It also helps me remember why I love my work as a school counselor!

What do you do to help you become positive when you are feeling negative? Do you have any fun projects planned before winter break? Comment below, tweetcontact Danielle, 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 email, follow her on twitter, add her on LinkedIn or Google+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.

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