Sunday, July 31, 2011

4 Summer Items that Will Make a Splash in Your School Counseling Office


If you have been shopping recently it is probably not a news flash that the start of school is just around the corner.  It most stores summer items are now on sale. Now is the perfect time to get some items that will make a splash in your school counseling office in the fall and all year round!


Pool Noodle

When you think of a pool noodle you probably think of a fun way to float around a pool, not school counseling.  I was inspired by seeing an occupational therapist use a pool noodle to make stress relievers.  Creating stress relievers out of a pool noodle is an easy and very affordable way to provide students a way of reducing anxiety and/or fidgeting. Stress relievers are also a great tactile item for students who have anger outbursts.

How to video: How to Make Stress Relievers Using a Pool Noodle


Sand

Sand is enjoyable and relaxing at the beach and in your school counseling office! 

Every since my friend Shelly made me a portable sand tray, it has become one of the hottest items in my office.  Everyone wants to touch and play with the sand, including adults. 

All you need to create your own portable sand tray is sand and a clear plastic storage container. You can get items to use in your sand tray from the dollar store, toy stores, and craft stores. 

Read Shelly's guest post: Creating a Portable Sand Tray


Sand Bucket

Whether you use sand buckets with your new portable sand tray, as storage for items, or to fill with compliments, you will have a cheery reminder of summer year round! 

One of my favorite group lessons I did this year was Compliments, Self-Esteem, and Bucket-Filling! I read the students Have You Filled a Bucket Today? to teach students about how making someone else feel better can make them feel better too.  During the discussion we talked about quality compliments. I purchased buckets for all of the girls in my group and we used them to fill with compliments for all the girls in the group. It was so much fun and the girls loved it!

I used a coupon at Michael's craft store to purchase the bucket shown for less than $1.

Post about bucket-filling: 

Beach Ball

Whether you are passing a beach ball on the beach, in a pool, or in your school counseling office you will have ball! 

Beach balls are another affordable addition to your office! You can use beach balls to encourage students to taking turn when talking, to play games, and to ask a question to students by creating a question ball. You can use beach balls in individual counseling, group counseling, and classroom lessons.  

Posts about beach balls:

How to Create a Question Ball with a Beach Ball

All of these summer items are very affordable and sure to make a splash in your office year-round! 

What summer items do you use in your school counseling office year round? How would you use the items mentioned? Comment below, tweet, or contact Danielle, 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, July 27, 2011

How to Create a Question Ball with a Beach Ball

My previous post about 3 Ways to Have a Ball with a Beach Ball All Year Round inspired me to make a video. Play the video below to learn how to create a question ball using a beach ball.


What questions would you write on a question ball? What kind of activities would you use a question ball for? Comment below, tweet, or contact Danielle, 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, July 25, 2011

3 Ways to Have a Ball with a Beach Ball All Year Round!

Beach balls are an affordable way to have a ball during individual sessions, group sessions, and classroom lessons! I use beach balls many times throughout the day in my work with students. Here are a few ideas of how you can utilize beach balls in your work with students!

Ask a Question
My school counselor colleague, Natasha, had this great idea! After seeing many blow-up balls with questions on them in magazines for counselors, she decided to make her own. Manufactured question balls can be expensive when you do not have a large budget.

Creating your own question-ball is simple and very budget-friendly! All you need is a beach ball with multiple colors or sections and a permanent marker.  You can write any questions you like on the beach ball.  Students take turns throwing the ball up in the air and catching it. Wherever their thumbs land is the question they answer.

The questions in the ball pictured are from the Seeing Red book I used for Anger Management groups. The question ball gets a lot of use even when I am not running a group. I have students come in and pick up the ball and and ask themselves questions and them aloud.

Watch the video I made explaining how to make a question ball.

Taking Turns
Beach balls get the most use in my room during activities that involve students taking turns.  When I run a group session or classroom lesson I explain that the speaker holds the ball and all eyes and ears need to be facing the speaker. I also explain that only the person holding the ball is allowed to speak during that time.

Having a tangible object to hold teaches students to wait their turn to speak. Students are excited to get to hold the ball, which encourages participation.  It is also fun for students to pass the ball to another student by throwing the ball.

Play a Game
One of my first posts ever featured a beach ball in a game of Sneetch-Ball with first graders! 

I love incorporating games into sessions, groups, and lessons I facilitate with students. One of students' favorite games is "Keep it Up." The goal of the game is the title: keep it up! Everyone works together as a team to see how many taps they can make while keeping the ball in the air.

I also facilitate a classroom activity that encourages students to think about all of the different careers that exist. Students name a career that corresponds with the letter in the alphabet. For example A-Astronaut, B-Builder, C-Cartoonist, etc. Students say the letter and career and pass the ball to someone else. I have also done variations of this where the next person has to guess what the person does in the career.

Have Fun!
I mainly use beach balls to incorporate fun into my work with students.  Beach balls are bright and cheery! I have beach balls in multiple sizes, but the ones that get the most use are hand held size. All students K-12 can have a ball with beach balls!

I purchased most of my beach balls at the Target dollar spot for $1. I have also seen beach balls for sale at the dollar store. Companies sometimes give away beach balls with their logo on them.  I have a big beach ball from a conference my husband went to (free!) and a tiny beach ball from my local grocery store (free!). It is also cost effective to buy beach balls in bulk.

How do you use beach balls in your work with students? What questions would you put on a beach ball? What games do you facilitate that would work with a beach ball? Comment below, tweet, or contact Danielle, 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, July 19, 2011

"I Have Always Known That at Last I Would Take This Road..."


There is a beautiful plaque in the ground by the Public Market in Seattle, WA that says:

"I have always known
that at last I would take this road.
But yesterday I did not know
it would be today." - Narithtra

The quote speaks to me about having a vision or a feeling of purpose in life.

You may not always know exactly where the path may lead you, but when you are there you have a feeling as if it is meant to be.

My journey of becoming a school counselor started when a school counselor visited my introduction to helping services graduate school class as a speaker. Everything he shared about his job directly aligned with my passions. I wanted to be an advocate and support for students, but I also wanted to be a part systematic change.  Being a school counselor was my purpose all along...

Seeing this plaque in the ground completed my ASCA Conference experience. It serves as a reminder of the sense of purpose I feel as a school counselor.

What does this quote mean to you? Comment below, tweet, or contact Danielle, 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, July 17, 2011

Seattle Pictures

Seattle is a beautiful city! I am so glad I had the opportunity to spend time exploring the city while I was at the ASCA National Conference.

I have made a slideshow of some of the photos I took while I was in Seattle.

I'm kind of a nerd... so... I made a point to take pictures of things I remembered seeing on the cover of the conference manual (kind of like my own personal scavenger hunt!) ;)

Enjoy!




Comment below, tweet, or contact Danielle, 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, July 11, 2011

ASCA Conference 2011 Favorites: "WE SOAR TV"

I arrived early at the "WE SOAR TV: 10 Minutes Makes a Difference" session because I was so excited about attending it.  I wanted to gain ideas about how I could infuse ASCA standards into the morning announcements at school next year.

"WE SOAR TV" is a student run television show. Presenters Anaid Shaver, the school counselor and Cheryl Phillips a Instructional Technology Resource Teacher facilitate the program. "WE SOAR" airs live everyday on TVs in the school. Anaid is able to integrate ASCA academic, career, and personal/social standards into the program to reach every student, every day.

Since I came early to the session and was invited to be a "host" to demonstrate the program live for the conference audience along with another "host." It was so much fun. We both really got into it.

The whole time I was "hosting" I was picturing students at my own school and how much they would LOVE to be the hosts of a television show for their peers.

Build-A-Bear Eagles
If you don't have televisions in your classrooms at school, you could still facilitate a program like this.  You could have students host the program over the pa system like a "radio" show.

The "WE SOAR TV" program was aptly named since the school mascot is an eagle.  Anaid shared that she found stuffed eagles at a Build-A-Bear store that are often featured on the show as mascots. 

What I love most about this program is that it could be geared toward elementary, middle, or high school. You can really make it fit the needs of your school and give the students ownership by having them play a large role in the direction of the program.

I have big plans for how I want to run a program like this at my school. I love what I call "branding" programs and making everything fit with a theme. Since my school mascot is a leopard, it would be fun to call the show WE ROAR.  Our TV or "radio" program could integrate our School Wide Positive Behavior Support program. It also would be fun to feature a different career or each month a different career cluster.

I am planning to use Vistaprint to design a banner for this program once I get student input of what they want to call it. Vistaprint has great custom banners you can design and order for your own program. (Check out some of the other items I have made using Vistaprint!)

To read more about the "WE SOAR" program visit Anaid's AMAZING website that is chalk full of resources and ideas. I will definitely be a regular visitor of her site.

How will you use a program like "WE SOAR" in your school? Comment below, tweet, or contact Danielle, 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 Until the Last Drop!

I left the ASCA National Conference in Seattle, WA feeling energized and refreshed (all the coffee I consumed was only partially responsible).

My conference experience was a whirlwind of activity... I presented during the pre-conference, attended keynotes, and sessions. I met amazing people and made new connections.

The ASCA National Conference is an idea-sharing-extravaganza. Everyone shares with each other, talks about things they have done in their school, and asks about things you have done in your school.

I wrote blog entries for the ASCA Scene during the conference: The When is Now and Connecting.  Be sure to check them out!

The most beneficial sessions were interactive and gave me ideas and tools that I could implement at my own school. I attended lots of sessions but my favorite sessions included creative and fun things you could implement at any school and at any level.  I am going to profile some of my favorite sessions by sharing information about the session and how you can learn more!

ASCA Conference 2011 Favorites: (I will be continuing to update this... here are these are the ones I wrote so far...)
"WE SOAR TV: 10 Minutes Can Make a Difference" by Anaid Shaver and Cheryl Philips

I gained so many new ideas it is difficult to relay them all. Part of it is experiential... you just have to go. It is an amazing experience to be around so many dedicated and enthusiastic counselors.

I am already looking forward to the conference next year!  I am working on proposals to present. The theme is Be Brilliant! for ASCA's diamond anniversary and it will be in Minneapolis, MN!

See you there! :)

What were your favorite sessions you attended at the 2011 ASCA Conference? Comment below, tweet, or contact Danielle, share on the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page!

For a full list of sessions and handouts from the 2011 ASCA Conference visit the ASCA website.

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, July 1, 2011

Why Blog?

I created this Prezi to share during the presentation "Using the Internet to Perk Up Your Program" with Julia V. Taylor and Dr. Russell Sabella. We had so much information to share that I didn't get a chance to show this Prezi.  The Prezi is about why you should blog, why I blog, how to get started, and links to add some of the features of School Counselor Blog to your own blog!



Do you have a blog about school counseling? Comment below, tweet, or contact Danielle, 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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