Friday, December 28, 2012

School Counseling Linky Party 2013

Marissa Rex at ElementarySchoolCounseling.org is hosting the School Counseling Linky Party to highlight the best of school counseling blogs for 2012!  I think this is a super fun way to reflect on 2012 and get excited about blogging for 2013! I am soooo excited to participate in the School Counseling Linky Party 2013 especially because I have never participated in a Link Party!  



My favorite feature of School Counselor Blog is School Counselor Spotlight

I actually started School Counselor Spotlight in 2012! I wanted to come up with a way to showcase other school counselor's ideas with the School Counselor Blog audience.  Seven school counselors have been spotlighted so far, including school counselor bloggers such as Andrea Burston from JYJOYNER CounselorBarbara Gruener from The Corner on Character, and Marissa Rex from ElementarySchoolCounseling.org.  I am always taking submissions, so if you have a great school counseling idea you would like to share with others visit the School Counselor Spotlight Page for more details!


My personal favorite blog post of 2012 is actually a series I created about Career Café

Career Café is an opportunity for students to learn about careers from individuals in their community. Starting with this post, Career Cafe: Location, Location, Location! I outline the steps you need to start a Career Café program at your school! 

Students absolutely love Career Café,  it is a blast to host, and it meets ASCA Student Standard in the Career Domain. Career Café can also be geared toward any level - elementary, middle, or high school! 

I am actually planning to use the Career Café concept with college students.


My most popular blog post of 2012 was To Proficiency.. and Beyond! Test Taking Tips Bulletin Board

My co-school counselor and I created a fun rocket themed test-taking tips bulletin board just in time for state testing. It was so much fun to make and the students loved it.  After creating the bulletin board for my school I decided to make free printables of the words I used on the bulletin board to share with School Counselor Blog readers. I have had lots of readers share pictures of their own To Proficiency.. and Beyond! Test Taking Tips Bulletin Board they created using this idea and the free printables which was really cool! 



Of course there are tons more school counseling blogs I follow, but these 5 are at the top of my list! Here they are in alphabetical order! :)








Create a blog post titled "School Counseling Linky Party 2013." 
Place the Linky Party logo (above from ElementarySchoolCounseling.org) in your post. 
Answer the questions (above from ElementarySchoolCounseling.org)
Submit your blog post link at ElementarySchoolCounseling.org

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 emailTwitterPinterestLinkedInGoogle+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.



Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays


I hope you all have a wonderful winter break filled with family, friends, and relaxation! I am excited to spend time with my family and friends!  I am also looking forward to reading lots of books over break (non-academic ones!).

How are you spending your 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 emailTwitterPinterestLinkedInGoogle+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Supporting Sandy Hook


Many people are wondering how they can give back or do something to honor the lives lost in the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Below I compiled some resources with ideas of how to support Sandy Hook. 

A Blizzard of Love from Corner on Character 


How to Help Sandy Hook from Really Good Stuff


Sandy Hook School Tragedy - How to Help from  Fairfield County Community Foundation




Have you done anything at your school or personally to support Sandy Hook? Share your ideas below!

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 emailTwitterPinterestLinkedInGoogle+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.



Thursday, December 20, 2012

Need a Last Minute Gift for a School Counselor on Your List?

Need a last minute gift for a School Counselor on your list? Buy a School Counselor Blog Store gift certificate!

School Counselor Blog Store gift certificates are vailable in amounts from $5 to $1,000! ;) You can print the gift certificate or have it sent via email! You can even schedule when you want it to be sent!



School Counselor Blog Store gift certificates make great gifts for school counseling graduate students, interns, new school counselors, school counseling supervisors, and any other school counselor in your life! Gift certificates are great for all occasions including holidays, birthdays, graduations, the end of an internship, a new job, or just because!

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 emailTwitterPinterestLinkedInGoogle+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.



New Post on the Free Spirit Publishing Blog: It's the Most Wonderful (Stressful) Time of the Year

I have a new post on Free Spirit Publishing's Blog! In my latest post, The Most Wonderful (Stressful) Time of the YearI share advice on how to manage stress during the holiday season.  How do you manage stress this time of year? Please share your comments and ideas in the comment section of my post!


I started writing for Free Spirit Publishing's Blog in April of 2012. Check out the Counselor's Corner for more Free Spirit Publishing Blog Posts by me! I love Free Spirit's books and I am so excited to contribute to Free Spirit's Blog, "a springboard of ideas for teachers, counselors, and anyone who cares about kids!"

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 emailTwitterPinterestLinkedInGoogle+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.



Monday, December 17, 2012

Books to Share with Children After a Tragedy


I have compiled a list of books that you can share with elementary school aged children after a tragedy.  My hope is that these suggestions will support you in your efforts to help children heal after a tragedy such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting. The books on this list do not specify a specific situation and can be used in a variety of different situations. If you know of other books that are good/helpful, please share about them in the comment section.  For more resources visit my post about Tragedy and Disaster Response Resources.


A Terrible Thing Happened 
by Margaret M. Holmes, Illustrated by Cary Pillo

In A Terrible Thing Happened, Sherman saw a terrible thing happen. He begins feeling sick to his stomach and acting out in school. After talking to a counselor he feels much better.  There is a section at the end for parents and caregivers about talking to children after a tragedy.  The "terrible thing" is never named so it can be used for a variety of different situations.



Jenny is Scared: When Bad Things Happen in the World 
by Carl Shuman, Illustrated by Cary Pillo

Jenny is Scared tells the story of Jenny and her brother who are frightened by the news and the way that the grown-ups are behaving. Jenny is Scared outlines the importance of children talking to caring adults about the range of emotions experienced during a tragedy or disaster.  



What to Do When You're Scared and Worried covers a range of fears and worries typical for children and adolescents - everything from anxiety about grades to "scary things on TV or close to home, such as crime or violence." I own What to Do When You're Scared and Worried and it is a great resource to use in individual sessions and group sessions with students related to anxiety or worry. It would also be a valuable resource for talking to a classroom or other large group.


Check out the following excerpts you can download from What to Do When You're Scared and Worried from Free Spirit Publishing.




When I Feel Afraid 
by Cheri J. Meiners

When I Feel Afraid uses kid-friendly language to support children and help them cope with fears (real or imagined). When I Feel Afraid helps children recognize ways they can feel safe and who they can turn to for help and support.  When I Feel Afraid also provides suggestions for parents and educators of how to help children feel safe. 

Check out this free excerpt of When I Feel Afraid you can download from Free Spirit Publishing.



by Marge Heegard (to be illustrated by children) 

When Something Terrible Happens is a workbook style book that allows children to illustrate the pages with pictures. The "something terrible" is not named so it can be used in a variety of different situations. This would be great to use in a classroom or group setting by reproducing pages.

What books do you recommend to share with children after a tragedy or disaster?
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 emailTwitterPinterestLinkedInGoogle+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.



Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tragedy and Disaster Response Resources

I cannot begin to imagine the insurmountable grief the community of Sandy Hook Elementary School is experiencing after the horrible school shooting tragedy.  My thoughts and prayers are with the parents, students, school staff, community and those affected by the shootings.

As school counselors, we play an integral role in supporting crisis planning and crisis response. The School Counselor Blog Facebook community has come together to share resources related to trauma and crisis response.  I will be adding to this list as I become aware of more resources. Please add resources you know about in the comment section of this post.

I urge you when you return to your schools on Monday to review your school crisis plan, whether you are a seasoned school counselor or a school counseling graduate student. If your school does not have a crisis plan assemble a team to make one. If you are a graduate student not yet in a practicum or internship site, start a conversation at your university about crisis planning and response.

My heart goes out to the Sandy Hook Elementary School community.


An Urgent Message from Teaching Tolerance from Teaching Tolerance

Ask the Expert: Newtown Tragedy interview with Pam Dyson, LPC

Addressing Sandy Hook (and Other Tragedies) in the Classroom from User Generated Education, Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

Books to Share with Children After a Tragedy from School Counselor Blog

Coping with Violence and Traumatic Events from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SMHSA)

Culturally Competent Crisis Response: Information for School Psychologists and Crisis Teams from National Association of School Psychologists

Dealing with Grief: Five Things NOT to Say and Five Things to Say in a Trauma Involving Children from Huffington Post

Disaster Mental Health Resources from American Counseling Association (ACA)

Disaster Trauma Responses of Children from American Counseling Association (ACA)

Emergency Management Resources and Emergency Planning Links from Center for Safe Schools

Guidelines for Administrators, Counselors, and Teachers – Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting from Crisis Management Institute

Healing After Tragedy from Cornerstone Counseling Center of Chicago

Helping Children Cope with Tragedy Related Anxiety from Mental Health America (MHA)

Helping Kids During a Crisis from American School Counselor Association (ASCA)

Helping Students Navigate a Violent World from Teaching Tolerance

Helping Students Through Tragedy from Barbara Gruener

How to Talk to Children About School Shooting from WebMD

How to Talk to Your Kids About the Conn. Shooting from National Public Radio (NPR)

Listen, Protect, Connect - Model and Teach: Psychological First Aid (PFA) for Students and Teachers from Ready.gov

Memorial Activities at School: A List of "Do's" and "Don'ts" from National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

No Ordinary Monday from Responsive Classroom

Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities from Ed.gov

Restoring a Sense of Safety in the Aftermath of a Mass Shooting: Tips for Parents and Professionals from Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress

Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting from Crisis Management

Talking to Children About the Shooting from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)
Do you know of other resources related to tragedy and disaster response? 

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 emailTwitterPinterestLinkedInGoogle+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.



Friday, December 7, 2012

School Counselor Spotlight: "Adventures with Tim"

Puppets can be a fun and interactive way to add excitement into your school counseling program. Marissa Rex, author of Elementary School Counseling Blog, shares how she uses a puppet named Tim to impact her school and community.


Adventures with Tim 
by Marissa Rex, Ohio
blog: www.elementaryschoolcounseling.org

Tim is my very good puppet friend. He is a Hiawatha TIMberwolf, just like the rest of us at my school. Tim is from England, so he sometimes needs help learning how things work at Hiawatha, so it is our job to help teach him.




I pick one positive school behavior every 3-4 weeks, such as walking quietly in the hallway or keeping your desk clean, and catch students who demonstrate these behaviors. I then email my picture of the students and Tim to the classroom teacher(s) to share. Many teachers use the picture as their desktop background, which is visible to students on the SMARTboard. I also include pictures in my monthly newsletter to staff.

Also, there have been some unanticipated uses for Tim. When students experienced an illness or tragedy, we used Tim in our videos home to help cheer the students up. One of these videos was featured at a school board meeting.

Cost: 
You just need a puppet and a camera. You could make your own puppet, use a puppet you already have, or buy a fancy one like I did from FAO Schwarz. Those cost $99.99.

Inspiration:
I saw how students of all ages responded to my puppets and thought it'd be a wonderful way to engage my students and school as a whole. Even my 6th graders thought the pictures and videos were funny and asked to watch them.

How Tim impacted my school:
Tim brought our school closer together. He also gave teachers an additional way to motivate their students.

I also had students with Autism who loved Tim and were excited to show good classroom behavior if they could spend time with and take a picture with him. Since Tim says "cheerio" instead of "goodbye," we called one student's reward bucket the "cheerio bucket." It was highly engaging and motivating for that student.

"Adventures with Tim" also just won a 2012 Promising Practice Award from the Character Education Partnership.

For videos and pictures of Tim in action, check out Marissa's blog!


  • Using a puppet can be an affordable way to add excitement to school. I love that Marissa gives suggestions of making or buying a puppet. Although Tim may seem like a pricy puppet, the way he has impacted her school has been priceless. I saw some hand puppets on Amazon for under $15. If you are on a tight budget check out thrift stores and eBay. 
  • I love that students help teach Tim positive school behavior. Making students feel like experts is a great way to engage them and show how much they already know.  
  • Tim helps students be publicly recognized for their positive behavior. If you have a Positive School Wide Behavior Program at your school, a puppet or stuffed animal friend could make a great addition. At my school we used a giant stuffed leopard to "spot" positive behavior at our school. 
  • Even Tim's name is part of the school (Timberwolf). Sticking to a theme makes your program cohesive and memorable. 
  • Marissa gives Tim a lot of credit for bringing her school together. I have a feeling that Tim has had some help from Marissa! ;) Her passion and dedication to making her program engaging is evident!
Thanks so much Marissa and Tim for sharing your award-winning idea with us!

Do you use puppets in your school counseling program? Share in the comment section.



Do you have an innovative idea, creative lesson, or quality resource you want to share with other school counselors? Have you done something to make a positive impact on your students, your school, and yourself? School Counselor Spotlight is a way for you to share your innovative ideas, creative lessons, and quality resources with School Counselor Blog readers!

Send your stories, ideas, creative lessons, and/or resources to danielle@schcounselor.com with School Counselor Spotlight in the subject line. Please include a description of the idea, lesson, or resource, including costs, inspiration, pictures and how it impacted your students or school!

**Photos must be of good quality and unedited.** 

Chosen ideas and stories will be featured in the School Counselor Spotlight on School Counselor Blog!

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 emailTwitterPinterestLinkedInGoogle+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.



#SCCHAT Transcript: RAMP (December 4, 2012)

December's #SCCHAT was held on December 4, 2012 at 8pmEST. The topic was Recognize ASCA Model Programs (RAMP).  Dr. Erin Mason (@ecmmason) was the moderator.

There was lots of great conversation and questions about the RAMP Process. School Counselors who work in RAMP schools shared information and tips about becoming RAMP. Books and resources were also recommended. This is a great chat to read if you are thinking about RAMP, are in the beginning stages of RAMP or almost ready to apply! Check out the full chat transcript here!

To access all of the tweets with the hashtag #scchat, click here.

For transcripts of previous #SCCHATs, schedules for future School Counselor Tweet Chats, and information on how to participate, visit #SCCHAT Info:http://bit.ly/scchat-info.

The next School Counselor Tweet Chat is on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 8pmEST. Darrell Sampson (@CnslrDarrell) will be moderating the chat about Working with LGBT Students and Families. 

Did you participate in the School Counselor Tweet Chat? What did you think about it? What new ideas did you learn? Comment below or share via twitter #scchat!

Erin Mason is a former Middle School Counselor, now Counselor Educator who manages SCOPE, a group blog dedicated to chronicling the positive impact of School Counseling professionals. Connect with Erin via email, follow her on Twitter, add her on LinkedIn or Google+, and become a fan of the SCOPE 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 emailTwitter, PinterestLinkedInGoogle+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

#SCCHAT: Recognized American School Counselor Association Model Programs (RAMP)

The next School Counselor Tweet Chat is Tuesday, December 3, 2012 at 8pmEST!

The topic of School Counselor Tweet Chat this month is the Recognized American School Counselor Association Model Programs (RAMP).  Dr. Erin Mason (@ecmmason) will be moderating the tweet chat.

We will be tweeting about aspects of the RAMP process. I am sure you will get some great ideas if you are currently working towards RAMP, are already in a RAMP school, or want to learn more about what it means to be a RAMP school.

Also if you are a school counselor, counselor educator, or school counseling graduate student who uses Twitter, please take this survey. I am helping Dr. Mason with research about how school counselors use Twitter.

We look forward to tweeting with you!

Join School Counselor Blog and SCOPE for #scchat the first Tuesday of the month @ 8pmEST!  For transcripts of previous #SCCHATs, schedules for future School Counselor Tweet Chats, and information on how to participate, visit #SCCHAT Info:http://bit.ly/scchat-info.

If you are interested in moderating a School Counselor Tweet Chat, direct message me on twitter!

Dr. Erin Mason is a former Middle School Counselor, now Counselor Educator who manages SCOPE, a group blog dedicated to chronicling the positive impact of School Counseling professionals. Connect with Erin via email, follow her on Twitter, add her on LinkedIn or Google+, and become a fan of the SCOPE 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.

Monday, December 3, 2012

New Post on the Free Spirit Publishing Blog: 3 Ways to Spread Warmth and Good Cheer to Your School and Community

I have a new post on Free Spirit Publishing's Blog! In my latest post, 3 Ways to Spread Warmth and Good Cheer to Your School and CommunityI share ideas of how you can host your own donation drive or benefit from donation drives in your community. I also mention a hats and gloves drive that my aunt's church did for my school. You can read more about that here and get "thank you" idea for organizations that donate to your school



A few school counselors bloggers have written about how they facilitate holiday donation programs recently.


Check out their posts for more ideas and information: 
***If I missed yours please email me or post it in the comment section! :)

I started writing for Free Spirit Publishing's Blog in April of 2012. Check out the Counselor's Corner for more Free Spirit Publishing Blog Posts by me! I love Free Spirit's books and I am so excited to contribute to Free Spirit's Blog, "a springboard of ideas for teachers, counselors, and anyone who cares about kids!"

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 emailTwitterPinterestLinkedInGoogle+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.



   
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