Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from School Counselor Blog


I am so thankful to be able to connect and share everyday with so many amazing school counselors all over the country (and the world)! You all are amazing! I have done a lot of traveling and presenting in recent months. Although I love connecting online, it has been super cool to connect and share with school counselors in person

I have been super busy lately with working as a middle school counselor, taking classes for my PhD program, presenting, supervising, traveling, and just life in general. I am so looking forward to some time to rest and relax with family and friends! 

How are you spending your Thanksgiving holiday?

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, November 23, 2013

Backpack Organization Game: School Counselor Spotlight

Jen, a school counseling intern who graduates in December, gave an organizational skills lesson a creative and interactive spin! 



Jen wrote:

I was running an organizational and study skills group for 7th and 8th grade students during my field experience at a middle school. In this group, each session focused on a different area of organization and studying. In the session where we focused on organizing backpacks and binders, we played a game where students had to race to find a paper in a backpack. I got this idea from the book Creative Approaches for Counseling Individual Children in the School Setting by Diane S. Senn. However, I decided to make it into a racing game between two students to make the activity more interactive and fun.

I asked the group for two volunteers to play a game, and then asked the volunteers to each choose a backpack. I explained that they would be racing to look through their backpack to find a piece of paper with an “X” marked on it. Before the race began, I had the other students in the group choose who they thought would win and to cheer for them during the race.

What the students did not know before opening the backpacks was that one was very well organized and the other was a mess! The organized backpack had binders with papers in the pockets, notebooks, textbooks, and folders all neatly placed in order. The disorganized backpack had papers crumpled and stuffed in every pocket, textbooks jammed between the papers, and folders and notebooks with loose papers coming out.



When the race began, the student with the organized backpack was able to calmly look through the binders and folders to find the “X”; while, the student with the disorganized backpack was throwing papers all over the floor to try to win the game. Not surprisingly, the student with the organized backpack was the winner. After this activity, I had the students all take out their own backpacks and look through them to compare them to the ones in the game. Many of them found that their backpack looked more like the messy one than the organized one!

"X" Paper from Disorganized Backpack

 "X" Paper from Organized Backpack

To prepare for this activity, I didn’t spend any money. I was able to use two backpacks that I had at home and I stuffed them with spare school supplies that were in the counseling office. This activity was very easy to prepare for and the students really enjoyed it. It was a great, visual way for students to see the benefit of being organized.


  • I absolutely love Jen's Backpack Race Game and can't wait to do it as part of the organizational skills groups that I am running with 6th graders. 
  • This lesson could be used for a variety of ages, elementary through high school!
  • This a low or no cost activity that provides a visual, real life example of how disorganization can slow you down. 
  • Jen took an activity that could have seemed boring to students and made it into a game where they were invested and got excited to see who would win. 
  • Something I would like to do as extension to this activity is create a "disorganized locker game" using two lockers, an organized one and a disorganized one.
  • This activity could be used as part of a classroom lesson or during a group session with students.
Thanks so much Jen for sharing an awesome School Counselor Spotlight idea with us!

** Jen will be graduating in December with K-12 School Counseling Certification in Pennsylvania. She is looking for school counseling positions and willing to relocate! You can contact Jen via email or visit her website. **

What activities do you do in organizational skills groups for students? What resources do you use?



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.



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November #SCCHAT Transcript: Creating and Implementing Lesson Plans

Our November #SCCHAT was held on November 5, 2013.  The topic of the chat this month was Creating and Implementing Lesson Plans moderated by Chris Wood (@ChrisWood415) a tech savvy school counselor from Iowa.

School counselors shared great resources related to creating and implementing lesson plans as well as aligning lessons with local, state, and national standards.

You can view the transcript below or read the full transcript here. For more information about #SCCHAT and transcripts from previous chats visit: http://bit.ly/scchat-info.



#SCCHAT occurs on the first Tuesday of the month unless otherwise specified. To add the #SCCHAT schedule to your calendar click here.

Join us for the December #SCCHAT on December 3, 2013 at 8pmEST! The topic is to be determined.

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 future 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.

Comment below, tweetcontact Danielle, or share on the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page!



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