Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Why ASCA and Why Help School Counselors Spice Up Their Program With #SCCS15? Guest Post buy Jeff Reams - The Counseling Geek

Guest Post by Jeff Reams, The Counseling Geek



Anyone who has attended the ASCA National Conference can easily answer the first question. Those that have not - you are thoroughly missing out. The ASCA conference is three days of networking, learning from over 100 breakout sessions, and getting encouraged by top keynote speakers (like Michelle Obama!).

How cool is it? It actually afflicts those who attend with PADS after leaving!


Sadly, there are some school counselors that have never attended and one of the main reasons is because there is a lack of funding. That is why we are back for another year of the School Counselor Community Scholarship (#SCCS15). We have upped our donation/fundraising goal from last year to 5 full registration scholarships ($1, 750) to give to some school counselors in need!

The recipients of last year's scholarships really enjoyed their time at the conference:

Bridget Helms of Jane Ball Elementary School in Cedar Lake, IN
Katie Powers, Graduate student at Brandman University in San Diego, CA

A partial scholarship ($175) is being awarded to:
Karon Parrish of Star City Middle School in Star City, AR

So now what? Now we need you! If each reader decided to donate only $5 - which is less than that triple hot sugar free double shot caramel frappuccino you just ordered - we would blow our goal out of the water! So I challenge you to donate $2, $5, $20, or $100+ to help school counselors out there attend ASCA 2015 in Phoenix, AZ.


The scholarship applications will be open early in the new year - please check back for links or visit www.thecounselinggeek.com.

Jeff Ream is Geek Master, Professional School Counselor at The Counseling Geek, and a High School Counselor at North Tahoe HS. The Counseling Geek is an online professional development and learning tool for practicing school counselors and graduate students who want to build their technology and 21st Century Skills within their program and school. TCG is also great for those looking for jobs and tips in their hunt for a great career. With video tutorials hosted on YouTube on topics like how to get started with social media networking and creating digital portfolios, TCG provides tips on new technology in counseling.  



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, September 20, 2014

Shutting the Door on Digital Predators: Digital Safety Lesson Part 2

In my previous post I shared the first part of my Digital Safety lesson for 6th grade students. During the second half of the lesson I showed students a video focusing on digital privacy and safety.  When looking for a video to share, I went first to Rebecca Lallier's blog, School Counseling by Heart and found this awesome video below. (Rebecca is an expert on all things child abuse so be sure to check out her MANY resources!)

The video is about a girl who has a public account online. It outlines some of the dangers of having your information open and available for anyone to see. It is 8 minutes and 34 seconds long.



Before watching the video with my students, I explained that the video we are about to watch can be a little creepy at times, but I felt like it was important to for you to see what can happen if we do not take our digital safety seriously. 

During the video students gasped at different parts, especially when the predator goes into her open house and into her room. They were all fully engrossed for the duration of the video. 

I left enough time in the lesson so that we could have a discussion after watching the video. I first asked students what stood out to them about the video. We discussed how the predator being able to walk into the girl's home was like having your account open to the public; anyone can get in. We also discussed the ways to be safer in the digital world that were highlighted in the video.

I think this video was very impactful and I plan to use it for future lessons as well.

Below I shared access to my full lesson plan for Part 1 and Part 2 of my Digital Safety lesson. I did the lesson within one class period, which is 40 minutes in my school. In my lesson I share the ASCA Standards and I included the new ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors. Once the grade-level bands are up I will update this document to include those as well. 



6th Grade Digital Safety Lesson Part 1
6th Grade Digital Safety Lesson Part 2

How do you teach students about digital safety? Share your ideas and resources 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.



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Kahooting about Digital Safety with 6th graders! - Digital Safety Lesson Part 1

This week, while one third of the sixth grade was out of the building each day for a field trip, I have been teaching bullying and digital safety lessons in all of the 6th grade science classes. I have had a blast getting to know our new 6th graders. I was planning to share what I did each day of lessons in sequence, but I really just could not wait to share this one with you!!!!!!!!!

While planning lessons, I shared with my co-counselor that I wanted to do to the line game activity related to social media and other online site usage for the first half of my lesson of my Digital Safety lesson. He suggested I use Kahoot! so students could use their ChromeBooks to respond to the prompts. I never heard of Kahoot! before but I was excited to incorporate this new tool into my lessons! 

Kahoot! is an amazing, easy to use quiz based learning website. Students can use their iPads, iPhones, iPods, ChromeBooks, laptops, or other devices to respond to questions on Kahoot! quizzes, surveys, and discussions. 

I turned the questions/prompts I was planning to do for my activity into a Digital Saftey Kahoot! SurveyFor my lesson, I used the survey option. After each question, the results were displayed in a bar graph. This was a great discussion tool during the lesson.


I projected the Kahoot! and pressed play. It gives information that students need to play the Kahoot!. They go to http://www.kahoot.it  and enter the game pin on the screen. It then prompts students to enter a nickname that they will use during the quiz or survey. Once the student has entered a nickname their screen lights up green and states "You're in!" You can see how many students have joined the game on the screen you display to the class. It even plays fun background music while students are getting into the game. There was a little bit of a learning curve getting in and starting up, so I would take that into account when doing this lesson. 

I will definitely be using Kahoot! again in the future because students really enjoyed being able to respond with their ChromeBooks. I asked students what they thought of using Kahoot!. They said it was cool, fun, they liked answering questions on the screen, and seeing others responses. One class even asked if they could do the whole survey again! I also asked students if they thought I should use Kahoot! again with students in the future. The answer was a resounding YES! 

To learn more about  Kahoot! and how to use it watch this tutorial below!



I will be sharing Part 2 of this lesson and the full lesson plan in a follow up post.

6th Grade Digital Safety Lesson Part 1
6th Grade Digital Safety Lesson Part 2

Have you ever used Kahoot! for lessons with students? What other interactive technology do you use in lessons?

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.



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Maya Angelou "Thrive" Quote Bulletin Board

Lately, I have a Google Presentation obsession! I love that Google Presentation allows for easy editing and moving things around, unlike a Word or Google Doc. Google Presentation (and other Google Drive Apps) have lots of cool fonts, which is one of the reasons I like to use Google Presentation to print letters for bulletin boards.

I recently found a great Maya Angelou quote on Pinterest that goes great with our "Thriving" theme that I mentioned in my post about my Growth Mindset Bulletin Board. I liked how there was a patterned background on this version of the quote on Pinterest. I thought it would make a fun and inspirational bulletin board inside the school counseling suite area. When I saw chevron wrapping paper at Target I knew I had to use it for the background!


I used Google Drive Presentation to created the quote for the bulletin board. For the background I used teal chevron wrapping paper I bought at Target in the party supply aisle. I printed out the quote on regular computer paper. I cut the words and phrases to size and framed them with black card stock. I stapled them to the board then framed the bulletin board with white boarder trim.

You can click on the image above (or here) to get a copy of the file that includes the words for the quote.

Have you made any bulletin boards of a quote? What materials do you use for bulletin boards?

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, September 4, 2014

A Growth Mindset Can Help You Thrive! Bulletin Board

Last year I ran a book group for parents and caregivers.  I decided to call the book group "Thriving in the Middle" to counter the negative language surrounding middle school. You often see books and articles about surviving middle school or how middle school was the worst years of people's lives.  I was planning to incorporate the concept of "thriving" and how school counselors can help students thrive into other aspects of my school counseling programming this year.  I have been wracking my brain to come up with bulletin boards ideas to go with the thriving theme. 

The first one I'll share is a growth mindset bulletin board.  Carol Dweck's book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success discusses the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. Growth mindset is the idea that intelligence can be developed, whereas fixed mindset is the idea that intelligence is static. Growth mindset is popular trend currently in education. I haven't read Dweck's book yet, but I am planning to make it one of my parent book club selections this year.

This video by Matthew Metoyer gives a great brief synopsis about growth mindset and fixed mindset.



I am very excited to learn more about growth mindset and how I can use it with my students. I first heard about it from Franciene Sabens blog where she shared books she is currently reading related to her school counseling progra. (She shared her growth mindset bulletin board last night on Twitter!)

I knew I wanted to do a growth mindset bulletin board, but I wanted to do it a little differently than the others I have seen. The idea hit me suddenly when I was thinking about how a fixed mindset is like negative thinking and having a dark cloud above your head. People with a growth mindset are able to see the light so to speak. A growth mindset gives you hope, an open mind, and the courage to try new things.  The image of clouds made sense to me, so I went with it...


A close up of the left side.

A close up of the right side.

I decided to title it, "A Growth Mindset Can Help You Thrive!" to fit with the thriving theme. I made more examples of fixed and growth mindset that I plant to rotate. I ran out of space to put them all on the board. I intentionally wrote "CAN" instead of "WILL" because I wanted it to be phrased and a choice and opportunity. Using the word "WILL" I felt would be contributing to a fixed mindset. 



I used Google Drive Presentation to created the bulletin board clouds and letters. You can click on the image above to get a copy of the file that includes the letters and images.  

I printed the letters and clouds on regular computer paper. I cut them to size then cut black cardstock and colorful card stock to put behind the letters. I printed the lightning bolts on computer paper, traced them onto yellow card stock, and cut them out. I used a round picture frame from my office to trace the circle for the suns and free-hand cut out the triangles to surround the sun. I included sun images in the Google Presentation bulletin board file, but I did not use them in this version. 

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, September 3, 2014

September #SCCHAT Transcript: SMART Goals: Teaching Them, Writing Them, and Reaching Them


The topic of the the September #SCCHAT was SMART Goals: Teaching Them, Writing Them, and Reaching Them.  The chat was moderated by Dylan Hackbarth(@dylanhackbarth), a high school counselor from Washington D.C..

School counselors shared lesson ideas, tips for writing and reaching SMART Goals, and resources about SMART Goals. 

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 our September #SCCHAT on October 7, 2014 at 8pmEST.  The topic is
Q&A with School Counseling Graduate Students and will be moderated by Julia V. Taylor @juliavtaylor, author of The Girls in Real Life Situations (G.I.R.L.S.) group curriculum (and many others!), speaker, doctoral student, and former high school counselor!





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, Licensed Professional 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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