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Showing posts from 2009

Study Tips for the School Guidance and Counseling Praxis

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I took the School Guidance and Counseling Praxis in January of 2009. The School Guidance and Counseling Praxis is a two-hour exam that consists of four content areas: Counseling and Guidance, Consulting, Coordinating, and Professional Issues. The exam questions are all multiple-choice. Approximately one-third of the exam is a listening exercise involving counselor and client interactions. To begin preparation for the School Guidance and Counseling Praxis , I recommend checking out the  School Guidance and Counseling Praxis  section on the  ETS website . There are free test preparation materials including  test at a glance  material. There are many resources available you can purchase to study for the School Guidance and Counseling Praxis . There is a School Guidance and Counseling Praxis Study Guide eBook  available for purchase through ETS that my colleagues and I found to be helpful. Their are many advantages of purchasing the  School Guidance and Counseling Praxis Study Guide

Resources for Working with Children of Incarcerated Parents

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I have received many inquiries about my work with children of incarcerated parents. Parental Incarceration impacts millions of U.S. Children. According to the Family and Corrections Network , 7 million, or one in 10, U.S. children have a parent under some form of criminal justice supervision - in jail, prison, on probation, or on parole. There are unique problems and stressors created by parental incarceration. Children often face a form of imprisonment of their own when a parent is taken away. Children of incarcerated parents are often difficult to identify because of the shame and social stigma associated with incarceration. In spring of 2009 I ran groups for children of incarcerated parents. There are some really great resources available for learning about children of incarcerated parents. Many of the resources can be used in individual and group counseling. A website to start learning about children of incarcerated parents is The National Research Center on Children and

Great Websites for School Counselors: Three of School Counselor Blog's Favorites

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I have shared these links in the sidebar on my blog, but I wanted to give readers more information about why these sites are so great! The American School Counselor Association (ASCA)   The American School Counselor Association (ASCA ) is the national organization for school counselors. The site provides resources to members, articles, and information about the ASCA National Model . ASCA also has a blog, podcasts , and a social networking site called ASCA Scene. If you need more information the roles of a school counselor are, ASCA is the site for you! A lot of the features on this site are for members only. I highly recommend becoming a member of ASCA . To find out more about the benefits of joining the American School Counseling Association , click here . The Elementary School Counselors Yahoo Group ListServ Are you an elementary school counselor? Do you have questions about school counseling? Do you need ideas for a lesson or topic? Would you really appreciate some advice on a s

What is School Counselor Blog About?

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School Counselor Blog is a place to share ideas and resources! What would you like to see on this blog? Do you have any resources or ideas you would like to share?  I want to hear your ideas! Comment below,  email me ,  tweet , 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.  Contact Danielle via  email , follow her on  twitter , and become a fan of the  School Counselor Blog Facebook Page .

Really Good Stuff Website Review

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When I find cool websites and free resources, I like to share them on the School Counselor Blog . I came across the website, Really Good Stuff, today. They have lots of great supplies for educators. They also have some really GREAT free resources on their website.  There are free downloadable activity and study guides , fun and games , resource articles , question and answers , and a newsletter . There is also the teacher's weblounge where you can read blogs by educators! If you find a great website, comment below,  email me ,  tweet , 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.  Contact Danielle via  email , follow her on  twitter , and become a fan of the  School Counselor Blog Facebook Page .

Creating Peace

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Before Thanksgiving, I started a position as a school counselor for grades 4-8 .  I am excited to work with the students, faculty, staff, and parents! I have lots of ideas and I can't wait to put my ideas into action! One of my main goals is to establish an environment of respect and peace with the grades I serve. I am starting an Anger Management and Friendship Skill group for fourth grade boys.  I purchased the book Seeing Red: An Anger Management and Peacemaking Curriculum for Kids by Jennifer Simmonds . The book seems like a great resource. It has interactive activities at the end of each session.  A member of the Yahoo Elementary School Counselor Listerv recommended the book.  I will give updates about using the curriculum with my students. I am also looking forward to facilitating classroom lessons using The Peacemakers Violence Prevention Program created by Jeremy P. Shapiro. All of the counselors in my district facilitate the Peacemakers lessons to 6th grade. W

The ABC's of Bullying

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The ABCs of Bullying: Addressing, Blocking and Curbing School Aggression Free, online course that examines the causes and effects of bullying, prevention techniques and programs, screening, treatment options, and legal/ethical issues surrounding bullying. Offered by CSAP’s Prevention Pathways. What free bullying resources do you use? Comment below,  email me ,  tweet , 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.  Contact Danielle via  email , follow her on  twitter , and become a fan of the  School Counselor Blog Facebook Page .

Children's Grief Awareness Day

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Children's Grief Awareness Day is a day to raise awareness about grief and loss issues, learn ways to help others who are grieving, and show support to individuals who have lost a loved one. Grief and loss are issues that impact each person at some point their life. In the Pittsburgh area, a great resource for grief and loss support is The Highmark Caring Place .  The Highmark Caring Place is a center for children, adolescents, and their families to recieve support for grief and loss issues.  The Highmark Caring Place has  Caring Teams  at schools all over the state of Pennsylvania that raise funds. As part of our school's Caring Team, I hosted a "Wear Blue Day" where students and staff were instructed to wear blue to show their support. Students and staff could also pay a dollar to wear jeans. Another way I raised awareness and money for The Highmark Caring Place was hosting a Pittsburgh Steelers Raffle.  I sold tickets to students and staff for 25 cents a ticke

Visit FableVision for Free Clip Art (and lots of other cool stuff too!)

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If you haven't checked out FableVision  yet, I recommend that you check it out!  FableVision  has great resources for educators and great activities for students.  You can get Free ClipArt , Free Posters , and Play Free Interactive Games . Peter Reynold's materials are inspirational and fun! Other great FableVision sites to check out:  (P.S. They have great free and interactive resources too!) U Can Do!  - "An ability focused website helping all people develop a 'can-do attitude' and approach to life...no matter what the obsticals." North Star  - a site dedicated to teachers, families, students, life-long learners, and those brave enough to follow their dreams. SuperThinkers  - FableVision teamed up with Verizon to create this interactive site filled with activities for kids. Featuring The Peetnik Mysteries, created by Peter H. Reynolds. This site can be viewed in English and Spanish! Where do you get free clip art? Comment below,  email me ,  tweet ,

Social Skills Through Social Stories

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I wanted to share a great link about teaching social skills utilizing social stories.  A member of the Yahoo Elementary School Counselor Listserv shared this with the group. Click here to go to the link.  It is a great resource for providing students with social stories about different situations.  It has everything from starting at a new school to how to sit on the rug in kindergarten. What social story resources do you use? Comment below,  email me ,  tweet , 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.  Contact Danielle via  email , follow her on  twitter , and become a fan of the  School Counselor Blog Facebook Page .

"The Paperbag Princess": Literacy Day

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For Literacy Day, I read T he Paperbag Princess , by Robert Munsch , to 5th and 6th graders.  The Paperbag Princess is a story about a princess who's castle is burnt down by a fire-breathing dragon.  The dragon also takes the prince. The princess, Elizabeth, is infuriated.  She goes on a mission to save the prince.  She out-smarts the dragon and saves the prince.   The Paperbag Princess shows a strong female character, which is very different than typical fairytales involving female royalty.   The Paperbag Princess   teaches many important lessons, including, respect, attributes of a strong character, and gives the message that it is what is on the inside that counts! What is your favorite book?  Comment below,  email me ,  tweet , 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

Rumors and Toothpaste

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I read, The Secret that Olivia Told Me , by N. Joy , to fourth and fifth grade students to begin a dialogue about rumors.  We talked about how a rumor is something that is spread from one person to another.  A rumor can start out as something true, but people add information to it that makes it get bigger and bigger.  We talked about what students should do if they hear a rumor.  One student suggested that she would say, "I'm not interested," if someone tried to tell her a rumor.  Other students suggested that they could tell an adult, tell the person spreading the rumor that it is not kind, or tell the person that the rumor is about so that they can get help from an adult. To give students a visual reminder about rumors, I used toothpaste.  I had students volunteer to squeeze toothpaste out onto a paper plate until the tube was empty.  I asked the students what the toothpaste was meant to represent.  A student commented, "The toothpaste gets bigger and bigger just

"Bee" Drug Free

I worked with first through fourth graders to share a drug free message with the surrounding community. Students created brown paper grocery bags with a drug free message using a "bee" theme. I am going to take the bags back to the grocery store so that they can give the bags to customers for Red Ribbon Week. Check out the pictures of the students work! Also, check out the other posts I have written with Red Ribbon Week Ideas: Red Ribbon Week Ideas   BEE Drug Free Grocery Bag Decorations College Pennant Display Career Day Costume Idea - Vet Red Ribbon Week 2011*  I will be continuing to add more posts to this list this week! College Door Decorating Contest and Spirit Day College, University, Military, and Trade School Day Dress for Success and Drug Free Pledges   Wear Red Day   What other messages could you put on a paper grocery bag?  Comment below,  tweet ,  contact Danielle , or share on the  School Counselor Blog Facebook Page ! Danielle is a K

Kindergarten Bees

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I facilitated a lesson about cooperation to kindergarten students. We talked about bees and how bees cooperate with each other. We also discussed what kindergarten students could do to cooperate and work together. The students create bees to reinforce the message of cooperation. I created a template for a body and wings. The students had to share the templates. They had to trace the templates and cut out the bee pattern. Afterward, they decorated their bees with crayon and glued their bee parts on. The bees serve as a visual reminder of cooperation for kindergarten students. What creative lessons do you facilitate about cooperation? Comment below,  email me ,  tweet , 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.  Contact Danielle via  email ,

Spaghetti, Marshmallows, and COOPERATION!

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I facilitated a lesson with 4th graders that involved spaghetti, marshmallows, and cooperation! I divided the class into groups of three or four students. Each group received dry spaghetti noodles and a bowl of marshmallows. I instructed students that they would be making a tower with their group members. I told them that the group who had the highest tower at the end of ten minutes would get a prize from me. After the 10 minutes were up, I asked groups what they thought the point of the activity was. Students suggested that the activity was about "working together." I asked students what was difficult for them during this activity. They commented that it was difficult to work with others, it was frustrating when the spaghetti broke, and that it was hard to figure out how to make the towers stand with all of their group members helping at the same time. I asked the students what they had to do during this activity to work together. They commented that they had t

"BEE" Cooperative!

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We are implementing a positive school wide behavior program that focuses on the three "B's": Be Safe, Be Responsible, and Be Respectful. We have been using "bees" to represent the three "B's" because of the play on words. I am currently teaching lessons about cooperation in grades K-4. I wanted to do a lesson that would involve art and teach first graders about cooperation. One of the art teachers gave me an idea of using finger print art . The students used a yellow marker to color their finger and then used their finger like a stamp to make bee bodies. The students did a great job. We talked about how bees cooperate with each other to make honey. I asked the students how first graders show cooperation. Some comments were: we share, we help each other, we ask each other for things, and we work together. Below are two finished pictures. What lessons do you use to teach students about cooperation? Comment

The Anti-Bullying Machine: Turn Your Cruelty into KINDNESS!

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In honor of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week, I have been facilitating classroom guidance lessons about bullying. I shared one of my favorite counseling books, Good-Bye Bully Machine, by Debbie Fox and Dr. Alan L. Beane , with second, third, and fourth grade students. Through the use of Good-Bye Bully Machine, we discussed what bullying is, how bullying feels, and what to do if you are bullied. The students really enjoy Good-Bye Bully Machine . It makes them think creatively about what makes a bullying problem at a school get bigger and how they can make a difference. I have also utilized the free interactive facilitators guide that is available to use with this book from Free Spirit Publishing . The facilitators guide has great ideas and handouts. In order to make the bully-free message more noticeable in the school, I wanted to make bulletin board that corresponded with the Good-Bye Bully Machine . I consulted the FABULOUS art teacher , whom I have collaborated

With Our Own Two Hands...

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This is the extension of the The Colors of Us Revisited lesson using the book The Colors of Us by Karen Katz. At the beginning of the next class, We listed to the Jack Johnson song "My Own Two Hands. " We spoke about things that the students could do with their own two hands to change the world. After listening to "My Own Two Hands," the students were instructed to use the sheet of their own unique color to trace their hand print. After they traced their hands, they cut them out. The students were instructed to decorate their hands using crayola construction paper crayons. They could either draw pictures on their hands of their favorite things or make a design. The students then pasted their hands to a circle with a picture of the world in the center. I went around to each student and asked what they could do to change the world with their own two hands. We used the suggestions that the students came up with as a background for the bulletin board. Som