Monday, July 25, 2016

Perception Data: Skills

What skills or behavior do students need to produce the ultimate change to achievement, attendance and/or behavior? Skill assessment can be varied but there must be a consistent method for measuring the desired behavior.

Likert scale: Write "I can" statements and have students  self-report their ability to use the skill.

I can get to school and in my seat on time.
I can ask a classmate to play a game during indoor recess.
I can manage my time so that I complete long-term projects by the deadline.

These can be assessed using a 4-point scale (Almost never, Rarely, Sometimes, Usually).

Demonstrate: Create a task that students can do either individually or in groups.

Students can demonstrate the 4 Conscious Disciple breathing techniques.
Students can state one way they are the same and one way they are different than their partner.
Students can set a goal and pass a ball around a circle so that each student touches the ball one time in __ minutes.

Role Play: Given a bullying scenario a group can act out the role of a helpful bystander.

A rubric would be used to determine if the criteria was met (an assertive response, and report to adult).

Illustrate the skill or give an example: Drawing a response and labeling is an excellent way to assess younger students skills. Writing an authentic response is a great way to assess if a student can apply the target skill.
Grade 1 - Draw and label the 4 step problem solving model.
Grade 4 - Write a "email response" to a cyber-bullying message.

An open ended question at the end of the pre-post survey is a common way to assess a skill, but have a clear way to assess if the response indicates the competency has been mastered.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Perception Data: Attitudes

How do we determine what students believe or think about the presenting need, issue or concern? 

Self-efficacy is the basis for whether or not the individual thinks goal or task accomplishment is possible. To measure self-efficacy we develop attitude statements related to what we are measuring as beliefs students might have related to the competencies we are covering.

Attitudes can be assessed using scaling techniques, likert scales. or card sorts. Scales are used to measure intensity and generally the end points and middle are labeled. Likert items written as "I believe,,," can be rated on a variety of scales but it is best to use an even number (like 4 or 10) forcing a positive or negative response rather than neutral.Picture choices like emotions or the sun scale with No and Yes can be used for first and second graders.  Card sorts allow students to indicate if they believe something is not at all like me, very much like me, or sometimes or placing possible responses in order what happens most often to happens rarely.

Sample attitude questions:

How confident do you feel asking to join a game already in progress at recess?
1       2       3      4     5      6      7     8    9     10
Can't do it             Sometimes           Can do it

Likert Scale
I believe I have as many friends as I need.
Strongly Agree   Agree                 Disagree           Strongly Disagree
1                         2                         3                        4

Card Sort
Think how you feel on the playground when these types of situations happen and place the cards into 4 piles indicating how you think you would respond.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Perception Data Series


I am passionate that all school counseling programs implement the ASCA National Model with fidelity so that all students have the benefit of a comprehensive counseling program.  I believe that all counseling offices should have the 4 books shown above on their shelves and they should be used to guide program development and implementation. I have been a counselor educator, supervisor, mentor, and practicing school counselor since before the Model was developed. I am sorry to say that many counselors still do not understand data; therefore, they cannot answer critical questions: 1) Do you know the needs of your students? 2) Can you advocate for the needs of your students? 3) Is your program meetings the needs of your students? and 4) How are students different as a result of what you do? Most counselors are good at collecting Process Data "What you did for whom?" Outcome Data showing impact of what counselors do on attendance, behavior, and achievement is not available for everything counselors do but it is the data that answers "So what?" Perception Data can and should be collected for all aspects of the counseling program so we can say "How are students different because of school counselor involvement?"

Perception data requires counselors to plan and develop the tools they need to measure the impact of what we do. I was asking a presenter at the ASCA Conference about the perception data for the study being shared and the response I got was, "What do you mean by perception data?" As a RAMP reviewer I have seen applicants struggle on several components because they did not have good perception data that would provide evidence their program was effective. I attended 5 presentations at the ASCA Conference that mentioned perception data. ASCA is trying to make it clear that it is not meaningful to ask participants if they enjoyed the activity or believed it was beneficial. Counselors need to assess attitudes, skills, and knowledge before and after activities. Unless counselors construct good perception measures that are easy to administer, score, and analyze there won't be worthwhile accountability data to report. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

ASCA Tweet Up 2016

One of my favorite events of the ASCA National Conference is meeting up in person with my "Tweeples." Twitter and other social media allow counselors to build an international Professional Learning Community. But it is great when at a state SCA or ASCA you get to meet in person the counselors you have been following and sharing with online. It happens annually at ASCA and hopefully someone in your state will organize a Tweet Up at your state conference. These are all counselors that participate in the regularly scheduled Twitter Chats during the school year #sccrowd #scchat and my favorite #escchat. During the school year the #escchat is from 8-9 PM on the second and fourth Thursdays each month. Each one covers a different topic and it is generally about 7 Questions & Answers moderated by 1-2 school counselors. Even if you don't like to tweet, please join us or follow the chat feed that gets archived for those who were not able to participate live. An online PLC is so rewarding to an elementary counselor like me who is the only counselor in my building. Spread the word.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

School Counseling Principles

At the ASCA National Conference every attendee attending the General Session was given a copy of the 2016 Ethical Standards and treated to an explanation on how they were developed by Dr. Carolyn Stone. She has been the keeper of our standards for many years and she presented 2 extended sessions at the conference.You can download a copy of the standards at
https://www.schoolcounselor/EthicalStandards Dr. Stone will be presenting an ASCA Webinar on October 5, 2016 on the new standards. If you did not hear her present at the Conference, you will want to sign up for the webinar. All counselors are bound by these ethical standards and there are many revisions and additions.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Implementation Guide

At the 2016 ASCA National Conference the Implementation Guide was released and immediately flew off the shelves of the ASCA Bookstore. This manual came about based on the experiences of the RAMP lead reviewers to clarify all to components of the National Model. Each component is explained in detail and examples are given. My favorite part of the Guide is the Do's and Don'ts for each section. For example, in the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors if says Do use the Mindsets & Behavior standards to focus your interventions and measurements; Don't attempt to cover all the Mindsets & Behaviors at every grade level. If you want your program aligned with the ASCA National Model and especially if you plan to apply for RAMP this book belongs in your office. It is now available in the online catalog https://asca.catalog .

Friday, July 15, 2016

ASCA National Conference Reflection

My colleagues and I had a great time in New Orleans from the Opening Session Roll Call of the States, in the Exhibit Hall (I won the Scavenger Hunt), and at the helpful and uplifting General Sessions and Breakout Sessions. Because 3 of us went together we could divide up the Breakout Sessions and share what we learned. In the Conference Program it lists level (Elementary, Middle, High School, or All Practice Levels) and Experience Levels (Beginner, Advanced, or All Experience Levels). Those 2 descriptors plus the speakers, title, and description are a good place to start selecting which Breakout Sessions you want to attend. We found the sessions we each wanted to attend by using the Conference App Details for each session and selecting categories we wanted and finally reviewing the PowerPoints that were submitted in advance. Yes you can see ALL the PowerPoints so you have a very clear idea what will be shared. Each one of us was interested in different categories which made it easy to divide up sessions. I attended mostly: Data, Curriculum, School Counseling Programs, Mental Health, and Technology. My colleagues divided up: Advocacy, Collaboration, College & Career Readiness, Crisis, Dropout Prevention, Legal & Ethical, School-wide Programs, Special Needs/ Special Populations, Student Achievement and Success. Because of our district's setting we did not attend any dealing with Urban Issues. All speakers provide their contact information so if you have questions later you can follow up. I have already reached out to a presenter that had a Session I really wanted to attend but I had a conflict. It is great having the PowerPoint but you might have questions based on that information. The 3 of us have already started sharing some of what we learned with other counselors in our District. I hope you will make plans to attend an ASCA National Conference in the future!