Monday, February 20, 2017

Kindness Rhyme for Kids - You Are Amazing!

This is a good short video that emphasizes being kind to self. I use it in grade 2.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Effects of Kindness on the Brain

There is science behind teaching children to be kind, about empathy, and practice compassion.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin proved that training students in compassion that involved practicing on loved ones, themselves,strangers, and finally someone they had conflicts with for 7 hours makes them more likely to act with compassion edu/brain-can-be-trained-in-compassion

Kindness Boomerang - "One Day"

This is the video I use in my fourth grade during the kindness lesson. Students respond well to the concept of passing along random acts of kindness without the expectation of anything in return. The also like short videos, especially those with music. I think this one definitely enhances my lesson and makes it more likely to "stick" with the students.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Preparing and Starting Small Groups

The most important stage of successful groups is pre-group planning. I taught group counseling in a graduate program for 10 years and my graduate students heard me say this over and over. I start groups by looking at the referral reasons and screening students to see if they are willing to participate in a group. In the fall most of my referrals come from parents and my prior knowledge of students, but the round I begin second semester is primarily focused on students who teachers feel need tier 2 support. I build my group sessions around the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors and student needs, If I can find quality resources for small groups I am delighted to use the plans and activities others have spent time piloting. The groups I am starting this week for my third graders are based on two resources I shared back in October. 
Boys: I am adapting seven lessons from First Steps to Social Success by Senn youthlightsocialsuccess for my KNIGHTS group with boys. I selected the knight theme to tie this group together because that is our school mascot. Our first activity is a shield that helps identify strengths and uniqueness. I constructed the pre/psot group survey based on what I thought they needed and the objectives for each session.
Girls: I am implementing the group StarBound by Miller youthlightstarBound with the girls. We used the StarBound resource with a fifth grade group that started in the fall and meets every other week but this resource has multiple activities with each session topic so you can implement it in more than one grade level (it is a grade 3-8 resource). The StarBound resource is linked to the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors. Depending on how many sessions and what activities you select it covers most of the Mindsets and many of the Behaviors. I prefer to focus on 1-2 Behaviors a session so I selected: B-LS 1 B-LS 2; B-SMS 1 B-SMS 7; and B-SS 1 B-SS 2 B-SS 4 B-SS 5 B-SS 6 B-SS 7 B-SS 8
StarBound has a student survey but I created my own because I prefer to gather Perception Data with the type of pre/post surveys explained in the ASCA National Model Implementation Guide nationalmodelbooks Most of mine use a Likert scale with an even number of choices, forcing a positive or negative (rather than neutral) response. I also use scaling techniques to describe beliefs and open ended questions to assess knowledge.
When students come to the first session of group I have a folder for each member ready to go with a cover that is our opening session main activity, an attendance sheet with topics for each session, a copy of group rules or group contract, and the pre-group survey. I keep these folders in my office and everything members do gets kept in them to go home after the last session, except the pre/post-group surveys. Time is precious in group so this level of preparation is needed so I can focus on the process aspect of group once students are in my office.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Kindness in 5 Words

Since today is ValenKIND Day I had my fourth graders summarize the big ideas we talked about kindness in 5 words. They did a good job writing about mindfully choosing to be friendly and caring with no expectation of anything in return.

Happy ValenKIND Day!

Our SCA is currently spear heading a kindness challenge that includes randomactsofkindnessweek,  I am always happy to collaborate with the SCA and grateful I am not the staff member in charge. I call today ValenKIND Day and will be reminding everyone to be kind to themselves, those you love, and those who need love!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sharing DATA to Show Results

I loved seeing school counselors promoting their programs last week and really liked those wise counselors who used NSCW week as an opportunity to share results with stakeholders. They inspired me to do my first DATA report of the year on the two emotion regulation groups I wrapped up last week. Actually analyzing the pre-post surveys validated my belief that I would meet the goal and gave me plenty of ideas for how I can improve these groups next year. I use the DATA report from the third edition of "Making DATA Work" which aligns with the third edition of "The ASCA National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs". "Making DATA Work" complements the ASCA National Model by providing step-by-step implementation strategies, skill-building activities, examples and resources to help school counselors develop program goals, collect and analyze data and share their findings with key stakeholders. I publish these reports in a variety of ways including sharing it with district supervisors, the school counseling program  advisory council, and hopefully our school board liaison. My stakeholders know about the school counseling program but I need to announce the impact in a way that non-counselors understand!