Last week my school gave the counseling department (1 to share for full-time and part-time counselor) a brand new iPad mini. I first loaded the organization Apps I use on my laptop like Dropbox, Blogger, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. Then I added some photography Apps (InstaFrame, Padgram, iPhoto, PS Express, and Snapseed) because I want to do some slide shows to promote the counseling program. Since there were quite a few I organized them in a folder. I also made folders for Drawing and Music. Then I searched for Apps I might use with the children in my elementary school including: 7Wonderlicous, PBS Kids, Sesame Street Divorce, Sock Puppets. I made a folder for kids games: Emoji 2, Feel Electric!, MIMPI, Puppet Pals, See Touch Learn, Wordball, and What the word? Since I use Mindfulness in my work with children I made a folder with that title for some CBT, yoga, Zen, and breathing Apps: Breathe2Relax, CBT4Kids, 49poses, I Am Love, Smiling Mind ($), Super Stretch, and Zen Space. Feelings is my folder with the most Apps: Dusty D. Dawg Has Feelings Too!, Emotions, Empatico ($), Fear Shrinker ($), FeelingOmeter ($), The Grouchies, Moody Monsters. Most of the APPs I loaded were free but I did spend about $25 at the App Store. I also made a folder for Bullying and Character Education. The App I am most eager to try out is Concentration: The Attention Trainer to work with impulsive students. I can't wait to get back to work (we had 2 snow days) and try out my new device with children.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
I have been trying to decide how I want to incorporate this great new book into my counseling program. I have decided to use it in a classroom lesson on kindness, compassion, and acceptance in grade 2. It is perfect because we are getting several new students right after winter break. All the characters are typcial of classes. I am sure most students will be able to connect with one of them (example, the boy with the outside voice or the girl who whines and complains). I also plan to share it with two of my small groups in third grade since they won't get the class lesson. I am sure we will have a lively discussion of the central question in this book, Which is worse - being laughed at or feeling invisible?
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kindness that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude. -- Albert Schweitzer
Monday, November 25, 2013
The career development component of the school counseling program needs to be highly visible in the school. This is my bulletin board for this month to emphasize exploring a variety of careers at the elementary level. The top half of the board is a collage of a wide variety of careers. We do career development activities all year round, not just during career development month. The counselors "teach" at least 2 formal lessons on careers (we teach 10 total) but we also have career visitors in all our kindergarten through second grades (at least 6 a year). The classroom teachers use parent volunteers to talk about their careers (they take the place of a parent reader slot in grades 1 and 2). In grades 3-5 we do about 3 career cafes a month. The volunteers are scheduled using Sign Up Genius.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
There are several things I really like about this book that offers children in grades 2-4 strategies to deal with worrying. First, it uses humor which is generally useful for children who have the "what if" thougths a lot. Second, I like dividing worries into those the individual can control and the ones they cannot (like what others will do). Finally, I like the worry hat as a place to put worries that children cannot control. I am not sure labeling anxiety as the worry flu was a good idea. Most experts in anxiety want the child to label the anxiety, name it, and talk about it as something external to them (example, worry monster). I read this book with a number of children and groups this week and each time I did not like the phrase "worry flu." It sounds like the child with the anxiety has a sickness. I will still use the book but not emphasize that part and at times even sure that I think there are better ways to label worries.