Thursday, March 29, 2012
I am ready for my final session with my first grade boys on problem solving. We have read, discussed, and practiced problem solving strategies based on the Howard B. Wigglebottom books from www.wedolisten
For the final session I made a HELP Bingo game to review the various problems and strategies we have covered. I like using Bingo games to review the last session in addition to doing the post-assessment and having a chance to say goodbye to the group experience.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
My number one tool is Blogger, which I use to make this blog. I do my school counseling program web page (and online newsletter) through the program used by our whole school division. I have already written about two of my favorite tools Live Binder It to save good resources and share them and Tagxedo to make stylish word clouds. As an elementary counselor, it is critical to get ongoing professional development, gather, and share ideas with other counselors. I utilize the ASCA Scene, Twitter, and Pinterest to keep up and stay energized. I am now a big fan of Google Docs Forms (survey development and tracking with Excel). The Google Docs survey development is so much more flexible than Survey Monkey which I had been using. I remain a very active PowerPoint user. I like it better than Prezi or the Smartboard software. I make PowerPoints for grades 3-5 for lessons I show through the Smartboards and use it for parent and professional presentations. Prezi gives me vertigo and since I use an IBM I can’t save it privately or print. My latest favorite is Dropbox.com a cloud free service that allows you to have your documents, photos, and videos available on any computer without carrying around a collection of thumb drives. I actually had a night mare that a computer fried my most loaded thumb drive last week. That was motivation enough to load Dropbox on my computer at home and school so I can begin saving what I don’t ever want to lose. Send me a comment if you have another suggestion for me.
Monday, March 26, 2012
As counselors and educators we continue to promote cyber-citizenship and safety online. Luckily there are good resources available. The Center for Missing and Exploited Children has great tips to share with parents/guardians. The iSAFE www.isafe.org web site has many valuable components to use in this important work. Canada has a site www.media-awareness.ca/english/games/privacy playground/ that offers lessons on safe use of the internet that our librarian and I are using right now with third graders. The Canada lesson is in a game format that we did as a class shown through our Smartboard. The goal is to earn stars for responding correctly to 5 key questions. At the end, we had each student do a quick 3-2-1 Exit Slip to determine 3 things they already knew about internet safety, 2 important things covered in the lesson, and 1 connection to cyber bullying. The game did not really cover bullying but I talked for a few minutes after the game about how bullying looks online vs. in person. The assessments so far indicate the lesson is effective because the students can write the key things they need to know about to be good cyber citizens. We are also sending the tips to parents and informing them that we are teaching this lesson. We plan to follow-up in June with 2 more lessons during Internet Safety Month.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
I attended a very good session at VSCA last week on using "clean language" to turn difficult parent conferences around. One of the presenters was a former student (I am a part-time counselor educator) of mine and I really enjoyed learning to focus on identifying the problem, remedy, and outcome from Brett. She presented with Gina who is a trainer for Mining Your Metaphors http://miningyourmetaphors.com/blog/ Gina made the point that there is no such thing as a synonym. Although we can assume we know what a client means by a word like "sad" it may actually mean something very different to that individual. I truly think words and particularly metaphors are very important in counseling. I always teach the microskill, "verbal underlining" which has the counselor repeat a few key words of the client. I also encourage may students (and I do this in my own work) to use metaphors to facilitate client understanding of feelings and meaning. Gina cautioned how important it is to uses the clients personal metaphors, not one that the counselor imposes. Check out the webpage or blog to learn more about "Mining Your Metaphors."
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Sunday, March 11, 2012
EI is comprised of four inter-related mental abilities: 1) perception of emotion; 2) use of emotion to facilitate thought; 3) understanding of emotion; and 4) management of emotion. Yale has developed a school-based prevention program called the RULER Approach. It is designed to teach the entire learning community the RULER skills: recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotions. The program is described on the web site http://therulerapproach.org/ They have great tools that could be used by any counselor. I love their Mood Meter and Meta Moment. Check it out!
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Props are physical objects used to illustrate a concept or facilitate the counseling process. I believe counseling needs to be engaging to be effective. Counseling with props helps children make connections and sustains attention. My favorite props include: - a variety of sizes, shapes and colors of sticky notes The counselor or the client can write or draw key words or ideas and move them around on the table to make connections (Example: Antecedents, behavior, consequences) - small white board with a variety of colored special markers Again either the counselor or client can write or draw (Example: draw the friendship triangle and where conflicts are occurring with wavy lines - rocks (small, medium, large) When discussing a problem ask student is it small enough to carry around in your pocket all day and still function, medium you know its in your back pack but you can manage, and large we need to deal with it immediately because it is weighing you down - toy microphone- Great for role-playing assertiveness - rubber bands Shows if student is being pulled in 2 directions by peers - remote control or video game controller Student can say what they can do to pause, go faster, slow down, etc Try to incorporate props in your sessions and assess whether it has a powerful impact on clients.
Friday, March 9, 2012
My favorite authors of books I use for classroom lessons and small group counseling are: Howard Binkow, Nancy Carlson, Kevin Henkes, Helen Lester, and Trudy Ludwig. I also use most of Julia Cook's books. Bibliocounseling involves identification, surfacing of emotions (the catharsis, insight (thinking), and universalization. It is important to select a book to meet the goals and objectives you are trying to achieve in the lesson or session. The counselor needs to help the students see the link to the skill you want them to acquire. It is important to ask meaningful questions about the story to help the children with interpretation. That is one reason I like Ludwig's books because she provides the questions for discussion. Do you have a favorite author you use?