Friday, December 28, 2012

School Counseling Linky Party 2013


I am proud of my Bulletin Board page!

I like my post on Bullying Foldables (October 2012) because the activity it was so successful with our students.

Our pupil services team is very strong and works well together.  Readers enjoyed the post about Tea-L-C (September 2012) featuring our Back-to-School Night Information table.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy New Year

Bright Ideas for 2013
This is my new colorful, energy conservation promoting, bulletin board for back to school in January.  I just made some fluorescent bulbs from white stack and covered base with aluminum foil.  I just made up some signs with ideas for our students to try in January.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays

I hope all school counselors take time to relax and refresh themselves over winter break!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Show You Care

I was very pleased one of my gifts from a family today was a donation in my name to a fund for the victims of Sandy Point.  Besides sending a donation we can help make the halls of school brighter for the students returning to Sandy Hook in January (in a different building).
When school resumes for Sandy Hook, it will be in a new building. Parent-volunteers are working to ensure that the students are welcomed back by a winter wonderland with the entire school decorated with as many unique snowflakes as possible. We encourage senders to be as creative as possible, remembering that no two snowflakes are alike. Please make and send snowflakes by January 12, 2013 to the Connecticut PTSA.

The snowflakes can be sent to:
Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103 Hamden, CT 06514

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Keeping Things Normal

It has been very difficult to keep things "normal" in an elementary school this week.  First, it is almost winter vacation and the holidays are upon us.  Second, our national suffered a terrible act of violence at an elementary school that remains the primary news story of the day.  Third, the internet is ever present in our schools not only on computers but iPads and other devices. We wanted to minimize the exposure of our students to the tragedy but simply working on a research project in class can result in seeing the news coverage.  Schools today need to be aware that crisis have a digital component to manage as well as conventional ones.  The librarian, our instructional technology specialist, and administrators are going to have a meeting in early January to be better prepared to deal with the cyber citizen issues the next time...

Monday, December 17, 2012

What should we be telling students?

ASCA, NASP, and many other professional organizations have resources available to counselors to help process crisis.  I am beginning to wonder if we are properly training students for school violence. When faced with an Active Shooter or Violent Intruder of any kind, some schools train using the  A.L.i.C.E. Program (Alert, Lockdown, inform, Counter, Evacuate).  Its web site says it prepares employers, workers, teachers and students who may find themselves facing extreme danger.I know watching the coverage of last Friday's school tragedy in CT more seems to be needed.  In one interview the school nurse indicated she and a secretary remained in a closet for about 4 hours. I hope all school divisions will take a look at their training and security measures to prevent a future disaster.  I also hope the media will stop sensationalizing these school shootings as "the worst so far." At our school today we tried to protect the innocence of the children whose parents had the wisdom to protect them from exposure to this horrible event.  I feel very certain this is the best course for K-grade 3.  It is harder to know what the best thing to do with upper elementary.  We did not discuss it because even talking about an event such as happened last Friday can make children afraid to be at school, the exact opposite of our goal of making school a safe place for all. My heart goes out to those personally touched by last weeks killing spree.  Lets use this tragedy to make our schools safer and our response more helpful.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Boys: Group Totem Pole

My "Knights of the Round Table" Group loved this activity from Operation: Breaking the Boy Code by Dr. Poppy Moon.  The previous session we talked about "My Totem Animals" and the character traits each symbolize and made connections to personal experiences exemplifying the traits. This session each boy selected the one they most connected to and using the templates I premade traced, labeled and colored their own totem animals.  The members were excited I had a pole (2 cardboard packing materials) ready for them to attach their animals.  I have displayed it all week in my office and gotten to talk about the character traits to several other students. For example, the coyote is known for his cleverness.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Individual White Boards

I teach several of my small groups the power of affirmations using one of my favorite books, "I Think. I AM!"  To make sure they can connect the skill to their own need I have the members write at least one affirmation they can use before the next session on a white board.  These were written with Dry Erase Crayons which I love because they come in good colors and don't smell.  An affirmation should be a positive statement that starts with I am, I can, I will, I know... These were written by second graders.

Friday, December 7, 2012

We're All Unique

Our School Counseling Advisory Committee is always looking for ways to celebrate diversity and uniqueness.  Our school psychologist and I had a fun time making this hallway bulletin board.  The children love the lights!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

College Awareness

Looking for a way to talk to young children about college?  Try using this book by a famous actor.

Mahalia Mouse and her family live underneath Dunster House, an old Harvard dormitory. Foraging for food for her younger brothers and sisters, Mahalia gets trapped in a backpack and then finds herself inside a classroom far from home. Mahalia, intrigued by the lecture, starts attending classes and soon becomes a full-time student -- all the while wondering about the fate of her family. But when graduation day finally arrives, Mahalia has a wonderful surprise waiting for her.
Written as part of his keynote address at Harvard's commencement, this book by John Lithgow (class of '67) incorporates his trademark witty rhymes and includes a CD of him reading the text at the commencement. Mahalia's story has an inspiring message for graduates or anyone whose success is worthy of celebration.