Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Amy Krouse Rosenthal Books

One of my favorite authors of books I use in counseling is Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  My favorite is "The OK Book" which I use to encourage students to try new things.  I also love "Spoon" to send the message to embrace what makes each person special.  She has books about feelings, character traits, and problem solving.  Check out her website to see all her children's books.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Have you tried SMORE?

I watched the sconlineprofessionalexchange free webinar on this online flyer tool. It was very helpful and making my first flyer took less than 30 minutes!  Thanks Erin! Check out the one tool-at-a-time series she posted online this week (Twitter, You Tube, etc.)

Click to see my first attempt!

iPad Apps for Relaxation

I have found several additional apps for my office iPad mini to promote relaxation for my many anxious friends: My First Yoga, Simply Yoga, and on Pandora - Karma Kids Yoga.  I also found a few good nighttime meditation apps to recommend to parents.  Instead of letting a child play Mindcraft when they can't fall asleep, I recommend The Smiling Mind, they can try out The Bubble Journey for free or Sleep Meditations for Kids.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Holding On to Loved Ones

This is a great book to use in individual or group counseling when dealing with any type of transition: death, loss, grief, moving, or deployment.  There are great resources on the web for follow-up activities: lifelessons or armylife. The book even has its own facebook page. I am planning on using it with our new students who are joining our learning community right after winter break but want to stay connected to the frends they left behind.

Friday, December 27, 2013


Labels - Place Holder

Anxious Students? Amping Up May Be Better Than Calming Down, Study Finds

A recent study in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Allison Wood Brooks, a psychologist at Harvard Business School who studies performance under stress, found that getting anxious people amped up about a forthcoming test or task improved their performance more than trying to soothe their fears. Read a summary of the study at Education Week

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Celebrate Uniqueness

Our administrators gave the staff this book, The Only One Club,  to share with our students as we approach our winter break.  I think it is perfect for second graders who frequently get hung up on being different in some way.  It addresses children's need to belong to a group. Flashlightpress.com has activities to go with each of their books, many of which could be used in counseling.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I use this book in groups in grades 2 and 3 to understand disappointment and how to handle it.  Although many students can explain disappointment with an example, it is harder for many to actually come up with the right thoughts and actions to cope with this unpleasant feeling.  Many group members connected it to disappointment about gifts for a special occasion or not getting to see or do what they want for the winter break.  I made a simple handout with the title Disappointment and the books refrain "You get wheat you get and you don't throw a fit!"  They each wrote about and drew themselves handling disappointment appropriately. Hopefully, some of the students will remember the session over the upcoming break.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What Apps are you using? How do you organize them?

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.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

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 typical 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

Positive Energy

Jon Gordon's book is a great resource to teach students the power of positive emotions.  He also has a free lesson plans and activities at Guide. The lessons and activities could be used in grades 2-4. I used it in a small group but it could be a class lesson as well.